Home Technology NVIDIA’s Jensen Huang Inspires Graduates with Lessons in Innovation and Resilience

NVIDIA’s Jensen Huang Inspires Graduates with Lessons in Innovation and Resilience

NVIDIA's Jensen Huang Inspires Graduates with Lessons in Innovation and Resilience
NVIDIA's Jensen Huang Inspires Graduates with Lessons in Innovation and Resilience

Pasadena, CA – June 14, 2024 – In a powerful and inspiring address, Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA, captivated Caltech graduates at their 130th commencement ceremony. Huang, known for his visionary leadership in the field of computer graphics and artificial intelligence (AI), urged the graduating class to embrace unconventional thinking, perseverance, and a dedication to their life’s work.

Embracing the Unexplored

Ditching his signature leather jacket for academic regalia, Huang addressed the nearly 600 graduates, encouraging them to pursue their passions with a spirit of exploration. “Believe in something unconventional, something unexplored,” he said. “But let it be informed, and let it be reasoned.” He challenged them to find their own “GPU” (Graphics Processing Unit), “CUDA” (NVIDIA’s parallel computing architecture), or “generative AI” – breakthroughs that could propel their careers and redefine industries.

The Rise of AI and the Importance of Understanding the Landscape

Huang then shifted the focus to the broader context of the technology industry. He highlighted the pivotal role computers play today, stating, “Computers are the single most important instrument of knowledge, foundational to every single industry in every field of science.” He emphasized the importance of graduates entering the workforce with a strong understanding of current technological advancements, particularly the transformative power of AI.

NVIDIA’s Bold Bet on Deep Learning

Huang used NVIDIA’s own journey as a case study in innovation and risk-taking. He revealed how, over a decade ago, the company, then a fledgling startup, made a daring bet on deep learning. They poured billions of dollars and years of research into reinventing every layer of the computing architecture specifically for this revolutionary technology. “No one knew how far deep learning could scale,” Huang said, referencing the iconic line from the movie “Field of Dreams,” “If we don’t build it, they can’t come.” This bold move by NVIDIA positioned them as a leader in the AI revolution.

Robotics: The Next Frontier and Overcoming Setbacks

Looking towards the future, Huang identified robotics as the next frontier in AI. He openly discussed the challenges NVIDIA faced in this field, a period marked by numerous setbacks. However, these setbacks, according to Huang, fueled the company’s spirit of innovation. He referred to these challenges as venturing into “zero-billion-dollar markets” – uncharted territories with untapped potential.

Building the First Deep Learning Robotics Computer

Huang recounted how, faced with a lack of existing solutions, NVIDIA took a groundbreaking approach. They decided to “build something where we are sure there are no customers,” as Huang phrased it. This led them to create the world’s first robotics computer specifically designed to process deep learning algorithms. This pivotal step laid the groundwork for NVIDIA’s current advancements in AI robotics.

Developing Resilience and Agility

Throughout his speech, Huang emphasized the importance of resilience and agility in overcoming challenges. “One setback after another, we shook it off and skated to the next opportunity,” he said. He described how these experiences not only honed their skills but also strengthened their resolve. “No setback that comes our way doesn’t look like an opportunity these days,” he declared.

Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places

Huang also shared a personal anecdote about a visit to a moss garden in Japan. The gardener’s unwavering dedication to his craft resonated deeply with Huang, teaching him the value of prioritizing one’s life’s work.

Concluding Remarks: Prioritize Your Life

Huang concluded his address with a powerful message: “Prioritize your life, and you will have plenty of time to do the important things.” This resonated with the graduating class, encouraging them to find their passion, persevere through challenges, and dedicate themselves to shaping the future with innovation and resilience.


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