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‘Metaverses with IoT can accelerate economic growth’: Vishal Dhupar

‘Metaverses with IoT can accelerate economic growth’: Vishal Dhupar
7 Nov, 2021

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg say virtual metaverses are the future. But most of these companies have their tech platforms powered by the graphics processing units (GPUs) from Nvidia. The company is one of the world’s largest in the visual processing space and it is speeding up adoption of next generation visual technology products. Ahead of the company’s yearly GPU Technology Conference (GTC), Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, South Asia for Nvidia, explained the company’s vision for a virtual future and its support for startups working on deep learning tech. Edited excerpts:

Which areas of innovation have Nvidia’s latest projects focused on, and how do they back startups in India?

One area that’s really strong right now is the metaverse. Conversations around this have been happening for quite some time, and Nvidia has a product called ‘omniverse’. Some of the key things we’re trying to do are to make the virtual world look realistic, and have material properties that we get to feel, touch and see in this world. This sector requires a number of graphical tools including areas such as styling, designing, building CAD models, etc., to interconnect and talk to each other seamlessly. If we can add multiple virtual universes alongside one another, this can have a massive impact on the economy. If we can bring metaverses to the existing internet of things (IoT), the acceleration of our economy can be on a different league.

Are there specific industries in India that would witness a bigger impact from Nvidia’s new products?

There’s no specific industry which you can point out to be really taking off over others. Not just India, but globally, the disruptive technology that is a combination of AI, 5G, virtual reality (VR) and metaverses coming together can be the biggest sector going forward. Every sector will have intelligence built in, an example of which is the Microsoft Word service. This has incorporated multiple areas of intelligence to now be nearly sub-conscious, or contextually aware of sorts. Soon, next generation computes will also be built on a data processing unit (DPU), alongside the CPU and the GPU. This sector is also expected to see a big impact in the near future.

What is the role of voice and language technologies in India?

The “big NLP (natural language processing) problem” is one of the biggest problems that Nvidia and others are trying to solve. In India, there are mobile workers who shift across locations, in sectors such as construction, carpentry and others. The language problem is the biggest hassle they face. If we can solve this issue, we could solve one of the biggest problems in India.

What support does Nvidia offer through its AI startups programme?

Nvidia has an ‘Inception’ AI startups programme, which can help companies overcome certain challenges to build AI solutions. We subsequently built an ecosystem of startups in this sector. They help startups at various stages of their businesses to understand how they can collaborate. We also have something called the Deep Learning Institute, which offers training and mentorship to startups. For instance, startups intending to work on a large compute infrastructure can work with our partners to solve their data problems. We also help them scale problems.

What role do you think Nvidia plays in addressing India’s rising demand for data and data centres?

As covid-19 accelerated digital transformation in India, the Indian government made a convincing strategy paper to deploy AI, and also invested in infrastructure to build solutions for some of our more extreme problems. In terms of digital infrastructure, technology can be rented or built according to specific needs. In these use cases, we at Nvidia allow companies to simply use our technology as a service, or get our assistance to build. We especially encourage companies to build their own products, which also gives them their own IP.

What role might Nvidia’s acquisition of ARM play in its future tech?

We’re already a licensee of ARM, and have tech based on them. We aim to bring AI and the tech stacks we’ve built, to embed those in ARM’s model – which would be flexible and licensable for other companies to use.