November 1, 2017

Nvidia Eyes Gov’t Market with Deep Learning Expansion

George Leopold

(gor kisselev/Shutterstock)

Nvidia said it is expanding its deep learning partnerships this week with government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton to help train U.S. military personnel along with AI pioneer Andrew Ng to train developers working in fields such as natural language processing and video analytics.

The new partnerships expand on Nvidia’s Deep Learning Institute launched last year to provide AI training tools as demand grows for developers. The institute’s partners include Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft NASDAQ: MSFT). Other partners include companies offering online courses, including Coursera and Undacity.

“We’re taking leading edge work in AI and developing training models,” explained Greg Estes, Nvidia’s vice president of developer programs. The goal is to address the growing need for more AI developers by delivering AI research and tools from top U.S. universities to community colleges and the “heartland,” Estes noted during an Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) event in Washington, DC, on Wednesday (Nov. 1).

The company also views the institute as a way to drive use of its GPU accelerators in the cloud to broaden AI development.

The partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton is designed to transfer Nvidia’s GPU technology to the federal sector. The government contractor is already working with “hundreds” of Air Force personnel, and the collaboration would use that early training as a springboard to move GPU-driven technologies such as simulation and data science deeper into the military and other government agencies.

The collaboration with Ng’s startup, deeplearning.ai, will develop AI course materials for its deep learning sequence models. The partners also are developing new training courses for machine translation development that will be used with Coursera’s deep learning courses. The courses will be available later this month. Ng co-founded Coursera.

Coursera‘s highly regarded machine learning course takes about 11 weeks and goes into considerable depth about machine learning topics. Students can access course material for free, but must pay to get a certificate upon completion.

Nvidia announced earlier this year it plans to train 100,000 developers this year through the Deep Learning Institute, a ten-fold increase over 2016. The GPU vendor cites industry estimates that 80 percent of all applications will incorporate AI by 2020.

Nvidia also said it is working with several universities to teach the free courses, including Arizona State University, Harvard University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Along with deep learning applications such as robotics, the institute is developing training laboratories for natural language processing, intelligent video analytics and financial trading, Nvidia said.

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