Back in the summer of 1956, John McCarthy, a young assistant professor of mathematics at Dartmouth, met with other scientists to discuss a topic that most people considered science fiction… Thinking machines.
That summer, McCarthy coined the term “artificial intelligence.”
And within a few years, scientists around the world were teaching computers to play checkers, solve algebra word problems and mathematical theorems, and speak English.
One of McCarthy’s fellow scientists, Herbert Simon, even predicted that “machines will be capable, within 20 years, of doing any work a man can do.”
Why do I bring up this history?
Because, while Simon’s timeline may have been optimistic, artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the most cutting-edge technologies of our modern age.
We use AI in health care, cybersecurity, e-commerce, advertising, agriculture, education, finance, and more. There’s almost no area of society or industry untouched by its influence.
And that has major implications for us as investors.
Despite the pervasiveness of AI, however, very few of us understand just how fast this technology is progressing…
AI’s Exponential Growth
Here’s a chart that can put the progress into perspective:
OpenAI, the AI research entity launched by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, released this graph of the amount of computer processing power required to run complex AI models over time.
As you can see, up until 2012, the power requirement doubled about every two years, following Moore’s Law of exponential growth.
But then computational power made a big jump up in 2012.
In fact, our computing requirements have doubled every 3.4 months since then. So if we look at the exponential growth happening with AI… it now dwarfs Moore’s Law.
This is an indication of how powerful AI is becoming. The amount of computing power we need to run AI models is vast.
And as we can see above, the growth of processing power for AI is so explosive that the chart looks like a hockey stick. That means AI now can solve problems that were nearly unthinkable just five years ago.
These are problems like treating and even curing disease by using AI to analyze billions of compounds, allowing us to discover potential new drugs and therapies in days instead of months or years…
AI is enabling autonomous driving technology by helping our cars learn to be safe drivers, which will save millions of lives each year by preventing car accidents… 90% of which are caused by human error.
And AI is now even replacing or augmenting our human abilities in the field.
As just one example, an AI won a dogfight contest in August competing against a human F-16 fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. After four billion simulations, the AI was trained to adapt under any circumstance imaginable.
These are just a few examples. There are many, many more.
And market research indicates that adoption of this technology is speeding up at a similar pace…
Spending Billions on AI Adoption
A report from International Data Corporation shows that companies will spend around $50 billion developing and implementing AI and machine learning (ML) this year alone. And this spending is going to more than double over the next four years, hitting $110.7 billion annually in 2024.
That’s a lot of capital flowing into this space. And that’s why we should be paying attention as investors…
This will be a major boon for the software companies developing AI technology. And this advanced AI software will drive major demand for next-generation hardware as well.
The world needs more servers, more processing power, and more application-specific semiconductors designed for AI.
These are the ways that we’ll be able to take advantage of the exponential growth of AI. Let me show you just one example…
The Chips of the Future
Back in May, NVIDIA announced its A100 AI chip at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC).
Talk about horsepower. It has 54 billion transistors on a single chip. It can run at five petaflops, which means it can do five quadrillion operations per second.
That’s 20 times more powerful than NVIDIA’s previous-generation chip, Volta.
Most sequential product releases in the semiconductor industry deliver maybe 2–3 times performance. To see a 20x jump like this in a single generation is unheard of.
Allow me to put this in context…
To handle AI training tasks today, one customer needs 600 central processing unit (CPU) systems to handle millions of queries. To achieve this level of processing power, the customer requires 25 racks of servers, costing $11 million and 630 kilowatts of power.
But with NVIDIA’s new product, all that’s needed is a single server rack, costing $1 million and just 28 kilowatts of power.
So NVIDIA’s new product provides the same processing power at one-tenth of the cost and just 4% of the power requirements. Wow.
I worked as a technology executive for decades. It’s not often that a breakthrough really stuns me.
What we’re talking about here isn’t even exponential growth. It’s a massive leap in one shot. And it’s these kinds of bleeding-edge chips that are going to fuel the continued growth of AI.
This chip’s cost makes it accessible to all corporations and government agencies. And we can expect companies like Amazon Web Services to acquire the tech and make it available on-demand in the cloud. That way, even small, early stage companies can “rent” this kind of computing power without any upfront costs.
That will put it in the hands of any researcher or data scientist who wants to experiment with the world’s most advanced AI hardware.
The industry is going to jump all over this. We can expect to see extraordinary breakthroughs in AI using this chip.
I first publicly recommended NVIDIA back in early 2016 to a group of wealthy investors. Some people thought I was crazy. But I saw the company’s potential. NVIDIA was the No. 1 S&P 500 stock of that year.
The stock is up more than 1,800% since that original recommendation.
These gains show the power of investing in this kind of technology. Artificial intelligence is remaking the world as we speak. We are killing scarcity and creating a golden age of abundance right before our eyes.
The next 30 years are going to bring us such incredible technological developments that we will hardly recognize the world we find ourselves in. It’s going to be an amazing journey.
And this multiyear boom will overflow with incredible investment opportunities just like NVIDIA back in 2016.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge