The presentation of the recent GTC 2021, Nvidia’s event focused on Artificial Intelligence and Development, was rendered entirely by computer, and its CEO was controlled by an AI.
When Jensen Huang magically appeared in his extravagant kitchen at the GTC 2021 opening conference, no one was surprised. The CEO has already used that strange scenario in past announcements, with its marble relief that reveals somewhat special tastes. Perhaps more surprising was when part of the kitchen disappeared to facilitate the presentation of the products.
Otherwise, it was a typical conference for this world in pandemic; It was prerecorded and Huang and his employees went over Nvidia’s accomplishments, and what they were preparing for 2021 and beyond. The effects were striking, but they were possible as it was not live.
Months later, Nvidia has pulled the blanket, and revealed the ins and outs of that presentation: none of it was real . In a documentary released last night, titled “Connecting the Metaverse,” the company explains how it created a virtual conference, using, of course, its technologies and components.
Indeed, everything we saw was fake, from the CEO to the stage, all rendered in three dimensions and with the latest advances in textures and technologies, such as the one in charge of rendering Huang’s hair. Advertised products, such as the DGX Station A100 workstation, were real, but the drives that appeared were virtual copies.
The big challenge was creating a compelling copy of Huang. To do this, the team performed a complete scan of both the face and the body, to create a 3D model; Next, they trained an Artificial Intelligence to imitate their gestures and expressions, based on what they usually do in their lectures. Finally, a layer of “AI magic” was enough to give this “clone” a realistic touch.
The virtual CEO was integrated into a replica of the original’s kitchen. The effects in which part of the stage disappeared were on purpose, to make the audience doubt which part of the presentation was real . Now, the revelation is that almost nothing was.
Only one part of the presentation was real: the voice . Nvidia has clarified that, although the Jensen Huang that we see is not real, the person behind it is, and contributed his voice, doubling his clone as if it were a cartoon.
The truth is that on the day of the presentation there were already some on social networks who noticed something strange, beyond the striking visual effects, but even so, the fact that absolutely nothing that appeared was real is a demonstration of what that is possible with today’s technology.