"They bought a lot of stuff, and then eventually it collapsed, because it doesn’t bring anything useful for society."
Good for Society
Nvidia, the video card giant whose sophisticated GPUs have found a weird new use to mine cryptocurrency, has had enough.
It's calling for its customers to stop mining crypto — and do something more worthwhile with their time.
The company's technology officer Michael Kagan recently told The Guardian that he wished buyers would turn their attention to artificial intelligence instead.
"All this crypto stuff, it needed parallel processing, and [Nvidia] is the best, so people just programmed it to use for this purpose," he told the newspaper. "They bought a lot of stuff, and then eventually it collapsed, because it doesn’t bring anything useful for society. AI does."
"I never believed that [crypto] is something that will do something good for humanity," he added. "You know, people do crazy things, but they buy your stuff, you sell them stuff. But you don’t redirect the company to support whatever it is."
Kagan's comments aren't exactly surprising — the fact that the company still actively sells GPUs advertised as crypto mining cards, notwithstanding, of course. The crypto industry has been put through the wringer throughout 2022, with the value of mainstream cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin losing over half of their value.
Meanwhile, crypto miners have had to change tack, suddenly faced with an extremely expensive pile of largely worthless mining hardware. Major crypto lenders are selling off millions of dollars worth of mining rigs as they look for the next big thing.
And Nvidia sees a new opportunity on the horizon with AI, a technology that has caught on like wildfire with investors.
"With ChatGPT, everybody can now create his own machine, his own program: you just tell it what to do, and it will," Kagan told The Guardian. "And if it doesn’t work the way you want it to, you tell it ‘I want something different.'"
The appetite is certainly there, with AI already turning into a cash cow for the chipmaker.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced it had bought tens of thousands of A100 GPUs, chips designed from the ground up with AI processing in mind. Amazon and Oracle have also bought similar offerings from Nvidia.
Of course, all that's assuming that crypto's moderate rally over the past month doesn't continue, breathing new life into the mining industry.
More on Nvidia: Horrifying Algorithm Locks Your Gaze Into Your Webcam