Skip to content

Where Nvidia's Huang Went Wrong on Thomas Edison vs. AI

The tech industry’s self-congratulatory analogy of AI with electricity “is not absurd, but it’s too flawed to be useful,” says historian Peter Norton.
Where Jensen Went Wrong on Thomas Edison vs. AI
Thomas Edison's dynamo electric machine.

Share This Post:

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
In Silicon Valley, power prevails. In the short run, if your business and technology have the power to make money, move the market, and change the rules, you won’t even be criticized when you’re wrong. But no business is future-proof, especially if its power depends on a resource — namely electricity — facing increased scarcity.

The Bay Area just finished a week-long AI party, talking up advancements like Nvidia’s new supersized AI chips and the simulation and software tools, developed by companies such as Ansys and Synopsys, that enabled them.

The tech community is blithely comparing the anticipated spread of AI to electricity that everyone nowadays takes for granted.

Executives like to style themselves as creators of a brand-new industry, similar to the electrification wave that accelerated the Industrial Revolution.

This is great stuff. Let’s get started.

Already have an account? Sign in.