scorecardNvidia CEO Jensen Huang's Taylor Swift joke shows he's aware of his reputation among AI fanboys
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Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's Taylor Swift joke shows he's aware of his reputation among AI fanboys

Clementine Fletcher   

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's Taylor Swift joke shows he's aware of his reputation among AI fanboys
Tech2 min read
Jensen Huang subtly referenced Taylor Swift's performance-readiness regiment in his almost two-hour-long keynote speech on Monday.    Getty Images
  • Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang gave a much-awaited two-hour-long keynote speech in California.
  • Huang joked he had not prepared for the presentation by rehearsing it while on a treadmill.

According to one tech commentator on X, "Guys who worship Jensen Huang are male Swifties." The Nvidia CEO seems to have got the memo.

During his much-awaited introductory speech at Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in California on Monday, Huang said:

"As I was simulating how this keynote was going to turn out, somebody did say that another performer did her performance completely on a treadmill so that she could be in shape to deliver it with full energy. I didn't do that. If I get a low wind at about 10 minutes into this, you know what happened."

Huang appears to be commenting on a detail from music superstar Taylor Swift's Time magazine interview when she was named Person of the Year 2023. In the piece, Swift — whose legion of devoted fans are known as Swifties — said that she started training for her Eras tour six months before the first show and that "every day I would run on the treadmill, singing the entire set list out loud."

And while he may not have gone to quite the extremes of Swift, Huang's no slouch, holding court onstage at a massive event dubbed "the Woodstock of AI" at San Jose's SAP Center for more than two hours.

But Huang, who has helped drive Nvidia's share price up more than 240% in the last year as companies scramble to buy its powerful semiconductors to help drive their AI ambitions, didn't just make Swift jokes. He unveiled the company's next-generation AI chip, named Blackwell, the successor to its massively in-demand H100.

Still, he had time for further banter. When cross-comparing Blackwell with Hopper (a name for the H100), he mock-seriously comforted the older chip by saying, "It's OK, Hopper. You're very good. Good, good boy. Good girl."

Later, when using a picture of a cat to illustrate the growing potential of AI, he feigned surprise to see the image on the screen behind him, joking: "Guys, that was that's what happens when you don't rehearse." The company has been touting the conference for months.

He also enjoyed some "interruptions" from two mini-robots onstage, chiding them by saying: "I'm trying to concentrate."

Jensen Huang looking at two robots onstage at Nvidia
Jensen Huang looking at two robots onstage at Nvidia's GTC.      Nvidia keynote livestream

While we won't call it top-tier humor, the laughs from the audience seem to demonstrate that Huang does indeed have that likeability factor — alongside the ability to helm one of the buzziest companies in tech.

And while we did spot one of Huang's signature leather jackets, we weren't eagle-eyed enough to see if he was sporting a Taylor Swift friendship bracelet — or Nvidia tattoo.

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert contributed to this report.




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