Adobe Summit 2018: Envisioning Tomorrow’s Technology

LAS VEGAS — Day two of Adobe Summit 2018 focused on the technologies that will shape the future, with artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) taking center stage in the keynote, and with Adobe and NVIDIA announcing a partnership to further develop these technologies.

The two companies’ leaders—Adobe’s chairman, president, and CEO, Shantanu Narayen, and NVIDIA’s founder, president, and CEO, Jensen Huang—came onstage for a keynote conversation about these technologies that took some interesting and speculative turns. Founded in 1993, NVIDIA designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming and other uses, and has recently been experimenting with the intersection between between AI, AR, and VR.

“One way to think about AR and VR is this: In the case of VR, it’s a wormhole for us to travel to virtual worlds. VR is simply a path that allows us to wormhole into another virtual world. AR is the way for artificial intelligent agents that are in these virtual worlds to wormhole into us,” Huang told the audience. “These artificial intelligence agents in these universes, the way they come into our world is to travel through the AR wormhole and then they’ll be sitting right there in front of us in augmented reality, mixed reality, and the way we go into their world is to travel through VR.”

He went on to discuss a relevant project his company undertook, which was dubbed Project Wakanda after the fictional African nation in the hit Marvel movie Black Panther. “What we did was this: We created this holodeck, and inside this holodeck you could go into it and it creates a virtual car. And when I’m inside this holodeck I can control; I can wormhole, teleport, into an autonomous vehicle anywhere on the planet, and now my mind and this autonomous vehicle become one and I can drive this car from anywhere, wherever it is, from my holodeck,” he explained. “So the way to think about that is all of a sudden VR is our way of communicating with the future of AI. This communication system, today we’d call it virtual reality. We think about head mounted displays, we think about augmented reality as these computer graphics things that are sitting on our table, but in the future it’s going to be much, much more than that.”

The two companies, which have collaborated for more than a decade, announced a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing their AI and deep learning technology. Under the partnership, the duo will work to optimize Adobe Sensei’s AI and machine learning (ML) framework for NVIDIA GPUs. According to Adobe, the alliance advances its goal of extending the availability of Sensei APIs, thus opening up the Sensei ecosystem to new audiences.

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