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This Week in AI: Nvidia, Nvidia and More Nvidia

AI, artificial intelligence

Any innovation worth its salt will bring with it a fair share of questions.

And one of the biggest questions surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) was whether the ongoing hype would turn into real, tangible market value. 

This week, those questions were put strongly to bed by Nvidia’s Wednesday (Feb. 21) earnings report.

The one-time video game chipmaker has found itself at the center of a generative AI revolution that quite literally cannot run without its products, and on Thursday (Feb. 22) surged to a market value of $2 trillion, making it the third most valuable company in the U.S. – adding about $260 billion to its market capitalization in just 24 hours. 

Nvidia’s ability to easily clear the already high bar that Wall St. analysts had predicted for it also set into motion a broader rally across global equity markets as investors bought into the AI ecosystem more broadly.

But while Nvidia stole the headlines, there was lots of news to go around this week regarding AI.

From healthcare to federal funding, to the future of the back office and beyond, here are the stories PYMNTS has been tracking this week as Big Tech continues to jostle for the AI lead, and businesses increasingly integrate AI innovations into their most critical workflows. 

The U.S. Government Invests in AI Infrastructure

Private investors aren’t the only ones piling money into the AI landscape.

The U.S. Department of Commerce and White House Administration on Monday (Feb. 19) announced an award of $1.5 billion in direct funding to GlobalFoundries, the world’s third-largest contract chipmaker headquartered in Malta, New York. The funding is meant to jumpstart the domestic chipmaking industry and defuse dependence on foreign providers. 

“With new onshore capacity and technology on the horizon, as an industry we now need to turn our attention to increasing the demand for U.S.-made chips, and to growing our talented U.S. semiconductor workforce,” Thomas Caulfield, GlobalFoundries CEO, said.

Elsewhere, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland designated Jonathan Mayer as the Department of Justices (DOJ) first chief science and technology advisor and chief AI officer. As the DOJ’s chief science and technology advisor, Mayer will advise the attorney general and collaborate with various departments within the Justice Department on complex technical issues, such as cybersecurity and AI.

On the west coast, San Francisco is reportedly once again at the center of a tech revival, with entrepreneurs and investors returning to the city after a period of exodus during the pandemic. 

Enterprise AI Integrations Continue Unabated

On Tuesday (Feb. 20), Adobe announced it is introducing AI Assistant, a new generative artificial intelligence-powered conversational engine for Reader and Acrobat; while Intuit’s TurboTax customers are enjoying seeing the work done “automagically” during the first tax season in which they’re being helped by a generative AI assistant. 

Rodo on Thursday launched an AI-powered vehicle search tool that is designed to change the way people discover cars online, while on Wednesday PYMNTS investigated how intelligent chatbots could help shape the future of one-touch payroll.

Also on Wednesday, PYMNTS covered how the future of entertainment and gaming experiences are increasingly centered around the connected car, with AI also playing a starring role.

It was a big earnings week, and companies from Fiverr to Booking.com emphasized to investors the tailwinds they hope to capture from the use of AI.

The story of the week was Nvidia’s blowout earnings, with CEO Jensen Huang saying: “For the very first time, a data center is not just about computing and storing and serving company employees. Now we have data centers that are AI generation factories that take raw material (data) and transforms it into incredibly valuable tokens for AI systems.”

Databricks’ global head of financial services, Junta Nakaispoke with PYMNTS about that very phenomenon on Thursday.

Funding Continues to Fuel the AI Ecosystem 

On Wednesday, Fabric, a health technology company, raised $60 million in a Series A round to expand its conversational AI care enablement platform for healthcare providers.

And on Tuesday, Recogni, an AI-based computing firm, closed a Series C funding round, securing $102 million.

Still, Bain Capital’s tech fund reportedly stands out from others by holding the belief that AI companies are too speculative to fund.

From a technology standpoint, PYMNTS investigated whether lightweight models, or agentic models, will shape the future of AI. Likely, it will be both.

For all PYMNTS AI coverage, subscribe to the daily AI Newsletter.