Nvidia’s GTC 2021 keynote was largely CGI and nobody noticed [Updated]

Nvidia has revealed that its GTC 2021 keynote that aired back in April took place entirely in the metaverse (corrected: no, it didn’t) meaning to say the whole thing was CGI. It was a bold move, but one that allowed Nvidia to demonstrate (if only in hindsight) just how impressive its Omniverse platform truly is.

Update (Aug. 13): After this article was published, Nvidia updated its blog post with the following information: “To be sure, you can’t have a keynote without a flesh and blood person at the center. Through all but 14 seconds of the hour and 48 minute presentation — from 1:02:41 to 1:02:55 — Huang himself spoke in the keynote.”

Taken word for word, the virtual Jensen was only seen on screen for 14 seconds — and that’s a portion that honestly looks less than impressive — the rest of the time, it was himself in the flesh.

We apologize for the confusion this has caused, although in fairness, when Nvidia says things like “digital Jensen was then brought into a replica of his kitchen that was deconstructed to reveal the holodeck within Omniverse, surprising the audience and making them question how much of the keynote was real, or rendered,” it’s easy to see how this was misconstrued.

Nvidia as part of its GPU Technology Conference (GTC) keynote earlier this year hosted a secret treasure hunt in which it invited onlookers to see if they could spot “anything out of the ordinary” during the presentation.

To participate, users were asked to tweet any Easter eggs they found to the company for a chance to win coveted prizes like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090. It’s unclear how many people participated in the contest, but that’s irrelevant because all you need to know at this point is that the entire presentation was one giant Easter egg.

That’s right, the whole presentation – from each individual slide and every icon in them to the “keynote” from CEO Jensen Huang – was created digitally using Nvidia Onmiverse, the company’s platform for virtual collaboration and real-time simulation. And seemingly, nobody noticed.

Nvidia has published a documentary on the whole thing, which shows how the entire presentation was created virtually.

It’s the sort of thing that really makes you reconsider Elon Musk’s argument that we are living in a simulation.

Musk has stated on multiple occasions that if you assume any rate of improvement at all, that video games will one day be indistinguishable from reality and that could mean our entire reality is a simulation. Others in the scientific community, including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, put the odds at 50-50 that we are living in a simulation.