Elon Musk reminisces about the time Jensen Huang donated a DGX-1 to OpenAI, shares photo gallery

Happy times for OpenAI
(Image credit: Elon Musk on X / Twitter)

Elon Musk has shared some previously unseen photos of when Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang called round to donate the world’s first DGX-1 server to budding startup OpenAI. The pictures were taken back in 2016, but this is the first we've seen of the two silicon mega celebs enjoying each other's company. Musk was one of the co-founders of OpenAI in 2015, but stepped away in 2018 over rumored conflicts of interest and the perceived change of direction at the artificial intelligence pioneering 'nonprofit.'

OpenAI is now a for-profit company and seems to have steered away from its early open-source leanings, which has caused some highly public friction between Musk and current OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman. With the burgeoning success of AI in recent years and OpenAI’s central role becoming obvious, Musk set up a new AI venture called xAI and announced the AI chatbot Grok last year.

Moving our focus back to the newly shared images, we know they come from August 2016, when Musk Tweeted “Would like to thank @Nvidia and Jensen for donating the first DGX-1 AI supercomputer to @OpenAI  in support of democratizing AI technology.” It looks like happier times, with all the jolly folk in the images clearly delighted with the donation, looking forward to the exciting future of accelerated AI. Note also that a single DGX-1 rack-mounted server does not constitute a "supercomputer" — not without dozens or hundreds more such units — but that's a separate topic.

Underlining his now older and pessimistic persona, Musk shared the happy images shortly after commenting “And now look what’s happened :( .” This is an obvious grumble about the path OpenAI has steered in recent years. Last February, Musk clarified his objections to the stewardship of OpenAI, complaining that “OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it “Open” AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.” #SourGrapes

Nvidia’s DGX-1 ‘AI supercomputer in a box’ has been updated significantly since its launch in 2016, but when this machine was donated it was a $129,000 system that integrated eight Nvidia Tesla P100 (Pascal) GPUs, with the whole system capable of up to 170 teraflops (FP16) to tackle machine learning tasks. Nvidia subsequently rolled out the DGX-2 (Volta), the DGX A100 Server (Ampere), and its latest gen the DGX H100 Server (Hopper). Bigger systems like the DGX GH200 AI Supercomputer using 256 total Grace Hopper Superchips are the newest products in the family.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.