Money Talks. Nvidia is the world’s most valuable company – the AI Arms Race has begun

Everybody agrees that at some point in the near’ish future, we’ll have some form of human-like general intelligence; and then we’ll have vastly-smarter-than-human intelligence. And the implications will be fecking insanely wild.

So the more pressing questions are the ‘when’ and the ‘how’?

Some people think we’ll have a human-like AGI within the decade (and possibly within a few years).

Others think we’re a long way off.

Some people believe the current and most popular incarnation of Artificial Intelligence (LLM’s like ChatGPT, Claude, Llama etc) are well on the path to AGI.

Others think LLM’s are taking us off track and actually slowing progress, and we’ll need different systems to get us there.

This is an important debate.

If the latter group is right, we’re still in for an insane decade ahead. But at least we have some years to figure it out and adapt.

If the former group are correct, we’re basically fucked.

I think it’s important to place this debate aside to consider the larger economic forces pushing us toward increasingly intelligence and increasingly human-like intelligence.

These forces are a growing tsunami, and they’re gaining momentum.

Money talks

Last week, I took a few days away to read Leopold’s Situational Awareness paper​. ​

When I returned, NVIDIA had become the most valuable company in the world.

For those unfamiliar – NVIDIA make the chips (GPU’s) required to train and run Artificial Intelligence – Language Models like ChatGPT for example are trained using NVIDIA chips. 

NVIDIA basically ‘power AI’.

They are the clear market leader, and an obvious beneficiary of the recent frenzy of adoption and growth in Artificial Intelligence.

They recently reported a $26 billion dollar quarter – to put this into perspective, NVIDIA’s growth over the last three months outpaced the annual GDP of many small to medium-sized countries.


Some people think NVIDIA has hit a peak, others think it’s just the beginning (I’m in the latter camp).

But the scary thing about this story isn’t NVIDIA’s stock price, nor the meteoric rise to the top. 

It’s the fact that seven of the top ten companies on planet earth are now, more or less, focused on the progression of Artificial Intelligence. 


Look at the chart above again (taken today – June, 20 2024).

NVIDIA just overtook Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook to become the world’s most valuable company – and guess who helped put them there? 

Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are some of NVIDIA’s biggest customers – they’ve all completely pivoted their business models to focus on the development and integration of Artificial Intelligence.

Source: Situational Awareness

And there’s no doubting that deep pocketed US friends in the Middle East are eager to take a seat at the table.


Though this is another conversation with its own set of terrifying consequences.

Most people still don’t realise it, we will look back at this exact moment in history as the beginning of the AI arms race.


Why is this important? 

Because money talks.

In Leopold’s Situational Awareness, the major claim, is that following the current rate of progress, we could realistically have Artificial General Intelligence by 2027; and the implications of a rapid transition like this are, honestly, fucking insane.

The thing I’ve found most compelling about this work, is that his predictions involve a deep understanding of the larger economic forces that will push progress toward Super Intelligence.

The paper details the potential path to AGI, and also highlights several major challenges which could slow progress. 

Without taking a position either way on the argument, it’s clear these disturbingly well-resourced companies are the major driving force behind the push, and things do not appear to be slowing.

We’ll likely soon see AI generating $ billions of yearly revenue for these companies (2026?). 

This kind of revenue justifies big spend, and big spend could push us towards a $ trillion investment into AI within the decade.

More money than the cost of the International Space Station, the Large Hadron Collider, and every Olympics ever hosted, combined.

A trillion dollars would be roughly 3% of US GDP, and there are plenty of examples throughout history of economies mobilizing much larger chunks of money when required.

A trillion $ investment would surely push us into the Wild West of AI land.

Earlier in the year, a lot of people thought Sam Altman (Open AI CEO) was crazy for throwing around a 7 trillion dollar required figure to advance AI to its full potential. These numbers no longer seem so crazy.


The AI Arms Race has begun.

Buckle up, it’s going to get wild.