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Nvidia's GTC developer conference will be livestream-only due to coronavirus outbreak

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan /Getty)

Nvidia announced today that its GPU Technology Conference (GTC), originally scheduled for later this month in San Jose, will now be held online due to concerns over the coronavirus. 

The event was expected to draw over 10,000 attendees from 70 countries, making it a potential threat to the health and safety of all involved given the current spread of the deadly virus.

GTC is billed as “the world’s premier AI event” by Nvidia and features more than 600 talks and sessions surrounding AI, high-end computing and computer graphics. More than 250 companies were scheduled to exhibit across a wide range of industries, including cloud and enterprise computing, autonomous cars, robotics, professional graphics, gaming, embedded and edge AI applications, and more.

The conference joins the ever-growing list of major tech events canceled because of the coronavirus. Those include Facebook F8, MWC, GDC, and others. However, in this case, Nvidia has plans in place to run the conference as an online-only event and refunds will be issued to everyone who registered for a GTC pass.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang will be delivering the keynote address via a livestream and the company is working with scheduled speakers to publish their planned presentations on the GTC website over the coming weeks.

As this is a developer conference, a great deal of what is lost to attendees is direct interaction with Nvidia employees to address technical questions. There are no specifics at this time, but Nvidia has stated that it “plans to schedule availability with our researchers, engineers and solution architects”. There were also over 100 hands-on training sessions planned for the event.

This move could prove instructive for how Google and/or Apple handle their own developer conferences barring a significant change in the coronavirus situation. Google I/O has already sold tickets to its May 12 to 14 event in Mountain View, California and we are expecting to see the June dates for WWDC announced later this month.

The coronavirus has infected more than 90,000 people around the world and led to more than 3,000 deaths. To learn more about the virus, and the ways to best protect yourself, visit cdc.gov