How Dell is Doubling Down on AI After 40 Years of Innovation

Founded 40 years ago, Dell Technologies is launching AI-powered hardware and forging partnerships to drive responsible AI adoption across industries

In 1984, Michael Dell started a computer company out of his University of Texas dorm room, building and selling upgraded PCs directly to customers. Four decades later in 2024, Dell Technologies has grown into a global technology powerhouse, but the company sees artificial intelligence (AI) as its biggest opportunity yet.

Shares of Dell Technologies hit a record high in May 2024 amid a rally in companies working on generative AI (Gen AI) applications, buoyed by strong optimism for the new technology, with the company recently launching AI-oriented personal computers and more powerful servers in collaboration with Nvidia.

"AI represents a generational opportunity for productivity, innovation, and growth," said Michael Dell recently, speaking at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas. Dell described the last 40 years since founding his company as “an age of miracles,” but he sees AI as an essential driver for future human progress.

“How far and how fast we'll go is no clearer to me now than it was 40 years ago when that 19-year-old kid launched a PC company. But I'm more excited and more confident than ever in the opportunity than I've been at any time in my life.

“We are unleashing technology that will accelerate scientific discovery and development with the power to transform our organisations, our lives and our world.”

AI: A generational opportunity for Dell Technologies

Dell has been laying the groundwork for AI for several years through partnerships, data management solutions and powerful computing hardware. At Dell Technologies World, Dell and Nvidia founder Jensen Huang announced an expanded ‘AI Factory’ partnership – first announced at Nvidia’s 2024 GTC event – to develop comprehensive AI solutions.

The Dell AI Factory with Nvidia integrates Dell’s leading compute, storage, networking, workstations and laptops, with Nvidia’s advanced AI infrastructure and Nvidia Enterprise AI software.

Dell Technologies announced an extension of its partnership with Nvidia on AI Factories. Pic: Dell Technologies

“This is the first and largest generative AI go-to-market in history. Only Dell has the ability to build compute, networking, storage, software... and help you stand it up. From the ground up, we're building AI factories and delivering to the world's enterprises,” said Huang.

Responsible AI development: Balancing innovation and ethics

While excited about the potential of Gen AI models to boost productivity across industries, both Dell and Huang emphasised the need for responsible development. “AI should be trained within the parameters of our morality, beliefs, our laws, and humanity,” said Dell. “Because, eventually, AI will be at the centre of our lives."

Dell is focused on sustainable AI infrastructure, reducing energy usage through more efficient hardware, smart power management, cooling techniques, and renewable energy sources. The company also has programmes to responsibly refurbish and recycle old hardware.

After pioneering the direct-to-consumer PC market 40 years ago, Dell is now driving an “AI-first” strategy. With potent hardware and partnerships, the company aims to put AI capabilities into the hands of enterprises across all sectors. As Dell states: “The real question isn't how big AI is going to be, but how much good is AI going to do.”

He adds: “For us to realise the possibilities of AI, we need to do it responsibly and address the barriers to adoption holistically. Now, governments can adopt an AI-first investment strategy with a focus on strong infrastructure development and agile regulations to empower innovation. And we stand ready to support government leaders and together shape a safe, innovative, and inclusive future for AI. 

“By making the right decisions today, we can take advantage of an opportunity that will define future generations.”

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