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Artificial Intelligence and 5G - B-AIM PICK SELECTS

My focus this week has been exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence and 5G. When looking at the potential risk and possibilities with this combination and perhaps talking to industry experts about their thoughts. Who is studying the effects or changes that this is leading to? There is a big investment by telecommunication companies into these areas, and there is an expressed fear by many in regards to the possible adverse consequences. It may change the way that we use applications within the field of artificial intelligence, that you can do more with a small device because your connections allow for data to move more swiftly. Thus on an interface many applications will be decentralised with cloud (on a server). It is clear that if good things can be extended then less good aspects can too.

I will explain and go through:

  1. How 5G works.

  2. Spectrum allocation.

  3. Robotics and 5G.

  4. EU’s Security Policy relating to 5G.

  5. China’s 5G expansion.

  6. Google’s purchase of Fitbit for $2.1 Billion.

1. How Does 5G Work?

5G networks are digital cellular networks, in which the service area covered by providers is divided into small geographical areas called cells.

The article explains spectrums: low-band, mid-band and high-band.

“Low-band spectrum can also be described as sub 1GHz spectrum. It is primarily the spectrum band used by carriers in the U.S. for LTE, and is quickly becoming depleted. While low-band spectrum offers great coverage area and penetration, there is a big drawback: Peak data speeds will top out around 100Mbps.

Mid-band spectrum provides faster coverage and lower latency than you’ll find on low-band. It does, however, fail to penetrate buildings as well as low-band spectrum. Expect peak speeds up to 1Gbps on mid-band spectrum.

High-band spectrum is what most people think of when they think of 5G. It is often referred to as mmWave. High-band spectrum can offer peak speeds up to 10Gbps and has very low latency. The major drawback of high-band is that it has low coverage area and building penetration is poor.”

This has additionally been displayed in a manner of evolutionary progression, as is often done within technology.

This becoming the first city with tech coverage of 5G becomes a goal in and of itself. In one sense an enabler of technology.

2. Artificial Intelligence, 5G and Spectrum Allocation

On the 25th of October Karen Hao from MIT Technology Review wrote an article called: “DARPA is betting on AI to bring the next generation of wireless devices online.” This article placed its focus on an important aspect of wireless communication. Because there is a planning of how the bandwidth is supposed to work via the radio spectrum. The electromagnetic waves in the frequency range of the radio spectrum is called radio waves — and these are widely used in modern technology, especially within telecommunication. To hinder interference between different users radio waves is strictly regulated by national laws, coordinated by an international body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Karen Hao’s article discussed a recent hackathon organised by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In the article she writes:

“The challenge was prompted by the concern that the growing use of wireless technologies risks overcrowding the airwaves our devices use to talk to one another.”

Since the frequencies are divided up between different commercial and government entities those who owns rights to a bit of spectrum rarely uses all of it 100% of the time. The new 5G networks that are emerging makes this more urgent as it is projected to grow enormously over time.

Graph displayed in MIT Technology Review retrieved the 28th of October 2019

The challenge that were to be tackled in the competition issued by DARPA was to design a new type of communication device that doesn’t broadcast on the same frequency every time. The suggested proposal was to use machine-learning algorithms to find the frequencies available. They are wanting to move from a system managed through ‘pen and paper’ to a system managed by ‘machines autonomously’.

Karen Hao describes the final where 10 finalists competed against each other. This included scenarios in supporting communications in a military mission, an emergency response and concert venue. A team from the University of Florida took home the $2 million grand prize.

2.1 IoT and AI Revolution

To see the most accentuated possibilities that lie within 5G it may be interesting to look at a few of the actors that have much to gain from its expansion such as Samsung. In a news article written by Samsung on the 28th of October 2019 there is a description of the IoT and AI Revolution.

This article claims that 5G connectivity will allow different solutions to access more data real-time which will make solutions very different. 5G uses ‘far less power’, leveraging IoT sensors that can last for year. Within farming adjusting irrigation levels and in manufacturing within factories placed to detect when the condition of equipment changes.

There is in addition to this the possibility to carve out multiple uses for doctors to secure handling of patient data. The article states:

“5G is up to 20 times faster than 4G. But this latest generation of networks is hardly just ‘faster 4G.’ Coupled with record-setting low latency, 5G’s speeds will allow developers to create applications that make the most of improved reaction times, such as near real-time video transmission for sporting events or security purposes.”

2.2 But is it a Race?

As pointed out earlier this year there has been a great effort by the companies wanting to expand 5G connection to frame the competition as a race. Here is an entire microsite from industry lobbying group CTIA titled “The Race to 5G.” There are serious trade-offs in the spectrum and they are being neglected due to the speed the deployment is being made.

“And once the ‘race’ to build out 5G in big cities is ‘won,’ the pressure to expand access to other places in the country will vanish, making that divide even worse. It is worth carefully considering all of these things before giving in to haste.”

Therefore we should not get too carried away with this ‘race’ and be blind to possible adverse consequences that this expansion may bring.

3. Artificial Intelligence and 5G Robotics

3.1 The Speed that May Enable Further Usage of Robotics and AI

If we disregard the environmental damage that AI and Robotics could cause considering the heavy resource requirement it has, let us think about what it actually could do. Phone companies and telecommunications tout the amazing new things you can do with your phone should you be able to ‘up your speed’ or bring it to the next level. However truth be told what would you do? Not much more than before. Streaming is already working rather well, and you can play candycrush etc. Yet we did not imagine what we would be doing with this type of speed or connectivity before it arrived. Everyone, or most people, sitting with their eyes glued to a phone on public transportation. The public spaces filled with people that are somehow cluelessly walking with their phone stretched out in front of them to navigate, read, play or socialise on the go. Beyond your immediate use there are several use cases in industry we should be aware of.

3.2 Artificial Intelligence Combined With 5G Robotics

One thing that is certain is that this type of technology may enables robotics in a different way and ‘intelligent’ robots to operate within a broader environment. We can immediately consider the extended adverse use of this for defence purposes and monitoring a population. However on the other hand within hospitals and health technology this may enable a different working environment or follow-up by technological inventions.

Running solutions related to the field of artificial intelligence is done externally already so will you truly notice a difference? If the video, text or other expression/input is transferred to a different place — then what is the difference for users. It can be challenging to see how this would help, and AI use-cases were mentioned in a previous article. Using machine learning techniques in 5G network to improve the utility in the radio spectrum which is allocated. Currently it seems like

  • Self-driving autonomous vehicles,

  • Automating or managing public transportation,

  • Time-critical industry automation,

  • Remote healthcare

These are all areas where hardware and software will enable changes in operations. Of course process automations are already influencing working life with data from workers being monitored as well as performance measured. However the robots that can operate in healthcare, transport and industry will likely be enhanced by these new technologies in IoT.

3.3 Blockchain, 5G Robotics and AI

However much this title looks like a buzzword bingo there is something to be said for the security need required by these new type of solutions. Considering the question of who works in this IoT area we can argue that actors such as IOTA will see a great deal of growth going ahead.

“Our vision is to enable all connected devices through verification of truth and transactional settlements which incentivize devices to make available its properties and data in real time. This gives birth to entirely new general purpose applications and value chains.”

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