5G and AI — these are the two ingredients fueling tech innovations, proving to be the most disruptive technologies the world has seen.

Why combining AI and 5G is the next best tech advancement

5G and AI — these are the two ingredients fueling tomorrow’s tech innovations. They have proved to be the most disruptive technologies the world has seen in quite a while. Let’s not discount the fact that each is individually revolutionizing industries and enabling new experiences. However, the combination of 5G and AI will be truly transformative. 

Simply put, significant amounts of data will be processed closer to its source, whether through on-device AI processing or additional processing by the edge cloud over low-latency 5G. This kind of data processing is vital since it offers significant privacy, personalization, reliability, and scale intelligence. Let’s explore this in detail. 


What makes 5G dramatically different from its previous generations of cellular technology is its spec for latency built-in. Latency or network latency is the time required for a set of data to travel between two points. With 5G, technology is different from previous standards because of how short that amount of time will be. Generally speaking, the latency of 5G is faster than the blink of an eye.

While some applications, such as augmented reality (AR), require very deterministic and low latency, others, such as streaming video or making a phone call, do not. To provide truly low latency and high-reliability communications, you will require the proper optimization of network trafficking—this leads us to network slicing.

Network slicing

For proper prioritization of network trafficking, the idea of network slicing is a popular solution. In that, you use a single shared physical network with multiple fully virtualized networks running on top of it. 

For example, a factory could pay for a network slice with guaranteed latency and reliability to connect smart machines and factory equipment. It could also have a separate network slice for employee communications.

Network slicing is an appealing solution. It’s already beginning to be rolled out on a large scale. However, certain limitations hamper network providers’ ability to offer this type of service. Currently, these network slices must be manually configured. As networks grow more complicated with 5G, the configuration needed to set up a slice also becomes equally complicated. That’s where AI comes into the picture — it is perfectly suited for this task. 

“Cloud datacenter services and platforms with underpinning all key developments in this space. ‘Intelligence’ and AI will facilitate network optimization, so that backend traffic is routed based upon device needs and engineered configuration settings.”

— Bob Cai, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Carrier Business Group

5G and Internet of Things (IoT) to accelerate the expansion of AI

If you didn’t know it already, AI plays a significant role in our daily interactions with our mobile phones. AI-powered voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant use AI to process our requests and respond with their best answers. They are far from perfect. And 5G gives AI assistants what they lack to be successful—contextual awareness. With access to more data and at significantly faster speeds than today’s LTE networks, devices will be able to understand their surroundings better.

AI also offers some impressive benefits when combined with IoT. As more devices become connected, more data can become available for machine learning algorithms to process and interpret.

Closing thoughts

The confluence of AI with IoT and superfast 5G wireless networks open possibilities across the globe—and even in outer space (might not be a stretch, to be honest).

These advancements allow farmers to identify the optimal way to grow crops, pharmaceutical companies to reduce the development time of new drugs, researchers to track and monitor the onslaught of recent pandemics, and countries to manage their resources in a way that would have been brushed off as science fiction at the turn of the century.

Taken alone, these AI, 5G, and IoT have enormous potential in their own right. Combine them, and they immediately have the power to transform industrial technology on a scale not seen since the advent of locomotives.

The key ingredient in this mix is 5G. It gives developers the ability to scale projects more quickly. You see, there is no need to build extensive fiber-optic networks to keep data flowing. These lightning-fast networks let IoT devices transmit much more information quickly. In turn, it spurs developers to come up with more advanced machines that can take maximum advantage of the capability.

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