How AI Accelerates the Future of Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Gaming

February 5th, 2021 by · Leave a Comment

This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Kailem Anderson, VP of Portfolio and Engineering, Blue Planet, a division of Ciena

There’s been a lot of buzz and excitement about 5G – and for good reason. 5G networks offer significantly lower latency and higher throughput than existing mobile connectivity options. It’s more reliable. In fact, the technology is poised to drive revolutionary services and applications, acting as the foundation for more powerful mobile devices. As these new applications continue to grow in number and importance, 5G will also significantly enhance user experiences by leveraging and analyzing the mounds of data that the network creates.

5G provides the speed, agility, mobility and security required for next-generation applications and puts users in control of their experience anytime, anywhere. The idea of having access to any information at your fingertips gives an instant gratifying feeling. However, one may ask the question, is that enough? What is the next frontier in enhancing this customer experience?

There is a well-known proverb that “Necessity is the mother of Invention”. Well if that be the case I say, “Curiosity is the mother of Innovation”. The human curiosity to find ways to do more and do better is never ending.

While 5G brings a lot to the table as far as innovation is concerned, the missing link that really invigorates customer experience and takes us from where we are today to next level is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As 5G scales and increasingly relies on AI and machine learning, mobile operators can fully automate operational processes, including predicting situations like a potential network failure before it occurs and proactively taking corrective actions before it impacts users. 5G, coupled with AI, can also understand when specific network resources are near capacity and scale them up to meet demand.

AI really turns the tables on user experience. Instead of having mobile operators try to gather information and react to situations, they are in control and can tailor how they want to respond to a situation that is about to happen. The power of AI gives the mobile operator a real chance to stop worrying about the network and step up the game by offering tailored services to their end-users – from leisure activities like gaming to more mission-critical industries like telehealth. It is all about delivering that ultimate user experience on the most critical gadget of the future - a mobile device. Mobile applications will undoubtedly be more powerful, requiring throughput and latency requirements only satisfied by 5G networks.

Let’s explore the industries where 5G coupled with AI will deliver the greatest value for end users.

Gaming

“Winning” is the only need and worry for the roughly 2.7 billion gamers in the world. They all know the difference between a triumphant victory and a puzzling and seemingly impossible loss due to a few milliseconds. For gamers, lowest latency is critical. 5G’s low latency and high throughput are made for the fast-paced, ever-changing environments of esports. AI empowers mobile operators to improve 5G network slicing and offer gamers a differentiated and guaranteed end-to-end service performance tailored to different application requirements. These slices create virtual networks out of the same physical network used by everyone else.

Network slicing is a key benefit of 5G because it allows network providers to dynamically plan, design, and activate customized network slices for their customers quickly and easily modify or scale a slice to support changing requirements. This ensures that there are no delivery issues meaning customers get an exceptional experience.

Telehealth

When we talk about exponentially accelerated innovation, nothing compares to the speed and sophistication of medical advances that we’ve made year over year. Today, technology not only puts the user in charge of their health; it can provide life-saving capabilities at your fingertips when you need it the most. In the future, fitness wearables or health apps collecting and analyzing your health in real-time could easily provide medical experts data that can help make more informed diagnosis or detect diseases early – all done using a smart telehealth system from the comfort of your home or wherever you are.

The agility of 5G has the potential to support more futuristic innovations, like telesurgery. A doctor may soon be able to control a robot over video to manage surgical procedures and provide real-time feedback. AI will help to accurately manage the robot, while 5G’s guaranteed low latency ensures directions can be administered in real-time. Early trials of remote telehealth systems are already underway, but it’ll be the combination of AI and 5G that help to push it even further.

And, during emergency situations, network slicing will allow telehealth and first responders to be given priority over casual consumer-based browsing and texting. Lifeline services can be maintained during periods of extreme congestion despite 5G being shared. Network slicing partitions part of the network for specific customers and use cases and provides access to additional capacity to ensure their network is prioritized.

Manufacturing

5G will also be significantly relevant in manufacturing. Together, 5G and AI will affect all aspects of the process, including production, operations, workforces, partners, suppliers, and customer relations. Many of the more mundane tasks will be managed by machines connected to countless sensors for real-time data and insights. However, in order for these robots to be able to communicate in real-time with each other and with the workforce, they’ll require the kind of reliable, high-performance connectivity that 5G can offer. And because factories won’t be fully dependent on human labor, they’ll be able to operate around the clock, boosting productivity and improving the bottom line.

The success of 5G will rely on an agile, reliable network that can adapt. Gearing up for 5G is far more than a simple flip of a switch – it requires upgrading the wireless components as well as the wireline infrastructure that interconnects radios to each other and to data centers, where accessed content is hosted. 5G on its own is a massive step in the innovation of networks, and with AI, it provides transformational opportunities for businesses across industries, pushing them toward new frontiers.

5G promises unmatched speed, agility and mobility. However, this is not enough to provide the ultimate customer experience and cross into the next level of innovative services. Artificial Intelligence is the catalytic differentiator.

Simply put: “Artificial Intelligence is Un-Ignorable now”.

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Categories: Artificial Intelligence · Industry Viewpoint · Wireless

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