The future of AI will change your relationship with devices

Moving into 2018, the discussion around topics like artificial intelligence is moving away from the theoretical or futuristic and into the practical. Or maybe the two are moving together.

Ulf Ewaldsson

You can see this clearly in the new video from Techonomy featuring Ulf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Digital Services.

Ewaldsson talks with Techonomy’s Josh Kampel about how network technologies are impacting the relationship between humans and devices, from chips implanted in human bodies to how AI can make operating mobile networks that much more efficient, as well as how these technological shifts will manifest themselves in different ways in different parts of the world.

Watch the full discussion below. And to explore more of where we see technology trends going, explore our 5 top technology trends from Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden – ranging from machine intelligence to IoT security to augmented knowledge.

Intelligent devices and digital transformation – an edited transcript

Can you talk about how you see this intertwined relationship between humans and machines, and how you’ve seen it grown in terms of how we use connected devices?

Obviously the telco industry has been dealing with communication for so long time, and one aspect is, of course, the interaction between devices and people who use devices. And I think there are a lot of things happening in that area, where we are expecting a much more intuitive experience but also an experience that knows what we’re going to do, related to artificial intelligence in the device aspect. Not all of that AI can be built into the devices, which means that the network has to provide part of the artificial intelligence that is expressed through devices to people using them.

The other aspect I think of this is the operations side of network technology. Service providers are huge organizations that have had a fairly strict way of doing their business. And they are now coming under a lot of pressure from technology shifts, so they are becoming much more efficient but also an organization that can change state in a much faster way. That’s another connection between artificial intelligence and the connection to people who are actually operating and running around fixing things in these networks. It’s these kinds of technology shifts that have big impacts.

Now, having said that, the ultimate part of this would be chips that would be, for example, connected directly to bodies. We’ve been talking a little bit about that here at Techonomy and it’s been fascinating to hear research from that area. And I can just see the connection into, for example, 5G.

Ericsson operates at a massive scale all over the world. Are you seeing similar behaviors across all markets?

I think we are seeing a more diverse development today than we did just ten years ago. The big drive in globalization ten years or so ago was really to create that global standard and make sure we had only one standard. There should be no more standards wars. We should be able to build communications on a truly global scale, as we’re now addressing with the Internet of Things and 5G – this vision that everything that can benefit from a connection will have one. This idea will be possible for every industry, every enterprise with connectivity.

As we see that happening, we’re also coming into a perhaps even nationalistic agenda when it comes to modernizing industry when it comes to how investments are being done and what the role of service providers will be in this sense. I think there will be many different solutions. For example, I can see development in China that is quite different from development here in the United States or in Europe or in Russia – the big centers of gravity in the current geopolitical situation. But I think the underlying technologies that are being used are going to be the same, even as the solutions – what is referred to here as geopolitical stacks – are going to be stacked in a different way.

You can also listen to Ewaldsson at length in a new Transmissions from Tomorrow podcast with Dez Blanchard.

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