As the world progresses towards more efficient and eventually independent data networking systems, computer engineered artificial intelligence has emerged as the latest and greatest in tackling most of the challenges posed by a “smart” society. The world’s sixth largest information systems and technology company by revenue according to the Fortune Global 500 magazine, the Chinese tech giant Huawei has been reportedly investing its best bets in the development of artificial intelligence systems not only limited to its typical line of products which includes smart devices and telecommunication service provisions but expanding this research and development into the unchartered waters of technologies that could power smart cities all around.
Huawei’s Kirin 970 AI Powered Chip. MediumHuawei has yet to release an official report on the progress of its secret “D Plan” or “Project Da Vinci” but judging from its latest annual report and sources close to the tech firm have indicated three things: the project’s aim is to develop artificial intelligence for all of Huawei’s services, to do so may entail the development of a chip that challenges NVIDIA in the market, and once the project is successfully executed Huawei could be put at the center of the map for all things tech as the world moves forward towards AI driven technology in everything we use. As this news is making headlines all around the world, it only makes sense to wonder what exactly artificial intelligence is (for those of us that aren’t entirely sure) and what impact its level of development may have on the tech industry and rival competitors.
Ever since the first computer was developed, humans have had to program and power the devices, inputting commands that the computers then “compute” at unmatched speeds. That’s all the computer has ever been, though. It’s always just been a “computer.” This is counterintuitive to the philosophy of automation that demands that processes be executed on their own without being prompted, and once a command is complete, automation entails that a follow-up procedure be selected and executed based on the returned results as well. This is how humans operate and this is how we troubleshoot. Artificial Intelligence is the programming tech developers are trying to add to devices so that they may function the way humans do. This will allow for devices to not only act as an enhancement in human life when prompted, but an independent support that systematically improves the flow of virtually everything in day to day life.
Artificial intelligence may never (or may take a long time to) reach the level of human intellect as humans are the ones programming the device to begin with, and so the first phase of AI development aims to create smart systems that are able to react to predetermined situations well, learning from new experiences, and adapting their responses to produce the best possible outcomes in the challenges faced. The ultimate goal of AI will always remain to create machines that do this to such an expert level that matches the understanding, learning, developing, troubleshooting, and problem solving of humans. The reason AI is so heavily researched and developed is because it paves the way for generic programming that gives computers the ability to solve a range of problems instead of the particular one they are programmed to solve. This lightens the burden on humans who have always had to troubleshoot devices themselves, making technology more of a hassle than the automated industry it was intended to be.
Artificial intelligence has seen many applications in the gaming, personal identification, and customer service industries with Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa being prime examples of smart and digital on demand personal assistants. As Huawei invests in researching and developing this technology we can expect to see it appear on a few fronts. The most expected impact it will have is on Huawei’s current line of products (all inclusive), especially the company’s line of mobile devices. With the onset of 5G connections in the near future, we can expect AI to play a significant role in improving Huawei’s network providing servers with smart technology as well. Huawei’s home appliances and other smart devices are sure to be upgraded in the first phase of its AI implementation as well.
A more pressing matter for the tech industry is how Huawei plans to go about achieving this. With NVIDIA standing as the ultimate GPU chip producer in the industry, catering to products from smartphones and laptops to Tesla’s cars and many robots, Huawei is expected to develop a similar chip on its own for GPU-based deep learning that is required in artificial intelligence. NVIDIA has held the trophy in this department. It was used by Google Brain to develop machine learning and the chips were declared to bring 100x learning speeds to artificial intelligence technologies. NVIDIA has also developed robots that are able to “watch and learn” as of just a few months ago, robots that resemble the kinds humans have always envisioned in the future: independent human like robots as shown in the Terminator Saga but hopefully not out with an agenda to wipe mankind from the Earth. As Huawei steps into this market, NVIDIA will face serious competition to gear up its own product as Huawei patents similar technologies for its products.
Betting on the next steps for Huawei in the tech industry, Huawei is expected to enter the smart city industry where it outsources its chips and AI technology for devices such as street surveillance cameras. Huawei’s goal is to create uniform chips that facilitate AI in just about any device able to make use of them. This could range from home lighting devices to smart cookware and all the way down for use in criminal investigations and perpetrator identification.