Innovation of the future

With 5G, AI is entering our everyday lives

With the new 5G technology, Industry 4.0 is moving up a gear. One prerequisite is modern machines with artificial intelligence (AI). Thanks to 5G, AI systems are in a position to react faster than human beings, even wirelessly – and in real time.

Voice assistants help millions of people in everyday life. And they’re getting better all the time. Those small loudspeakers are already demonstrating, in many households and in cars as we drive, how artificial intelligence (AI) works on a small scale. The smarter they get, the more useful and helpful they will be for us down the line. 

Devices that work with AI collect external data – maybe files, maybe records from sensors, maybe images or speech. Then, based on instructions defined in advance, devices with integrated AI process and use this data. Over time, the algorithms, based on the data collected, adapt the way data is processed. Because of this, the results they deliver keep getting better or more suitable – for example, voice assistants learn to give more precise answers to user questions. 

Why artificial intelligence is found in 5G networks 

AI and 5G support each other. On the one hand, 5G provides the transmission rates needed for large data volumes. On the other, AI is helpful when those large data volumes need analysing.  

5G technology makes it possible to operate different applications with differing requirements simultaneously over a 5G mobile network. While one application might need to transmit particularly large data volumes, another might require the minimum possible delay (latency) in transmission. AI is capable of handling such issues. 

Network slicing involves multiple virtual networks sharing a single central physical network structure. AI takes on the job of establishing these slices. At present, the slicing process’s individual sections are still configured manually. In the future, AI is to take on this work automatically, saving companies valuable time. Because of rising data volumes, companies are likely to have recourse to support from AI-based systems.  

AI and 5G – helping people and machines 

Fast 5G data transmission is also set to make so-called machine learning possible in real time. One example of machine learning – and one that is on the increase – is self-maintenance. Even today, some machines are capable of pre-emptively ordering spare parts when sensors report an issue. So when parts do wear out, replacements are already at hand and the machine only requires a short period of downtime. Given a 5G connection, such “predictive maintenance” is likely to become more widespread. 

AI is also capable of contributing to better medical care for patients, partly because modern technology is now able to assist doctors better than ever before in terms of diagnosis and choosing the right treatment. Our knowledge of the human body is growing faster and faster, to the point where it is barely possible to keep track. The use of innovative technologies is not intended to replace doctors. AI supports and complements them in helping to deliver healthcare that is more accurate and more personal. This is technology serving and assisting people, rather than the reverse. 

Meanwhile, it also goes without saying that people’s data must be protected. In Germany, data security is taken particularly seriously. Not for nothing does the Federal Government’s AI strategy speak of a “people-oriented use of AI” – in the working world, in research and science and ultimately in our everyday lives when using devices networked together in the so-called Internet of Things. 

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