With the recent advances in technology, it’s hard to know where to put your attention. For example, 5G hasn’t taken off as fast as people would have hoped, but the possibility of combining it with artificial intelligence (AI) may lead to considerable innovations in the next few years.
A decade from now, the combination of AI and 5G networks will have revolutionized how business gets done in our everyday lives.
Consumers will interact with companies through their personal AI assistants and 5G-enabled devices, physical and virtual, and demand information quickly and efficiently. They’ll receive this requested information almost instantaneously due to the vast bandwidth provided by 5G.
This high-speed data connection will open up new opportunities.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth-generation mobile network. It is a set of standards for telecommunications and wireless communication protocols. In addition, it can provide higher speed, ultra-low latency, more comprehensive coverage, and more capacity than previous network generations.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence, sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals. It’s a broad term referring to computer systems that mimic human thought processes. The cognitive processes replicated by these computer programs include learning, reasoning, and self-correction.
Also read: Labor Shortage: Is AI the Silver Bullet?
Potential 5G and AI Uses
While it’s still early, there are already a few applications for combining 5G and AI technologies.
5G-enabled autonomous vehicles
Having connected cars on a single network would help eliminate the issue with dead zones. If your phone drops a call when you drive under an overpass or through specific tunnels, imagine how much worse it would be if you were driving an autonomous vehicle.
The combination of fast network speeds with onboard sensors could enable self-driving cars to communicate with each other in real time about traffic conditions, potholes, accidents, or other road hazards.
Additionally, cities and transportation agencies could use that data to improve infrastructure and optimize traffic flow—for example, by identifying areas where adding new lanes or rerouting traffic might make sense.
AI-driven tools for service operations
AI-driven technologies help network engineers automate and optimize network activities and business continuity planning, from reporting issues to reacting to events and incidents.
For example, mobile networks and AI are merging in a new form of automation called AIOps. This approach is already being used by telecommunication companies to empower software tools to act quickly and respond immediately in the event of any operational events or incidents, security issues, or both, all without the need for human intervention.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)
Both VR and AR rely on high-speed networks to deliver realistic images and sounds. With better connections, we’ll see higher resolution graphics and faster response times, which will lead to better experiences overall.
For example, a low latency connection won’t matter if your VR headset lags behind your head movements because it won’t take as long for image updates to reach your eyes. However, some industry experts believe 5G’s ultra-low latency may be critical to making VR and AR mainstream.
Also read: How Will 5G Change Augmented Reality?
Analyzing logs of data with AI
There will be a massive increase in the amount of data generated by IoT (Internet of Things) devices, servers, apps, network controllers, and other equipment due to the deployment of the 5G network. Unfortunately, there is little accessibility with conventional methods used to collect data in logs.
However, it is now possible for network management systems to be automated to analyze data, get results, and extract insights to improve network performance regularly, thereby decreasing downtime.
Utilities and energy
We’ve already seen a lot of interest in 5G-connected home appliances, including refrigerators and washing machines. Imagine a smart refrigerator that lets you know when your milk or eggs are going bad, so you don’t waste food.
Add AI to that mix, and suddenly your fridge will be able to order replacement items. Likewise, that same AI could tell your washer/dryer combo to run only after electricity rates drop to off-peak levels, potentially saving money on utility bills.
How Does 5G Help AI?
Advances in network technology like 5G could lead to greater speed and increased power efficiency for connected devices, which is crucial for developing self-learning systems.
As more and more devices connect to autonomous networks, more data will be created. The speed at which we can transfer data from one device to another has been a significant factor in how machine learning (ML) algorithms have evolved, helping them learn faster.
These advancements might even help us progress on some of AI’s biggest challenges, such as making it easier for machines to understand natural language and creating systems that can identify objects without being fed information by humans independently.
Here are three ways 5G could improve our future with AI:
Networking speeds determine how quickly computers can communicate with each other. This affects everything from latency times to processing speeds and energy consumption. In an age where connected devices are becoming increasingly common, these factors matter more.
Today, data transfer speeds over 4G networks average around 100 Mbps, while 5G promises up to 10 Gbps—an improvement of about 100 times faster. For AI, faster communication between devices means faster data transfer between processors, which translates into better responsiveness and higher levels of interactivity.
Additionally, faster response times allow for quicker feedback loops during training, meaning ML models can adapt to real-time changes rather than wait until their next scheduled session. It also makes it possible for machines to respond much more quickly if something goes wrong.
Reduced power consumption
Today’s mobile devices typically use two different kinds of wireless connectivity: cellular and Wi-Fi. Cellular connections are usually high-speed, but they consume more power because your phone needs to connect directly to a cell tower. On the other hand, Wi-Fi consumes less power because you can connect wirelessly to any available router, but its connection speeds tend to be slower.
5G networks promise lower latency times and longer battery life. One way this works is through beamforming, which allows 5G devices to transmit signals directly toward receivers rather than broadcasting them out in all directions. This reduces power consumption, allowing devices to be more efficient and get more out of a single charge.
As 5G networks become more widespread, cybersecurity will become a bigger concern for consumers and companies. A recent report from Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cyber crime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, so it’s no surprise that companies are starting to invest more in security.
5G networks will offer several benefits for cybersecurity, including faster data transfer speeds and improved encryption. For example, with 5G, it will be easier to transfer data from one connected device to another, making it faster and more secure for companies to share data between their employees. Likewise, 5G networks include an additional layer of encryption that protects data from hackers.
AI and 5G are Enhancing Each Other’s Capabilities
Many envision a future where AI services work in conjunction with 5G networks, ensuring enhanced network speed doesn’t get bogged down by traffic. As companies become more reliant on cloud-based apps, they won’t have to worry about latency or service hiccups.
AI can analyze data gathered from 5G networks, providing valuable insights for businesses looking to improve their offerings. These two technologies are inextricably linked. Applying AI to both 5G networks and devices will increase efficiency and productivity across industries.
Millions of devices rely on speedy connections to receive information in today’s connected world. But 5G isn’t just speed—volume is about volume. The IoT devices worldwide are projected to amount to 30.9 billion units by 2025. Traditional network speeds won’t be able to handle them.
That’s where artificial intelligence comes in. Thanks to AI, networks can learn how best to deliver data to individual users based on their unique preferences and needs. So, while 5G provides a fast lane for massive amounts of data, artificial intelligence helps ensure every single piece of data gets where it needs to go as quickly as possible.
It’s an ideal pairing; by working together, these two technologies deliver better experiences for enterprises and consumers alike.
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The Future Convergence of AI and 5G
As we think about how AI converges with other disruptive technologies, such as big data, cloud computing, blockchain, robotics, and IoT, converged systems have a distinct advantage over isolated systems.
The convergence of these two disruptive technologies can help businesses optimize their operations by making better decisions faster than ever before possible. These trends are already beginning to impact our daily lives through applications such as digital assistants, self-driving cars, and smart cities.
Combining artificial intelligence and 5G has many benefits in enterprise scenarios, including improving real-time analytics using ML techniques that enhance cybersecurity monitoring and protection, decision support for real-time actions and initiatives, predictive maintenance, and reducing network latency in business-critical applications.