Jay Srage, President for the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe at Qualcomm, discusses the impact of the latest technological advancements on industry and on the way we live.
The timing of this article can’t get any better as I am writing it while attending the Mobile World Congress 2018. I see a major shift in technologies and market dynamics. The last two decades were focused on connectivity, social media and the killer apps as the mobile technology transitioned from 3G to 4G. As we transition from 4G to 5G, we are starting to see the emergence of IoT, the connected car, and many other industries that will be impacted by this technology.
A recent study estimates the incremental return on the global GDP to be more than $12 trillion by 2035 in goods and services enabled by 5G. In that transition, we will see the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain making its footprint across those same industries and ecosystems.
You see many individuals and companies pushing for 5G, AI and Blockchain, but few have actually put the applications of those three future changing technologies together. Putting those technologies together will unlock the digital transformation for many of those industries (finance, legal, automotive, supply chain, and many more).
If we observe the automotive industry as an example, we see that this traditionally slowmoving industry has been driving the evolution of connectivity in the car. A consortium that included car manufacturers, regulators, operators and technology companies have been fast in defining the standards of connected cars known as V2X adopting the 5G technology at its foundation. 5G’s application in cars is limitless, and provides benefits at the social, entertainment, safety, productivity and efficiency levels. Vehicles can now communicate with each other to alert incoming cars of road conditions, advise alternate routes and adjust the driving environment. Vehicles can also communicate with road and traffic light sensors, and with pedestrians for alerts and accident prevention. In addition to safety, 5G will provide the ultimate experience in entertainment and media streaming, in addition to increased efficiency and decreased traffic time through self-driving technology. In short, the near future looks like a page from a sci-fi book.
AI is still at the very early stages, and being positioned to provide natural user interfaces using real-time hand tracking for gesture and object detection for the detection and processing of surroundings. It also provides true personal assistance, understanding the user’s needs and providing personalized services and tasks.
AI is redefining the in-car experience through its natural user interfaces, such as voice and gestures (you talk to the car naturally as if you are talking to a person). It also offers personalization of the User Interface (UI) by the driver customizing the dashboard, console, in-car entertainment, natural navigation, and many other features. AI can also contribute to the safety of the driver with the enhanced awareness monitor that detects through facial recognition and the AI engine the state of the driver and the action to take. It’s also paving the road to full autonomy for Advanced Driver Assistance System through surround view perception and independent decision making.
The blockchain is a quite complex technology; however, the idea behind it is quite simple. It is a distributed ledger of transactions that are securely stored on multiple computers called nodes in a decentralized network. The impact of the blockchain started a revolution in the finance industry. It started with bitcoin then quickly expanded to change how financial services are transacted with almost immediate capability to wire or transfer funds from one to another. Looking at the economic impact, every industry can be turned around and revolutionized with this technology. The blockchain technology expanded to disrupt even the health and car insurance industry. Now vehicle credentials and information can be securely encrypted on the blockchain, allowing a claim to be issued at the moment of the accident, processed, and payment made automatically though smart contracts between the insurance company and the driver, but all processed by the car information on the blockchain.
We have seen how 5G will change the industries and the world. We also see how AI will change the human interaction with machines, and machines with machines changing the industries and the world. We also see how blockchain will change how people and machine interact and transact.
What we will start seeing in 2018 and 2019 is how all those three technologies will come together to bring a true social, economic, and industrial revolution. That combination will impact the world and humanity in the 2020s and beyond, the same way the internet and mobile technologies impacted the world and humanity in the 1990s.