Double takes on AI and 5G: Over-hyped or under-reported?

There are two versions of AI and 5G. One is over-hyped, the other is under reported. History tells us that over-hyped technologies were long on promises and short on delivery, but right now there is a more significant issue.

For AI and 5G the way these terminologies are covered on the Net is obscuring the business case for the deliverable versions, says freelance technology writer, Bob Emmerson. Moreover, in addition to providing pragmatic benefits today, the experiences gained should enable a smooth transition to the time when those promises are being realised.

Narrow and General AI

Let’s start with Artificial Intelligence, a scary, confusing topic that has been widely debated, one that’s ended up meaning different things to different people. For example, yesterday’s data mining solutions are being rebranded as AI. Therefore let’s make a pragmatic start and define intelligence as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills and then define AI as being the business of getting computers to do tasks that would normally require human intelligence.

So far so good, but before covering those tasks we should underline the fact that there are two versions: Narrow and General AI. Narrow AI is where we are right now. General AI is where the Net tells us we are going.

Narrow AI (aka weak AI, an unfortunate term) automates the boring, repetitive parts of many jobs and lets people take care of the parts that require care and attention. It focuses on specific tasks that the technology performs much better than humans. It can be a relatively simple task, which it does 24/7, or when given a deep learning algorithm it can be demanding.

The author is Bob Emmerson.

Given enough pictures of skin cancer an AI system can become better and a lot quicker than experienced doctors in spotting the disease. But does this represent real intelligence? There is no thought process. The system, the machine, merely leans from the pictures, from being instructed; these pictures indicate cancer, those don’t. It can perform this specific task 24/7, but the system doesn’t know what cancer represents. It’s a machine learning app and machine learning is a ground-breaking development that doesn’t need rebranding as AI.

General AI (aka strong AI) is expected to be able to reason, solve problems, make informed judgments, plan, learn, leverage prior knowledge and be innovative, imaginative and creative. That is a very big ask and it gets much bigger when you add the fact that for systems to realise real human-like intelligence the ability to experience consciousness would be needed. That’s a tall order, and it’s debatable if it can be realised in the foreseeable future, which is reassuring.

5G NR and 5G NSA

The two versions of 5G are 5G NR (aka Standalone 5G) and 5G NSA (Non-Standalone). They’re not exactly catchy terms and without an explanation Standing or Not Standing are meaningless words. It’s not clear which one is better.

Standalone is the over-hyped version, which will deliver three generic network services: mMTC, URLLC and eMBB; typical telecom-insider terms. Deployments will start with eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband); it’s the service that operators need to accommodate the big numbers in the consumer sector but hold your breath for a few years.

5G NSA uses the LTE radio access and the core network technology that is employed in 4G networks. This combination enables operators to provide 5G-type services over LTE that have more bandwidth, throughput, capacity as well as better connection reliability. Moreover these services can be delivered in much shorter times and at less cost.

The enhanced LTE performance comes from NSA’s addition of 5G base stations, dual connectivity and dynamic spectrum sharing. Dual connectivity with LTE and 5G radios allows devices to send and receive data using LTE and 5G simultaneously. This means that the network is carrying traffic over both 4G and 5G, each in its own spectrum. Therefore connectivity is much faster.

There’s a lot to like about 5G NSA, but like Narrow AI, it’s under-hyped. That was my double take.

The author is freelance technology writer, Bob Emmerson.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow


9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

Scality’s 2022 forecast: Storage solutions get AI/MLOps upgrade, enhanced ransomware protection

Posted on: December 8, 2021

London, UK. 7 December 2021 – Scality announced its data storage predictions for 2022, coming off a year when ransomware attacks have exploded, skills shortages remain, and cloud adoption continues. This year’s forecast homes in on how storage solutions will evolve to meet these challenges and how emerging technologies will impact the data storage landscape.

Read more

Virtana free tier offering lets enterprises experience simplified hybrid cloud optimisation at no cost

Posted on: December 8, 2021

Virtana announced the immediate availability of a free version of Virtana Optimize, its cloud optimisation solution. The Free Tier offering complements the Premium version of Virtana Optimize, allowing for frictionless customer adoption.

Read more