Few, if any of us, would argue that being stuck in traffic is a pleasant way to start the day. So, before we leave the house we check the traffic on our favorite mapping application to understand if it is a good time to leave. What if instead our city streets could proactively send the following message to our phone: “Wait 20 minutes — the streets will be completely clear?” Or, within another circumstance, imagine if every technician sent to repair an appliance was equipped with a pair of VR glasses so that he or she knew exactly how to repair the appliance as they would have immediate access to all the past issues and repairs stored in the company’s database.

These are just glimpses of what the near future, powered by advances in 5G and associated technologies, will bring. Other examples abound. What if municipalities could automatically turn off streetlights when no one is around? Imagine the money that would save — funds that could be deployed to more pressing needs. What if sensors in your city’s water pipes could alert managers to new leaks, automatically dispatching technicians to make repairs? Victims of the havoc caused by hurricanes certainly would welcome that.

Technology Shaping the Future

That’s the future promised by technology in the 5G era, and it’s a vision that is both compelling and easy-to-grasp. But, for this future to materialize, several technologies must coalesce at the same time. Let me explain. Technically speaking, 5G refers to a new protocol for wireless communications, and it has a lot of promise on its own; however, 5G gets turbocharged by the addition of several additional technologies. One being edge computing, which places the computing resources required to run applications close to where they are consumed, providing a much quicker response time. Another is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), which connects inanimate objects in much the same way that human beings are connected today. A third is the progression of ‘Autonomous Things’ (ATs) such as cars or drones. Further technologies that contribute to this future are augmented or virtual reality, digital health, satellite communications, and significant improvements in our computing capabilities.

A common enabler missing from the above list is artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). It is the final piece of the puzzle that will benefit from the “infrastructure” technologies listed above to allow for better decision making and automation. In fact, it is the addition of AI/ML to these technologies that will shape the future for the next decade and beyond.

These future-shaping technologies will come in two flavors. One is infrastructure, the nuts and bolts needed to enable that future, while the other, falls within the application domain, i.e., things that operate on this infrastructure. It is our strong belief that both will benefit from AI/ML and we must make the use of AI/ML simple enough so that they can be applied everywhere and by everyone.

Barriers to a 5G Future

For the 5G future to arrive, there are significant obstacles that must be overcome. There is, after all, a significant physical infrastructure that needs to be built that requires sensors, spectrum, towers, switches, power stations, data centers, etc. Faced with  investment and bureaucratic hurdles, building this infrastructure could take years to surmount. Innovators, investors and government agencies all have a role to play in ensuring that obstacles are removed so that we can all benefit from such a promising future.

While there is a lot to sort out, our faith lays with entrepreneurs, who have a way of creating solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. Entrepreneurs supported by investors and appropriate governmental policies and enabled by easy-to-use AI/ML technologies will develop innovations that will solve our most complex problems. One company that is actively fulfilling this latter need is Sway AI, a venture-backed start up in the Boston area. In fact, the democratization of AI/ML technologies so that every entrepreneur and enterprise can benefit from the advances of technology in the 5G era is the core mission of Sway AI.

Sway AI Lowering the Barriers for Entry

Sway AI was founded from the pursuit to solve the need for accessible AI. With current methods of implementing AI applications being antiquated and cumbersome, Sway AI approaches the democratization of AI in a more meaningful way. Instead of requiring the deep expertise of data scientists which is scarce, Sway AI makes AI development attainable for all, even those who aren’t AI experts.

Sway AI lowers the barriers to entry through their No-Code AI Platform and simultaneously, opens the door for the augmentation of enterprises with existing teams. For enterprises without technical teams, Sway AI enables them to easily and rapidly experiment, build, and deploy AI/ML applications. The Sway AI platform is designed to do the technical work for you by abstracting the AI complexity from its users and automating the majority of tasks required to build and deploy AI applications.

Accessibility Paving the Way to a 5G Era

How does accessibility play a part in the 5G future? Firstly, service providers are just that, service providers, they are talented at building network infrastructure, but not so skilled in building innovative applications. Therefore, a future where domain experts or user communities are armed with access to a platform that makes it easy and quick for them to build AI/ML is vital to a successful and innovative the 5G future. Through the accessibility of the Sway AI platform, developers or even domain experts that want to contribute, can come together as a user community and build innovative 5G AI applications leading to new ways of doing things. User communities are vital for a 5G era to flourish, and Sway AI offers a way for that community to thrive through their open architecture platform, intuitive user interface and open APIs. Their approach is not only accessible, but it enables best-of-class models and tools be incorporated in AI/ML workflows.

Private Networks a Turning Point for 5G

Beyond user communities, another major turning point within the 5G era was when it became possible for enterprises to build their own private 5G networks. Benefits of a private 5G network entail an ultra-low latency and incredibly high bandwidth connection that supports AI applications serving an enormous number of sensors and endpoints. 5G was in fact designed to support these types of massive senor grids and IoT applications. Because these IoT devices/sensors generate large volumes of data, it is not practical to carry such traffic to the core network or centralized cloud data centers for processing. Therefore, a new way of building and delivering AI applications is needed such that low latency applications can run at the edge for real-time efficiency.

Sway AI has solved this challenge as well. In Sway AI’s approach the models are trained and optimized in the central cloud where there is an almost infinite capacity of servers and compute resources available, then the final application is packaged into a container and pushed to any edge server for optimal latency performance. This hybrid approach effectively solves the latency and bandwidth efficiency problem.

In addition, Sway AI’s intuitive no-code technology enables the domain experts, who are not data scientists, to rapidly build useful AI applications and deliver to the edge for execution. This opens the door for a new class of AI users.

The Promise of a Brighter Future

Overall, 5G coupled with Sway AI technology promises to create a new era of connectivity, personalization, and automation for enterprises and consumers. Industries will continue to benefit from the ease of use, open architecture, and platform agnostic characteristics that Sway AI offers to the market. As a result, we are poised to see massive growth in terms of innovative AI/ML 5G applications.

About The Authors

Hossein Moiin Ph.D. is an advisor and board member to several innovation-centric companies and an Operating Partner with Cota Capital. He has been at the forefront of wireless revolution for the past two decades and holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D. from University of California in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Amir Atai Ph.D. is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sway AI. Amir is an entrepreneur and innovator. He holds a BS and MS from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Computer and Electrical Engineering.

 

 

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