Skip to main content

Key takeaways from the first "Algorithm World" event

Key takeaways from the first "Algorithm World" event

In late September, we gathered at Nokia’s Chicago Innovation Center for our first Algorithm World. This event attracted close to 1,000 people – both in-person and virtually – in a hybrid format to discuss how algorithms are critical for shaping the future of technology and intelligently transforming human experiences.

So, what is an algorithm? Alfred Aho, winner of the Turing Award in 2020 and a former Bell Labs Fellow, defined an algorithm as “a finite sequence of instructions, each of which has a clear meaning and can be performed with a finite amount of effort in a finite length of time.”

Algorithms are the closest thing we have to perfect decision making, but should they rule the world? In opening remarks for the event, Nokia CEO and President Pekka Lundmark addresses this question. I encourage you to watch Pekka’s remarks here.  

Nokia operates in a segment rich with algorithms in use today and with infinite potential for the technologies of tomorrow – and we are developing new algorithms all the time. Algorithms underpin many of our new products and services for access, analytics and automation. They are essential for 5G, AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, and more.

Here are some of the key takeaways from Algorithm World based on the discussions with our speakers, including the voice of the regulators, our service provider customers, and our experts.

  • Algorithms are more than Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). But while mechanization has revolutionized physical tasks, AI has the potential to revolutionize human thinking. Investments in AI are being made across all industries – from healthcare and manufacturing to retail and telecommunications and more. As a result, AI could yield a 5x economic growth rate by 2026. While AI technology has been around for decades, it is becoming a reality now due to three factors: advancements in compute resources and power, access to large-scale data, and algorithms improving on an exponential scale.   
  • Access to large-scale data must be secured and standardized. Monisha Ghosh, former FCC CTO and Research Professor at the University of Chicago, and Brian Hendricks, VP of Policy and Public Affairs for Nokia Americas, joined together for a virtual fireside chat to discuss how AI applications in the telecom industry are currently being limited by access to data. Until this problem is addressed directly, the telecom industry will not make as rapid strides as other industries. There is a role for the government to play in implementing a framework for sharing data that can overcome concerns around how data is collected, stored, and handled, giving peace of mind to telecom operators and subscribers alike. You can watch this critical discussion on AI in telecom and the need for data access between Monisha and Brian here.
  • We are at the cusp of the first network intelligence and automation era. Nishant Batra, Chief Strategy and Technical Officer for Nokia, shared how data-driven networks have been growing as we’ve seen an immense amount of sharing, commerce and personalization- and through pandemic- digital industries have taken off in a big way. In the 5G Advanced Era, data will take off in an even bigger way.

Fig. 1.

Nishant shares how data driven networks powered by AI/ML will happen in three waves – system performance, software agility, and network-as-a-service. You can learn more in his presentation here.

  • Service providers are aligned on use cases enabled by AI/ML in their 5G networks. Peter Vetter, President of Bell Labs Core Research, moderated a panel session with service provider customers from DISH, T-Mobile and UScellular. After explaining how to determine when to use AI/ML or traditional algorithms for the network, Peter asked the service providers to share what new use cases they were excited about that they couldn’t do before AI/ML. Some of the new use cases focused on adaptive antenna systems, RF shaping, radio link adaptation, and traffic and layer management. New spectrum bands are requiring the network to be more automated, more dynamic and optimized to meet changing network and environmental conditions. They also discussed the importance of data – and the need to be able to securely share data with trusted partners and developers. The panel concluded with a look ahead to 6G and how AI/ML will be fundamental to our future networks.

We also explored how Nokia is using algorithms, including solutions that:

  • Prepared operators and enterprises for 2021 and beyond
  • Maximized revenue, efficiency, and customer relationships using Nokia Software and Nokia Design Studio – The ideation lab of telecommunications
  • Connected mission- and business-critical applications using private wireless, a key enabler of Industry 4.0
  • Improved network connectivity and services based on the learnings of COVID-19 using Deep-field, Big Data-driven analytics
  • Provided insights on the evolution of the next generation of technologies and server less cloud programming

Everyone at Nokia is proud that we are a hub for algorithms, patents, and standards collaborations – in other words, technology that helps the world act together. I encourage you to learn more about how Nokia is leading in algorithm innovation. You can watch a quick recap video of this exciting event and reach out to our team to learn more about how you can leverage algorithms to scale future network capabilities and to drive future business growth.