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The network imperative for AI

The network imperative for AI

5 January 2024

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If artificial intelligence is to take the next great leap, it will require a next-generation network. In this episode of the Real Conversations Podcast by Nokia, Nishant Batra, Nokia’s Chief Strategy and Technology Office, and host Michael Hainsworth delve into the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, emphasizing the indispensable role of AI, the cloud, and connectivity. Batra’s insights shed light on how these technologies are not just reshaping the tech industry but are also becoming integral to various sectors worldwide.

Batra begins by addressing the symbiotic relationship between AI and connectivity. He asserts, "That power of AI is only possible when there is an equally good connection to that." This statement underscores his belief that without robust connectivity using network-wide AI, the full potential of AI and cloud applications cannot be harnessed effectively. He emphasizes the layers of connectivity required to access AI applications on the cloud, pointing out that improvements in this area are crucial for truly leveraging the power of AI.

The conversation then shifts to the concept of a "cloud continuum," which Batra describes as spanning from central cloud to on-device cloud. This continuum, he explains, is influenced by three laws – physics, economics, and the law of the land. The law of physics concerns latency and the desire for fast access to information. The law of the land pertains to data sovereignty, ensuring that data does not cross certain geographical boundaries. Lastly, the law of economics addresses the effort and cost associated with fetching information from the cloud. Batra elaborates, "An application owner wants to get access to information fast. That means latency is critical."

Another focal point of the discussion is sustainability in the context of network traffic and energy consumption. Batra provides a compelling analysis, revealing that if current trends continue, energy consumption by connectivity networks could become unsustainable. He emphasizes the need for innovation in this area, stating, "We should be able to bring the energy down... and if you're bringing it down, one measure of success is that you bring it down to half." This approach, according to Batra, would drastically reduce energy consumption per bit.

Batra also touches upon the future of digitalization and the integration of the digital and physical worlds, a concept he refers to as the "cyber-physical confluence." He sees this as a more subtle and progressive vision compared to the idea of a technological singularity. Batra illustrates this with examples of digital twinning in various sectors, including industrial environments where digital and physical actions are synchronized for enhanced productivity.

Discussing the role of 6G, Batra envisions it as a critical enabler of a more inclusive and connected world. He stresses the importance of designing 6G with inclusivity in mind from the start, emphasizing that it should cater to the needs of everyone globally. “It is my job that there is 6G out there and everyone in this world has equal access to it,” he asserts.

Batra’s insights provide a comprehensive overview of the current and future states of technology, highlighting the intersection of AI, cloud computing, connectivity, and sustainability. His emphasis on inclusivity and the integration of digital and physical realms paints a picture of a future where technology not only advances but also democratizes access to information and services, thereby extending the scope of human possibilities.

Listen to the Real Conversations podcast to discover more about how AI, the cloud, and connectivity will be transforming our world.

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About Nokia

At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together.

As a B2B technology innovation leader, we are pioneering networks that sense, think, and act by leveraging our work across mobile, fixed and cloud networks. In addition, we create value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs.

Service providers, enterprises and partners worldwide trust Nokia to deliver secure, reliable and sustainable networks today – and work with us to create the digital services and applications of the future.

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Nokia Communications, Corporate
Email: Press.Services@nokia.com


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