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  • Kandy White

Thoughts on the emergence of 5G

On a broader scale, the emergence of 5G will change what’s possible for devices and technologies that need higher bandwidth to reach their potential. You can get connected just about anywhere via wired or wi-fi access to the internet, but our digital highways are increasingly heavily trafficked and congested. Research done by Business Insider suggests that there will be more than 24 Billion connected devices by 2020. Network clogging caused by the interaction of these devices with the data center can significantly slow processing and responsiveness. The arrival of 5G enables this processing to happen „on the edge“ at the level of the device itself and so removes boundaries for autonomous smart devices and other IOT. This opens the door to real time computational possibilities where robots, cameras, sensors, unmanned drones, and other IoT devices are able to make immediate judgments enabled by AI, without having to consult a server back at the data center. For example, a smart camera will be able to execute image recognition, identify you in real time, and unlock entry to your home or office.

According to ABI Research, the number of devices with the ability to execute edge AI will grow from 79 Million in 2017 to 1.2 Billion by 2023, and the tasks these devices complete on the edge will increase by 7X. So we can expect rapid advancement of edge AI in support of smart cities and buildings, autonomous vehicles on the ground and in the air, augmented reality, wearables--the possibilities are almost overwhelming.

In terms of truly life changing technology, health and wellbeing will be greatly improved through the advancement of AI, edge computing, biometric scanning/monitoring, gene-editing, and 3D printing. These technologies will start to converge to make remote healthcare, earlier diagnosis -- possibly even reversal of a permanent disability-- a reality. Today, AI is already in use to help visually impaired people perceive the world. Gene editing is being used to eliminate susceptibility to certain illnesses and other aI has potential to reverse some forms of paralysis – that is-- if you’re willing to have a chip implanted in your brain.

The bottom line is: Our healthcare will be higher quality and availability than ever before, and it’s exciting to imagine how things will change. Think about a smart city where a first responder can get to the scene faster because smart cameras and traffic lights clear the way. Once she gets to the scene, she has already been presented with details about what to expect so she’s better prepared to provide the right medical care and save lives.

There will be many hurdles to cross to ensure the solutions are ethical, safe, and reliable. What if there are numerous emergencies after a catastrophic event, and a machine chooses who gets treated first? These are tough questions. Even so, these technologies will make modern healthcare faster, smarter, and better for many who don’t have it today. Over time, these will reshape the healthcare industry entirely.

5G will enable life changing technical advances

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