A host of sectors are set to unleash AI on these freshly launched networks
Communications technology reached a historic milestone at the beginning of April this year as Hong Kong’s fifth-generation mobile (5G) network was officially fully connected, linking all major communication equipment.
A 5G network provides much more than just increased bandwidth and speed – 5G provides the opportunity to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) technology to bring the much-discussed Internet of Things (IoT) out of the laboratory and into the real world. To give people from all walks of life a better understanding of 5G networks, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) held the Tech Trends Symposium 2020 – The Future of Intelligent Connectivity on 28 July. Forming part of the HKTDC’s Summer Sourcing Weeks | Go ONLINE virtual trade fair (27 July-7 August), the symposium was streamed online. At a session titled “Empowering a Connected Future with 5G”, industry leaders introduced the latest developments in 5G networks and expressed the hope that Hong Kong will keep pace with the world in moving towards 5G and building a smart city.
5G networks could turn the established business-to-customer (B2C) model on its head and profoundly change consumers’ experiences, said Justin Chuang, Vice President, Communications Technologies at the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI).
Citing examples, he said real-time augmented reality (AR), a 360-degree visual experience and ultra-clear imaging will profoundly change traditional marketing and publicity models. Business-to-business (B2B) transactions could expand in scale, while autonomous vehicles, smart offices and smart factories could be linked up through 5G systems to improve productivity.
More importantly, Mr Chuang pointed out, 5G networks could deploy artificial intelligence (AI) and a marriage of the two would completely change the ecology of manufacturing. Factories would be able to use automated vehicles, robots and monitoring sensors. AI applications, instead of human managers, would coordinate and monitor this fully automated production system. Human engineering expertise could be applied to remotely formulating workflows and ordering work patterns. The saved human resources could then concentrate on quality monitoring and decision-making, said Mr Chuang. He believes 5G is not only a new era of networks but also a way to promote the progress of the entire city.