It’s no secret that advances in networking can disrupt entire industries. One only has to look at what 4G connectivity did for birthing ridesharing and disrupting a taxi industry plagued by inconsistent service and pricing. I believe AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be equally transformative when applied to networking for both cellular operators and enterprises. As an analyst that covers the entire networking infrastructure space, I read of companies big and small that tout the advantages of AI. Whether it’s the application of new algorithms or machine learning to make networks smarter and autonomous, I’m often left wondering what does all of that mean for the end consumer. I would like to examine the retail and healthcare sectors and provide my insights into how these markets might be reimagined through smarter connectivity.
Brick and mortar retail re-invention
Amazon has brought its own form of disruption to retail. The massive online retailer has leveraged connectivity to bring merchants together and streamline logistics to provide an endless assortment of products at compelling prices. Brick and mortar has suffered, causing many large retailers to close locations or go out of business entirely on a global basis. So how could AI and connectivity re-level the playing field? Wireless networking married to beacon technology can provide wayfinding, proximity messaging alerting shoppers to special promotions, and personalize the overall shopping experience. AI could analyze prior shopper purchase data and make intelligent recommendations for new product considerations. Delighting customers will foster loyalty and repeat purchase behavior.
I know several physicians and their path to earning a medical degree involved years of study and residency. AI and networking has the potential to link that knowledge as well as late-breaking research to individual patient data history and make it accessible to a wider audience of caregivers. AI won’t replace a physician, but it could speed the process of diagnosis and patient treatment. More lives could be saved with illnesses treated faster and more accurately. Smart healthcare networks could also enhance physician assistant capabilities at national pharmacies and “minute-clinics” that are much more accessible to lower income and non-insured individuals.
Retail and healthcare are only two examples of the potential of applying AI to networking. I found it interesting that while attending Huawei Connect 2018, rotating Huawei CEO Eric Xu claimed that only 4% of enterprises globally have deployed AI, which represents a tremendous opportunity for companies such as Huawei that are willing to make the investment in silicon, application development tools, and human resources.
Click on the link to find out more about Huawei’s AI strategy and product portfolio.