AI, IoT set to revolutionise business, says Dell

Corporate May 14, 2018 01:00

By NOPHAKHUN LIMSAMARNPHUN
THE NATION

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TODAY’S COMBINATION of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and massive data on products, services and customers is set to usher in a new era of doing business worldwide, according to Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies.



For Thailand, Dell’s vision is consistent with the government’s “Thailand 4.0” initiative which focuses on the digital transformation of the Thai economy and society.

Under this initiative, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) covering parts of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao provinces is a showcase example of smart cities and a new generation of industries and services.

In his keynote speech at the 2018 Dell Technologies/World event in Las Vegas on April 30, Dell said big data is the new “rocket fuel”, and when it is leveraged with AI and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities on the next 5G communication platform the results will be |unprecedented.

He cited smart cities and autonomous cars as examples of how massive data running to the tune of, say, 200 petabytes per day from just one city, and its IoT devices plus self-driving vehicles, can be used to improve the way people live, commute and do other activities.

According to Dell, all stakeholders and businesses should benefit from the new digital infrastructure required to deliver unprecedented results as the use of cloud-based computing and storage facilities will be combined with the so-called “edge” computing capability such as that of autonomous cars and other smart devices.

Computing and storage capabilities are being centralised again using high-speed connection to send data back and forth to decentralised servers and devices in real time.

In his speech, Dell also highlighted the next era of human-machine partnership expected to be realised around 2030.

The next era will be facilitated by the convergence of AI, IoT, big data, real-time connectivity and new computing power leading to the transformation of economies and societies around the world.

Jeff Clarke, Dell’s vice chairman, said the digital journey includes workforce transformation in which AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality) and 3D simulation will be used in workforce re-training.

Clarke said data is virtually “everything” in the digital era with IoT devices having computing capability at the edge for real-time order execution. A self-driving car also needs to have its own edge computing capability to stop when a deer is just ahead on the road.

In addition, Clarke said, hybrid or multi-clouds are another key feature of the new digital infrastructure in which most things are defined by software with AI and ML capabilities using more and more data in real time to facilitate new functions.

Predictive analytics using the availability of massive data is another feature for smart asset maintenance and supply-chain management.

All these new requirements need more powerful computers to do real-time analytics so Dell has introduced more powerful servers, called PowerMax and PowerEdge to meet the new requirements, including those with ML engines.

For business executives, Dell said an enterprise’s technology strategy is now effectively its business strategy.

As a result, the new question is: “Where will my business be in the next five years?”

According to surveys, there are currently mixed visions of the future with about 50 per cent of survey respondents believing machines will free up time for humans to do other things after automation takes over many of today’s work.

However, another half of the respondents are not so optimistic about the advent of machines and widespread automation.

These surveys also show that 82 per cent of respondents want to have a software-defined business in the next five years to stay relevant in the digital economy.

Since automation, AI and ML have advantages over humans and many businesses and services such as banking are becoming 100 per cent machine-driven such as the mobile banking service of Bank Leumi.

For the automotive industry, Ford said it would introduce Internet-connected cars next year with AI, ML and edge computing capabilities.

Dell also forecasts that 60 per cent of the world’s digital infrastructure will be IoT-based with edge computing capabilities for self-driving cars and other end-users’ devices.

Distributed core and cloud-based computing as well as storage facilities will also be used.