What’s Next Session Presented At NEXT 2019

By Hubert Yoshida posted 10-28-2019 01:58

Among the many interesting sessions at NEXT 2019 was a session on some emerging technologies that we should expect to see in the next few years. Included in this session were 5G, XAI, and Quantum computing.

The session on 5G was presented by one of our technology partners, Ericsson. Noel Kenehan, VP and CTO Emerging Business took us through some of the major use cases for this technology with its high speed (20 Gbps download/10 Gbps upload), low latency (1 ms) and high density (2.5Mn/sq mi) which is an order of magnitude better than current 4G. 5G’s density and speed will accelerate the adoption of IoT. It will enable massive IoT data to flow from smart cities and factories. Low latency and high reliability will enable Critical IoT like crash avoidance and sensor detection. Enhanced mobile broadband will mean stronger signals in congested areas and can make installing smart devices simpler by avoiding the need to configure it for WiFi. 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) enables network operators to deliver ultra-high-speed broadband to suburban and rural areas, supporting home and business applications where fiber is prohibitively expensive to lay and maintain. 5G will enhance our lives and economic development. It will also generate a demand for high volume, high performance, low latency data storage which fits well with the capabilities of our new VSP 5000. 

XAI, which stands for Explainable AI was presented by Yuichi Yagawa, the General Manager of the Hitachi Central Research Lab. I had posted a blog on XAI and took the traditional view of XAI. Yuichi’s presentation was slightly different. XAI refers to methods and techniques in the application of artificial intelligence technology (AI) such that the results of the solution can be understood by human experts such as regulators, official bodies and general users who come to depend on AI-based dynamic systems, and require clearer accountability to ensure trust and transparency in the results. Yuichi described a co-creation partnership with Sumishin Net Bank and Dayta Consulting to provide a loan screening service using XAI, to consider social values in the loan approval process and making it understandable to human loan officers. This enables more loans to be approved for greater opportunities. XAI provides another layer of ethical trust over the AI loan approval process. Yuichi also showed some of the XAI models that can be used. XAI is another tool Hitachi is using to power good.

Quantum Computing was explained in 15 minutes by Tsung-Yeh Yang, Research Scientist at the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory in Europe. Today's computers work by manipulating bits that exist in one of two states: a 0 or a 1. Quantum computers aren't limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in superposition (in multiple states at the same time). Because a quantum computer can contain these multiple states simultaneously, it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than today's most powerful supercomputers. The Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory scientists have demonstrated the creation of a single qubit in a silicon circuit, made using standard fabrication techniques, which is the first step towards making a silicon quantum computer. While this may still be years away, Hitachi is also working on techniques to realize the effects of quantum computing sooner. One such approach is through the use of Ising computing technology that is capable of solving combinatorial optimization problems built on a 20k-spin Ising computer chip using a CMOS circuit. We should expect to see this in the near future.

These three technologies are just a few of the technologies that are going to change our world in a dramatic way. The future is just around the corner and we must to ready to ensure that these technologies are used to power good. It requires our researches to understand the implications of these technologies not only in powering good but also how they may destroy or compromise good. For instance, our researchers need to be working on future encryption codes that can withstand the decrypting power of quantum computers.