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Intelligent Computing Makes AI as Accessible as Water and Electricity

By Wang Yige, Huawei

My driver's license recently expired. The usual way to renew it would be for me to get my photo taken at a studio authorized by the traffic police department, then get a physical examination at the designated hospital, and finally do the license exchange at the nearest department of vehicles. I would need to take at least half the day off to get this done, since there are multiple places to go to, and not all of them work weekends.

Coincidentally, my city’s traffic police department just launched its Speedy License Replacement service. A weekend later, I left the service center deeply impressed by the convenience and most of all by the intelligence of this new service model.

Speedy License Replacement is in a service center staffed by a single member of the post office (for handing in the documents). The new procedure is only three steps:

1) Identity Verification My ID was scanned while my face was photographed. The computer obtained my license information from the Internet, compared the data, and confirmed that I was who my license said I was.

2) Health Check Next, my eyesight was tested by machine for visual acuity and colorblindness. It also tested my motor coordination and ability to move my arms and legs as instructed. The whole time, a smart camera assessed my fitness levels.

3) Authorization and PaymentAll I had to do to complete the process was sign off on mailing my new license and pay for everything on my phone. Speedy License Replacement needed just one human personnel to attend to me, and everything I had to provide was available to do at this one-stop location. My experience was hassle-free and a breeze thanks to AI technologies that slashed the whole process to just 30 minutes. Everything was open and objective, thanks to machine processing.

However, AI is expensive and demanding on enterprises. They need skilled personnel, massive data, and the right infrastructure. The training and application platform involves chips, operating systems, open-source frameworks, algorithms, and industry applications. The challenge, therefore, is how to make AI technology more accessible and affordable. To realize AI for the greater good, Huawei's Intelligent Computing Product Line announced its Boundless Computing strategy. Its vision, Intelligent IT Inspires a Digital Future, has two levels of significance:

1) Technology and Products As industries adopt +Internet and +intelligence trends, we witness explosive growth in IT and increased scale and application capabilities of data centers. Such data centers must be managed intelligently and economically, and this requires IT infrastructure capable of automatic deployment, intelligent software management, power consumption management, fault prewarning and diagnostics, and asset management.

As computing services diversify, they need intelligent heterogeneous devices to allocate resources to different service requirements and improve computing ROI. For example, heterogeneous servers fitted with SSDs, GPUs, and FPGA accelerator cards break through traditional processor boundaries and boost the computing power of each server. Huawei’s Atlas is an intelligent cloud hardware platform for data center resource scheduling and management. Its real-time resource allocation powers all-purpose computing, AI training, and model learning. Huawei also offers an intelligent edge video solution with localized AI inference capabilities at the network edge and seamless collaboration with the cloud data center for faster results.

2) Industry and Ecosystem The digital transformation of traditional industries in the past few years is now evolving from digital to intelligent operations. This transformation needs intelligent IT solutions, which will incubate more and more new, natively intelligent industries. Huawei works with mainstream vendors of chips, operating systems, algorithms, and ISVs to build smarter IT infrastructure for full-stack AI solutions. Together, collaborators foster an AI ecosystem for smarter cities, transportation, electric power, and healthcare. By creating more value for enterprises and society, Huawei and industry partners share success.

As AI becomes mainstream, it joins water and electricity as a basic utility, empowering every person, household, and organization for better life and work. This is the future that Huawei envisions for the intelligent computing industry, and pledges to lead the way to this intelligent future with Boundless Computing.

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Issue 03

Intelligent IT World (10/2018)

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