Manhattan, New York City, United States photo by @nasa

Artificial Intelligence, 5G and Spectrum Allocation

The Next Generation of Wireless Devices

On the 25th of October Karen Hao from MIT Technology Review wrote an article called: “DARPA is betting on AI to bring the next generation of wireless devices online.” This article placed its focus on an important aspect of wireless communication. Because there is a planning of how the bandwidth is supposed to work via the radio spectrum. The electromagnetic waves in the frequency range of the radio spectrum is called radio waves — and these are widely used in modern technology, especially within telecommunication. To hinder interference between different users radio waves is strictly regulated by national laws, coordinated by an international body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Karen Hao’s article discussed a recent hackathon organised by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In the article she writes:

“The challenge was prompted by the concern that the growing use of wireless technologies risks overcrowding the airwaves our devices use to talk to one another.”

Since the frequencies are divided up between different commercial and government entities those who owns rights to a bit of spectrum rarely uses all of it 100% of the time. The new 5G networks that are emerging makes this more urgent as it is projected to grow enormously over time.

Graph displayed in MIT Technology Review retrieved the 28th of October 2019

The challenge that were to be tackled in the competition issued by DARPA was to design a new type of communication device that doesn’t broadcast on the same frequency every time. The suggested proposal was to use machine-learning algorithms to find the frequencies available. They are wanting to move from a system managed through ‘pen and paper’ to a system managed by ‘machines autonomously’.

Karen Hao describes the final where 10 finalists competed against each other. This included scenarios in supporting communications in a military mission, an emergency response and concert venue. A team from the University of Florida took home the $2 million grand prize.

5G and Artificial Intelligence

To see the most accentuated possibilities that lie within 5G it may be interesting to look at a few of the actors that have much to gain from its expansion such as Samsung. In a news article written by Samsung on the 28th of October 2019 there is a description of the IoT and AI Revolution.

This article claims that 5G connectivity will allow different solutions to access more data real-time which will make solutions very different. 5G uses ‘far less power’, leveraging IoT sensors that can last for year. Within farming adjusting irrigation levels and in manufacturing within factories placed to detect when the condition of equipment changes.

There is in addition to this the possibility to carve out multiple uses for doctors to secure handling of patient data. The article states:

“5G is up to 20 times faster than 4G. But this latest generation of networks is hardly just ‘faster 4G.’ Coupled with record-setting low latency, 5G’s speeds will allow developers to create applications that make the most of improved reaction times, such as near real-time video transmission for sporting events or security purposes.”

Exploring 5G and Artificial Intelligence

My focus this week will mainly be to cover the relationship between the field of artificial intelligence and 5G networks. When looking at the potential risk and possibilities with this combination and perhaps talking to industry experts about their thoughts. Who is studying the effects or changes that this is leading to? There is a big investment by telecommunication companies into this areas, and there is an expressed fear by many in regards to possible consequences.

I would be very happy if you wanted to stick with me for this week to explore the intersection of 5G and AI. If you want to send me any articles in media or journal related to this topic it would be very helpful.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 147. I write one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.



AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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