27 April 2017

A.I.: What's next ? Biological intelligence (B.I.)

Biological intelligence concerns all the control and adaptive systems that are not artefacts, but rather that are exploited by Nature in living entities after millions of years of evolution.

Normally when we think about Biological Intelligence we refer to human brains and nervous system functions, but there is much more in Nature. Think about the collective intelligence in colony species like ants, bees capable of adapting and co-evolving as ecosystems in changing environment. These colonies - as our organs! - are complex adaptive systems, open as exchanging matter, energy and information with the external environment. This Biological Intelligence is self-organizing. 

Biological Intelligence is, obviously, much beyond our most advanced thinking of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), today. A.I., in most cases, is still based on heuristics and algorithms (e.g., ML, DL, neural networks, etc), using binary logic but, above all, it is reductionist. Biological Intelligence leverages on the deeper quantum phenomena which are at the most basic level of life: binary logic is very different from the tangled interactions in quantum mechanics.

In A.I. avenues we are making outstanding progresses and we have great visions how to make a biz out of that! For example, two amazing projects have been announced last week aiming at progressing A.I.: Facebook’s plan to develop a non-invasive brain-computer interface that will let you type at 100 words per minute and Elon Musks’ proposal that we become superhuman cyborgs to deal with superintelligent AI. 

Also, a few days ago Apple suggested at a TED 2017 conference that "instead of replacing humans with robots, artificial intelligence should be used to give us super-human abilities”. 

No doubts that high bandwidth/low latency connectivity + massive A.I. (Cloud/Edge/Fog) + B.C.I (or similar advanced interfaces for humans) are likely to bring us to the next big Internet, which far reaching socio-economic implications...but beyond that there is a much more challenging and impactful frontier, for us, which is understanding Biological Intelligence and as such life. 

In fact, this implies looking at more subtle biological processes and interactions paradigms, maybe less familiar in Computer Science but surely nearer Quantum Biology.

Capturing the essence of Biological intelligence is the biggest bet we can make !

13 April 2017

A Network Operating System for becoming a "Differentiator"

Let’s now go a little bit beyond the plain metaphor of  future telecommunications infrastructures as nervous systems of the Digital Society and Economy.

At the beginning of this year, AT&T announced Network 3.0 Indigo as the next step after Network Domain 2.0: AT&T major push is now to create a trusted environment where organizations can share data and collaborate on analytics. It’s about moving, strategically, from playing the role of Architect to Differentiator to be very compete on data-powered services.

Let’s see an example, quoting the text on the link: “Imagine this simple example. A city has an electric utility, an internet company and a major heating/air conditioning repair company. They join a technician dispatch community to share their data – such as vehicle, traffic and appointment data. Through cooperative machine-learning and the broader data set, they get better and better at timing their dispatches. Their work becomes more efficient and customers are happier. And they are still able to keep their proprietary information safe”.

That brings to mind the concept of a Smart City as an organisms with a Nervous Systems! As a matter of fact, there are remarkable examples such as the CityOS of Bristol or Barcelona. We may reinforce this concept also by what is mentioned here  Indigo is yet another step in the network transformation of AT&T, and that network operating system will play a role to deliver the data-powered services that make all the rest of the work worthwhile".

So we can see here how network operating systems of future telecommunications infrastructures will eventually embed the features of a nervous system for the Digital Society and Economy. And also that the Operators’ infrastructures are the nerves and neurons of such a nervous system…including their processing capabilities: having said that, it’s clear the network operating system is not only about management, control and orchestration but it’s the most powerful instrument for implementing the biz strategies and novel forms of competitive advantages.

Quoting J. Doyle, for being successful, this network operating system should be robust yet fragile .

04 April 2017

Telecoms infrastructures will be the Nervous System of the Digital Society and Economy: what a better use case !

If you consider the metaphor of Nervous System you can soon realize the future Telecommunications infrastructures (e.g., 5G), Cloud-Edge and Fog Computing, Artificial Intelligence and IoT (i.e., pervasive sensoring and actuating) will have naturally to converge quite soon to exploit the Nervous System of the Digital Society and Economy.

The nervous system of a living entity, in fact, is a complex network of nerves and cells that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord to various parts of the body. The nervous system includes both the Central nervous system and Peripheral nervous system: the former is made up of the brain and spinal cord (tube like structure which extends from the brain) and the latter of the Somatic and the Autonomic nervous systems. The somatic nervous system consists of peripheral nerve fibers that pick up sensory information or sensations from the peripheral or distant organs (those away from the brain like limbs) and carry them to the central nervous system. The Autonomic nervous systems controls the nerves of the inner organs of the body on which humans have no conscious control ( it includes the heartbeat, digestion, breathing).

These well-known simple definitions are enough to understand the metaphor about the evolution of Telecommunications infrastructures (e.g., 5G), Cloud-Edge and Fog Computing, Artificial Intelligence and IoT. And also the use-case is very clear! The nervous system of a living entity allows the survivability of a living entity enabling functions as to perceive, comprehend, and adapt to the world around us; moreover the nervous system operates the body’s essential physiologic functions, such as breathing and digestion… In the same way the Telecommunications infrastructures will become the Nervous System of the Digital Society and Economy allowing their sustainability by supporting functions as to perceive, comprehend, and adapt to the political and socio-economic environments; moreover it will operates the essential physiologic management and control processes of the Digital Society and Economy. As it is accepted generally now that Nervous System can learn, rearrange, and adapt, a process often referred to as neuroplasticity, so will do Telecommunications infrastructures running A.I. on Cloud-Edge and Fog Computing resources and collecting sensing information from the IoT devices. Virtualization (SDN and NFV) will provide such neuroplasticity to the Telecommunications Nervous System.

So, rather than talking about of CityBrains for SmartCities, it makes more sense referring to global Nervous System (which is much more than a brain) of the Digital Society and Economy.

Eventually my personal take on future Telecommunications infrastructures (e.g., 5G), Cloud-Edge and Fog Computing, Artificial Intelligence and IoT…is that they should be considered systemically as concurring to create an ecosystem, much beyond segmented sectors or verticals. And the biz cases is horizontal: bringing to digital life our Society.