In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has proven its ability to cut across and serve multiple industries and business functions. Even amid the pandemic, limitless possibilities have only increased for AI and machine learning (ML), thus giving businesses key insights that enable them to recognize user patterns, study their operational capabilities, improve sales forecasting, streamline communication, create personalized experiences, and much more.
Taking into account the rise of investment in AI, the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) — in its initiative to further push the country toward a more digitized future wherein it is the AI powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific region — launched the National Artificial Intelligence Roadmap in 2021. The AI roadmap aims to accelerate the utilization of AI in the country in order to advance industrial development, empower better entrepreneurship, and provide more opportunities for Filipino talent.
“The growth of interest in AI enables us to study the larger canvas of technology, where AI can change the functionality of computers by powering them to be infinitely smarter devices that are more capable of meeting the changes in the way we live,” said Abraham Lim, Secure Power Director at Schneider Electric Philippines. “Thanks to this advancement, many industries may soon leverage ML to expedite processes, improve efficiency, and reduce the effects of human biases.”
In manufacturing, for instance, warehouse robots are evolving and able to take on more tasks than ever before as the computer vision and software guiding them get more advanced.
In addition, AI can also complement several sectors and industries. In fact, the Philippines aims to apply AI to multiple industries, including real estate, banking and financial services, surveillance, retail and e-commerce, education, space exploration, agribusiness, urban planning, manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics and transportation.
Functionality of AI
For AI to be at its optimum level and its outcomes to remain relevant, transmission and computation of data are crucial. Therefore, CIOs need to ensure that data complexity and data silos can be mitigated and that the right tools or platforms are in place before deploying AI.
While the transmission and storage of data is part of the journey completed, an equally important part is data processing and the space in which it occurs. Findings from IBM’s Global AI Adoption Index 2021 revealed that almost 90% of IT pros said being able to run their AI projects wherever the data resides is key to the technology’s adoption.
“This is where Edge computing comes into the picture,” said Lim. “AI requires robust compute capabilities in the Edge environment for faster processing. With these capabilities, Edge data centers are able to focus on keeping data on location for faster processing, higher security, and more efficient performance.”
Edge computing pushes AI to do more
Edge computing offers much-needed speed for organizations that can be burdened with a large volume of raw data from AI. Processing is done on-site while the system’s speed allows for the timely output of the analysis. Latency is reduced significantly, allowing for real-time decision-making.
In an industrial or large-scale setting, the availability of real-time decision-making saves money and effort and reduces the occurrence of the most feared element: unplanned downtime. Accurate data also gives industrial players the ability to predict machine failures and implement predictive maintenance without disrupting the production capabilities. On the other hand, the volume and nature of data handled by each business are subject to security vulnerabilities, both physical and digital.
Accessibility and device compatibility is one of the biggest security risks in data centers where third-party plug-ins and IoT devices can mean more than just convenience. Edge computing secures sensitive data at the furthest point possible on a company’s network. In short, Edge computing can isolate and protect data as well.
Moreover, with the speed, security, and convenience offered by Edge, businesses will be able to reach their customers faster, more accurately, and keep them engaged in a relevant manner. With the power of AI processing, businesses can gain a competitive advantage by engaging with their customers more precisely and predicting their needs. And when combined with Edge, Edge AI can unlock new possibilities for the way businesses interact with their customers.
“These are just some of Schneider Electric’s efforts around Edge, together with the support of the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI, across two industries which have experienced positive changes in the way they do business,” said Lim. “At Schneider Electric, we aim to help our partners improve the way their businesses operate through highly-connected and resilient digital solutions.”
The future of AI
In a nutshell, the combination of AI and Edge computing leads to faster computing and insights, improved data security, as well as more efficient control over operations. There is something even more exciting on the horizon. AI, which is already optimized by Edge functionalities, will receive a further boost for seamless operations through the 5G rollout, which is among the most anticipated technologies in 2022.
Just imagine fusing the ultra-high-speed, large bandwidth, and enhanced connectivity of 5G with the accessibility, scalability, and intelligence of Edge computing, as well as the accuracy and predictability offered by AI — organizations will have greater ability to respond to customer demands with actionable insights and focus on immediate value creation.