We know very little about technology from China. Yes, all the inhabitants on hearing the manufacturers of smartphones from the Middle Kingdom, but most often the range of their products is much wider. This is what Huawei decided to show, which invited journalist to the Huawei Connect 2018 exhibition in Shanghai. As a result, we saw 30,000 square meters, stuck with the latest achievements of the manufacturer in the field of digital technologies: artificial intelligence, “clouds”, Big Data, “Internet of things”, smart video surveillance systems. These achievements are able to surprise and scare at the same time: the world of the future will know a hell of a lot about us.
- CCTV systems
- Smart Retail
- Smart railway
- Smart education
- Smart cities
- New AI processors
“Today, thanks to 60 years of cooperation between ICT-related academic and industry parties, we are again at the harvesting point, ” said Huawei co-founder and chairman Eric Xue during the opening of the conference and exhibition Huawei Connect 2018, recalling the history of the processor industry. – We need to fully use the technology of AI. We must begin to reap the rewards earlier, work hard to expand its meaning.
He called artificial intelligence the most important breakthrough technology, comparing it with the invention of the wheel, electricity and computers. Based on the internal experience of his company, the top manager noted that technologies based on AI and related systems lead to the release of human resources and a reduction in the cost of producing products. But more importantly, these technologies allow humanity to be more efficient. We can more effectively manage traffic, diagnose diseases, learn, communicate, look for new drugs and travel the world.
Also, Eric Xu added that we have passed only the first phase of the introduction of AI. We opened the technologies tied to it and developed several small applications, and now we are entering the second phase, where new technologies will penetrate into the life of society. And here we cannot avoid conflicts and rejection of the new, since the whole world is still tied to rapidly aging solutions. But the cheapening and growth of computer capacity will lead to the fact that AI technologies will soon become widespread.
And sleep in a hat Huawei is not going to. Judging by the names of the stands located in a large exhibition center in Shanghai, the company aims to cover as many aspects of human life as possible with smart technologies. Here you will find transportation, and the city, and education, and electrical networks, and finance, and retail … You can list them further, but we will stop at the most visible and impressive exhibition stands.
There is a camera, there is a digital signal from it, there is a person who receives and visually processes this signal. In the traditional surveillance system, not spoiled by motion sensors and the ability to work in additional light ranges, everything looks like this. And even if some sensors are added to this, then such an advanced system can only claim to protect private objects and buildings.
At the same time, the system presented by the neural networks and other AI algorithms capable of studying the crowd in real time — recognizing the faces of passers-by and displaying information about them on the screen — was presented at the corresponding stand of Huawei.
Mass surveillance systems in China are given special attention. Huawei representatives say that it was thanks to similar solutions, which are able to find a wolf in a crowd of sheep, Shanghai has become a safer city: thieves and robbers cannot hide for a long time from the surveillance cameras with which the entire city is littered.
The system, introduced by Huawei, collects the signal from all connected cameras and sends it to the “cloud”, from which you can get quick access to cameras not only from a specific city, but also from the province, and even the entire country.
Meanwhile, in the control center of such a system, one of the screens displays the process of searching a man from the crowd for a given photo. On the other – a video from the road, where each vehicle and passer are analyzed and assigned certain characteristics. For example, “a white sedan with such a number” or “a man in a black jacket on a scooter.” Such a system, apparently, will be very useful in the operational search of criminals in hot pursuit and signs, given in general terms.
But we should not assume that all these technologies are tomorrow. Today, such Huawei systems operate in 100 countries around the world and ensure the safety of 1 billion people. At least, such figures are voiced by representatives of the company.
By security and recognition of criminals can be attributed, and another device presented at the exhibition and reminiscent of the once closed Google Glass project. These are smart glasses with a camera, which are designed for law enforcement officers working “in the fields.” Connected to the “cloud” system, such glasses can identify people who are wanted, and report this to the owner. It turns out such a mobile surveillance camera on two legs.
They are trying to develop in China new concepts of interaction between the buyer and the seller. One of the exhibition stands was devoted to systems that can exclude from this scheme cashier. All such solutions in one way or another use computer vision and machine learning.
Thus, the camera mounted above the table recognized the products placed on it by the buyer, and in real time counted the final amount to be paid.
Nearby was a smart vending machine with drinks. It interacts with the client using cameras and a special application. Through it, we read the QR code, the door of the device automatically opens, take the banks we need and close the door, and the cameras mark the missing positions and send the account through the application to the customer, which must be paid. This is convenient in the sense that the user does not need to carry either bank cards or cash. True, there is a desire to test such an automaton on vulnerabilities: what will happen if, without closing the door, to drink the contents of the can, and then return it to its place?
In general, with the help of video surveillance, the company plans to significantly reduce human intervention in some areas. This is also due to the bypass of the railway tracks. In Turkey, the Huawei system is already in operation, based on a wide network of high-resolution video cameras (every 200 meters of the way) that can see quite well in the dark.
They are assigned the role of spies who can signal both damage to the railway and the presence of unauthorized people and objects on it. Thanks to high-speed data transmission technologies 5G, a high-quality image (with resolution up to 4K) will be able to flow to the control center in real time.
Must be clever and education, according to Huawei. And it’s more likely not about digitalization and distribution of tablets to students, but about new opportunities for the transfer of knowledge, communication between the student and teacher, school administration and parents. Even if they are in different time zones.
To do this, the company offers to use the online learning platform, virtual classrooms and studios. The latter include a small space (15–20 square meters) with a green screen and a camera. With the help of this platform, teachers, using interactive, will be able to submit material more interesting and even exciting. At this point, how lucky with the subject.
The introduction of such platforms is in full swing in Shenzhen, where the headquarters of Huawei is located. There are already 74 schools and 400,000 students. The teacher can not broadcast for one class, but for several at once: the camera tracks its movement, and the picture is broadcast to other classrooms. Records of lessons are available to schoolchildren at any time: even if they get sick and miss school, they can always catch up on everything from home. Actually, parents and other teachers who are looking for new approaches to presenting their topic can follow such lessons.
Cloud computing, the Internet of Things, Big Data, and artificial intelligence have also been used in the construction of smart cities. The company showed a solution called “cloud” synergy, communications and devices — it is able to integrate the physical world into the digital one. The brain of this system is the intelligent control center, which takes control of all the nerve processes (sensors and cameras) implanted in the city.
Thanks to this development, the response to emergency situations (flooding, fires, power system accidents) and the interdepartmental interaction of various emergency services of the city is accelerated, urban planning becomes possible based on the analysis of a huge amount of data on road congestion and population concentration. All this is based on the “cloud” infrastructure in which the city database can be operated (analysis of population, housing, macroeconomic indicators of regions and geographic information).
Live this huge command center screen resembles an advanced simulator of city management with a large map and accented points of events. Who knows, perhaps it was strategic games that inspired smart city developers.
Naturally, the work of applications and systems so demanding of computation cannot do without “iron” support. Therefore, at the very beginning of the exhibition, Huawei Chairman Xu Zhijun introduced two processors designed to serve AI tasks.
The first processor is the Ascend 910. It is made according to a 7-nanometer process technology and will work in data centers. But his younger brother, the Ascend 310, is manufactured using a 12-nanometer process technology, has low power consumption and will be integrated into end-user devices: smart watches, smart phones, various sensors and even unmanned vehicles. Both chips will debut on the market in the second quarter of 2019. In the same year three more similar solutions will be presented.