Computing At The Edge Still Has An Edge (2018)

By Arun Ravisankar, Comcast Corporation

History is witness to the evolution of civilizations and how humans continue to discover and innovate things that would propel everyone to a newer level of technological advances, as we aspire to attain a higher intellectual state. Industrial revolutions are key indicators of how humankind continues to seek techniques that would improve lifestyles and bring advancement to civilization. The first industrial revolution was about mechanization, which involved the development of machine tools and the rise of huge factories and factory systems. The second revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, brought about a rapid rise in industrialization, which involved increases in automation. Digitization can be seen as the third industrial revolution, where digital systems of all types saw an increase in adoption.

The fourth industrial revolution could be envisioned as a function of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), which are vital in building “Intelligent Machines.” It follows that those “Intelligent Machines” could be referenced as “the compute edge,” as opposed to “the network edge” -- in our case, usually defined as the node, where optical-to-RF conversion occurs. AI/ML technologies influence a large part of the devices and services we use on a daily basis, be it a voice assistant or vehicular parking assist, or be it an entertainment platform that understands our preferences and predicts shows and titles we may like. Apart from these examples, many AI/ML-based applications can help improve lifestyles and bring peace of mind to customers.

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