China’s Huawei envisions a future where artificial intelligence (AI) is combined with a smartphone to create a “super” device that can proactively interact with the physical world and become even more than a personal assistant for daily tasks.
“The smartphone will no longer be a passive device, meant only for communication between the phone and the user,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group. “Instead, the device will adapt to address the challenges of information explosion.”
Huawei calls the new device a “Superphone”, which Yu said will become an indispensable tool for every person, or even a “double of the user”.
In his speech at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, Yu outlined the company’s vision for AI and its progress in this area.
He noted that as technology becomes more personalised, the network of information is expanding exponentially. “This results in an overwhelming overload of data that loses value as it moves beyond comprehension. It is imperative that we find a new solution to help people manage and use this information. This solution is AI.”
He explained that AI can not only make information access more efficient by proactively retrieving and collecting information, it gives people a more direct and natural way of interacting through text, voice, visual and body motions.
Huawei’s AI roadmap
Yu said Huawei is preparing the way for the Superphone in four core areas: device, connectivity, cloud and chipset.
Huawei predicts that the new device will have abilities matching or exceeding those of a human’s five senses as well as the mind. The device’s vision, voice, hearing, taste and touch sensors, as well as various robotic technologies will be combined with device-based AI to be able to fully replicate the human ability to comprehend the physical world.
The Huawei Superphone will also use Internet of Things technology to remove the barriers between the physical and digital worlds, said Yu. For example, it will also use Huawei’s connected cars platform and mobile business platform to connect to the car and the office, respectively.
With massive amounts of data provided through sensors and connections, he said the cloud can begin deep machine learning and improve cognitive and decision-making power. “We envision the cloud improving user knowledge, while also removing and replicating cross-platform experiences.”
Yu noted that based on its Kirin chip technology and advanced manufacturing technologies, the Superphone will be capable of accelerating deep learning algorithms, resulting in performance and energy efficiency.
Huawei isn’t the first Chinese vendor to promote the moniker ‘superphone.’ Rival LeEco has been pushing its Superphone portfolio of devices for some time (without the AI element).