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Seeing the future: what the experts are telling us

Tech and Innovation

Posted on August 1, 2017

3 min read

Recently we hosted the 10th Telstra Technology Day in Melbourne – an internal Telstra event where we invite global industry representatives to discuss some of the most important technology trends and how they will impact our business.

Here are a few interesting points from the discussion:

The Machines are Coming

  • The Network can play an important role in offloading the compute power from the connected devices to the Cloud.
  • All devices will be connected, from a power tool to a wind turbine, in order for the industry to gather data of their usage to generate insight about the product and its consumers.
  • Security is a main challenge, which in turn puts requirements on the network, end-to-end.

A New Reality

  • VR company Meta has thrown out monitors on desks for all its 140 employees, and instead everyone wears AR headsets to see as many virtual monitors as they need.
  • In the next three years, a typical AR headset will shrink from helmet size to a smaller, more appealing size. These devices will have a high impact on the PC and mobile industries and start replacing those devices (or at least replacing/complementing their screens) within 10 years.

Cyber Trust

  • With 500,000 new threats released on the internet every day, traditional anti-virus software doesn’t work anymore. Instead you need Machine Intelligence using math-based technology to predict and stop an attack, before something bad is happening.
  • Cyber risk management is not a problem to be fixed, it’s a condition to be managed.
  • The security industry is very fragmented and that requires a common platform for execution and a good Service Organisation for Operation. Open Source can provide the former and organisations like Telstra the latter.

Industry 4.0 and AI

  • With more connected devices than humans, and an increased compute power among all these devices, we are moving from human scale (all decisions made by human brain) to machine scale.
  • This revolution started in manufacturing but now there are no industries that are free from this disruption.
  • Our customers have an appetite to make better use of sensor data to improve and automate decision making.

The Future of Computing

  • The computing power needed for the AI challenges of the future requires a new kind of computer. Our classical computers just can’t scale to that level without overheating.
  • By way of illustration, a classical computer looking for a phone number would look at the directory list entry by entry to find a match, while a quantum computer would look at all entries in the directory in parallel.
  • The global race is on to be the first to achieve a 50 qubit computer, which will outperform a classical computer with 14 billion transistors. Today we are at a few qubits, and they have to operate at just above 0 Kelvin (-254 Celsius), and the computer is stable only for a few seconds.
  • It will likely up to a decade before we have a practical quantum computer, which in turn will require programming skills that are very different from the ones used for classical computers.