37 minutes | Jul 29th 2020

Smart Devices, a Cohesive System, a Brighter Future

[Sponsored] AI advancements today are pointing to improvements everywhere you look. But it’s a confluence of technologies—cloud, 5G wireless, smart devices, and more—that will usher in the greatest results, predicts Dell Technologies’ John Roese.

If you need a reason to feel good about the direction technology is going, look up Dell’s CTO John Roese on Twitter. The handle he composed back in 2006 is @theICToptimist. ICT stands for information and communication.

“The reason for that acronym was because I firmly believed that the future was not about information technology and communication technology independently,” says Roese, president and chief technology officer of products and operations at Dell Technologies. “It was about them coming together.”

Close to two decades later, it’s hard not to call him right. Organizations are looking to the massive amounts of data their collecting and generating to become fully digital, they’re using the cloud to process and store all that data, and they’re turning to fast, new wireless technologies like 5G to power data-hungry applications such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

In this episode of Business Lab, Roese walks through this confluence of technologies and its future outcomes. For example, autonomous vehicles are developing fast, but fully driverless cars aren’t plying are streets yet. And they won’t until they tap into a “collaborative compute model”—smart devices that plug into a combination of cloud and edge computing infrastructure to provide “effectively infinite compute.”

“One of the biggest problems isn't making the device smart; it's making the device smart and efficient in a scalable system,” Roese says.

So big things are ahead, but technology today is making huge strides, Roese says. He talks about machine intelligence, which taps AI and machine learning to mimic human intelligence and tackle complex problems, such as speeding up supply chains, or in health care, more accurately detecting tumors or types of cancer. And opportunities abound. During the coronavirus pandemic, machine intelligence can “scale nursing” by giving nurses data-driven tools that allow them to see more patients. In cybersecurity, it can keep good guys a step ahead of innovating bad guys. And in telecommunications, it could eventually make decisions regarding mobile networks “that might have a trillion things on them. That is a very, very, very large network that exceeds human's ability to think.”

Business Lab is hosted by Laurel Ruma, director of Insights, the custom publishing division of MIT Technology Review. The show is a production of MIT Technology Review, with production help from Collective Next.

This podcast episode was produced in partnership with Dell Technologies.

Show notes and links

Technical Disruptions Emerging in 2020, by John Roese

The Journey to 5G: Extending the Cloud to Mobile Edges, EmTech Next 2020

Meet John on Twitter, @theictoptimist

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitization will transform Africa into a global powerhouse, by Njuguna Ndung’u and Landry Signé