APAC 5G enterprise market to see massive growth by 2024
Following a recent study by Frost & Sullivan, the company reports that Asia Pacific (APAC) 5G enterprise market will see massive growth by 2024 fueled by mega trends in government, public sector, healthcare, manufacturing, and telecommunications that are posing new challenges to end users.
The challenges are driving enterprises to transform and enable new use cases that support and optimise enterprise business processes in order to improve business efficiency.
"5G enterprises in Asia-Pacific are undergoing digital transformation at a more rapid pace to either optimize or enable business processes to keep up with the changing consumer demand. However, these digital transformation initiatives will add pressure on existing networks, as new solutions will require higher bandwidth and availability to offer the necessary reliability, driving the need for enterprises to transform their network infrastructure. This will boost the demand for 5G enterprise solutions and new enabling technologies such as network slicing and edge computing,” commented Sofea Zukarnain, Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
Alongside mega trends, COVID-19 is also reported by Frost & Sullivan to be driving the need for critical and vital broadband, remote work solutions and 5G. With a strong demand for connectivity, the potential revenue growth is expected to reach US$13.9bn by 2024 from US$2bn in 2019.
"Network slicing will empower enterprises with end-to-end ownership of a slice of the 5G network that can be used for a specific use case. Further, there are many benefits to utilizing a slice of 5G, including the ability to provide enterprises with better control, management capability, and agility of the network so that it can optimize the usage of the network for enterprises," added Zukarnain.
Chinese Firm Taigusys Launches Emotion-Recognition System
In a detailed investigative report, the Guardian reported that Chinese tech company Taigusys can now monitor facial expressions. The company claims that it can track fake smiles, chart genuine emotions, and help police curtail security threats. ‘Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology, but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it’, said Chen Wei, company founder and chairman. ‘There’s always that demand, and we’re here to fulfil it’.
Who Will Use the Data?
As of right now, the emotion-recognition market is supposed to be worth US$36bn by 2023—which hints at rapid global adoption. Taigusys counts Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, and PetroChina among its 36 clients, but none of them has yet revealed if they’ve purchased the new AI. In addition, Taigusys will likely implement the technology in Chinese prisons, schools, and nursing homes.
It’s not likely that emotion-recognition AI will stay within the realm of private enterprise. President Xi Jinping has promoted ‘positive energy’ among citizens and intimated that negative expressions are no good for a healthy society. If the Chinese central government continues to gain control over private companies’ tech data, national officials could use emotional data for ideological purposes—and target ‘unhappy’ or ‘suspicious’ citizens.
How Does It Work?
Taigusys’s AI will track facial muscle movements, body motions, and other biometric data to infer how a person is feeling, collecting massive amounts of personal data for machine learning purposes. If an individual displays too much negative emotion, the platform can recommend him or her for what’s termed ‘emotional support’—and what may end up being much worse.
Can We Really Detect Human Emotions?
This is still up for debate, but many critics say no. Psychologists still debate whether human emotions can be separated into basic emotions such as fear, joy, and surprise across cultures or whether something more complex is at stake. Many claim that AI emotion-reading technology is not only unethical but inaccurate since facial expressions don’t necessarily indicate someone’s true emotional state.
In addition, Taigusys’s facial tracking system could promote racial bias. One of the company’s systems classes faces as ‘yellow, white, or black’; another distinguishes between Uyghur and Han Chinese; and sometimes, the technology picks up certain ethnic features better than others.
Is China the Only One?
Not a chance. Other countries have also tried to decode and use emotions. In 2007, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a heavily contested training programme (SPOT) that taught airport personnel to monitor passengers for signs of stress, deception, and fear. But China as a nation rarely discusses bias, and as a result, its AI-based discrimination could be more dangerous.
‘That Chinese conceptions of race are going to be built into technology and exported to other parts of the world is troubling, particularly since there isn’t the kind of critical discourse [about racism and ethnicity in China] that we’re having in the United States’, said Shazeda Ahmed, an AI researcher at New York University (NYU).
Taigusys’s founder points out, on the other hand, that its system can help prevent tragic violence, citing a 2020 stabbing of 41 people in Guangxi Province. Yet top academics remain unconvinced. As Sandra Wachter, associate professor and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, said: ‘[If this continues], we will see a clash with fundamental human rights, such as free expression and the right to privacy’.