6G来了!试看人工智能如何塑造未来网络
2019-04-23 19:03:48
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1

来源:麻省理工科技评论

Mobile-phone technology has changed the way humans understand and interact with the world and with each other. It’s hard to think of a technology that has more strongly shaped 21st-century living.

移动电话技术已深刻改变了人类理解世界和与人、与世界互动的方式,可以说,它是对21世纪人类生活的影响最深远的技术。

The latest technology—the fifth generation of mobile standards, or 5G—is currently being deployed in select locations around the world. And that raises an obvious question. What factors will drive the development of the sixth generation of mobile technology? How will 6G differ from 5G, and what kinds of interactions and activity will it allow that won’t be possible with 5G?

最新移动通信技术——第五代移动标准,即5G技术——目前已在世界各地试点推广。一个显而易见的问题出现了:推动第六代移动技术发展的因素是什么?6G和5G技术有何区别?6G技术可以突破哪些5G技术难以实现的交互及活动?

Today, we get an answer of sorts, thanks to the work of Razvan-Andrei Stoica and Giuseppe Abreu at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany. These guys have mapped out the limitations of 5G and the factors they think will drive the development of 6G. Their conclusion is that artificial intelligence will be the main driver of mobile technology and that 6G will be the enabling force behind an entirely new generation of applications for machine intelligence.

现在,关于这些问题,德国雅各布大学拉兹万•安德烈•斯托伊察和朱塞佩•阿布鲁的研究给了我们初步的答案。经过详细分析,研究人员确定了5G技术的局限性及推动6G技术发展的因素,最后得出结论:人工智能将成为移动技术发展的主要驱动力,而6G技术也将推动新一代机器智能的应用。

First some background. By any criteria, 5G is a significant advance on the previous 4G standards. The first 5G networks already offer download speeds of up to 600 megabits per second and have the potential to get significantly faster. By contrast, 4G generally operates at up to 28 Mbits/s—and most mobile-phone users will have experienced that rate grinding to zero from time to time, for reasons that aren’t always clear.

先讲一些移动通信技术的背景。无论以何种标准衡量,5G的发展相较于4G都是重大的进步。第一代5G网络的下载速度已经可以达到每秒600兆,并且有望在将来达到更快的速度。而相比之下,4G网络的运行速度最高只能达到28兆比特/秒(3.5兆/秒)——大多数手机用户还经历过运行速度突然降至0兆/秒的体验,原因不明。

5G is obviously better in this respect and could even replace many landline connections.

5G技术在网络稳定性这方面显然做的更好,甚至可以取代许多陆地通讯连接。

But the most significant benefits go beyond these headline figures. 5G base stations, for example, are designed to handle up to a million connections, versus the 4,000 that 4G base stations can cope with. That should make a difference to communication at major gatherings such as sporting events, demonstrations, and so on, and it could enable all kinds of applications for the internet of things.

但是5G技术的真正突破绝不仅限于这些已公布于新闻媒体的数据。例如,5G基站可以处理多达100万个连接,而4G基站则只能处理4000个。这一突破对体育赛事、大型演出等大规模活动的通讯具有重要意义,并且可以为物联网的各种应用提供支持。

Then there is latency—the time it takes for signals to travel across the network. 5G is designed to have a latency of just a single millisecond, compared with 50 milliseconds or more on 4G. Any gamer will tell you how important that is, because it makes the remote control of gaming characters more responsive. But various telecoms operators have demonstrated how the same advantage makes it possible to control drones more accurately, and even to perform telesurgery using a mobile connection.

5G技术的另一项重大突破点是延迟——即信号在网络中传播所需的时间。5G信号的延迟仅有一毫秒,而4G的延迟可达50毫秒甚至更长。所有的游戏玩家都十分在意网络延迟,因为它严重影响游戏体验,而延迟时间缩短就意味着远程控制的游戏角色响应更快。除此之外,各家电信运营商也已经证明,延迟低,就能更准确地控制无人机,甚至可以通过移动网络连接进行远程手术。

All this should be possible with lower power requirements to boot, and current claims suggest that 5G devices should have 10 times the battery lives of 4G devices.

当然,上述所有突破都可以在较低的启动能耗下实现,目前已发表的研究报告显示,5G设备的电池寿命可达4G设备的10倍。

So how can 6G better that? 6G will, of course, offer even faster download speeds—the current thinking is that they could approach 1 terabit per second.

那么,和5G相比,6G又会有哪些进步呢?毋庸置疑,6G会为用户提供更快的下载速度——目前的研究结果是,6G的下载速度可达1tb/秒。

But what kind of transformative improvements could it offer? The answer, according to Stoica and Abreu, is that it will enable rapidly changing collaborations on vast scales between intelligent agents solving intricate challenges on the fly and negotiating solutions to complex problems.

但是,6G技术究竟能实现怎样的革命性改进呢?斯托伊察和阿布鲁的研究表明,6G技术能实现智能主体之间大范围不间断协作,实时应对复杂挑战,并共同商讨复杂问题的解决方案。

Take the problem of coordinating self-driving vehicles through a major city. That’s a significant challenge, given that some 2.7 million vehicles enter a city like New York every day.

以大城市自动驾驶汽车协调问题为例。每天约有270万辆汽车驶入像纽约这样的大城市,这对城市管理来说无疑是一项重要挑战。

The self-driving vehicles of the future will need to be aware of their location, their environment and how it is changing, and other road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, and other self-driving vehicles. They will need to negotiate passage through junctions and optimize their route in a way that minimizes journey times.

而未来的无人驾驶汽车要掌握自己的位置、周边环境及路况变化,还要对其他的道路使用者,如骑自行车的人、行人及其他自动驾驶车辆有所掌控。此外,它们还可以顺利通过交叉路口,并根据最小化行驶时间优化路线。

That’s a significant computational challenge. It will require cars to rapidly create on-the-fly networks, for example, as they approach a specific junction—and then abandon them almost instantly. At the same time, they will be part of broader networks calculating routes and journey times and so on. “Interactions will therefore be necessary in vast amounts, to solve large distributed problems where massive connectivity, large data volumes and ultra low-latency beyond those to be offered by 5G networks will be essential,” say Stoica and Abreu.

这对计算来说无疑是一项巨大挑战。例如,即将行驶到一个特定的路口的时候,无人驾驶汽车需要快速建立与该路口相关的实时动态网络——然后立刻(通过该路口后)中止该网络并将网络数据也将上传至更庞大的数据网络,用于规划行驶路线、计算行驶时间。斯托伊察和阿布鲁说:“所以,为了解决类似的大规模分布式问题,大量的数据交互是非常必要的。而该情形中涉及的大规模连接、大量数据及超低延迟,都是5G网络无法实现的。”

Of course, this is just one example of the kind of collaboration that 6G will make possible. Stoica and Abreu envision a wide range of other distributed challenges that become tractable with this kind of approach.

当然,这只是通过6G网络实现大规模范围内的智能主体协作的一个例子。斯托伊察和阿布鲁还设想了其他一系列分布式挑战,并发现有了6G技术,这些挑战会更容易完成。

These will be based on the real-time generation and collaborative processing of large amounts of data. One obvious application is in network optimization, but others include financial-market monitoring and planning, health-care optimization, and “nowcasting”—that is, the ability to predict and react to events as they happen—on a previously unimaginable scale.

这一切突破都基于大量数据的实时生成和协同处理。比较显而易见的应用就是网络优化,其他领域的应用还包括金融市场监控和规划、医疗服务优化以及“临期预报”——即预测事件发生并迅速应对的能力——这些应用的领域之广是之前难以想象的。

Artificially intelligent agents are clearly destined to play an important role in our future. “To harness the true power of such agents, collaborative AI is the key,” say Stoica and Abreu. “And by nature of the mobile society of the 21st century, it is clear that this collaboration can only be achieved via wireless communications.”

人工智能必将在我们未来的生活中发挥重要作用。“要想各主体真正发挥作用,人工智能主体的相互协作至关重要,”斯托伊察和阿布鲁说。“从21世纪移动社会的本质来看,只有无线通信可以实现这种协作。”

That’s an interesting vision of the future. There is much negotiating and horse-trading to be done before a set of 6G standards can even be outlined, let alone finalized. But if Stoica and Abreu and correct, artificial intelligence will be the driving force that shapes the communications networks of the future.

关于6G的研究是对未来的有趣展望。当然,拟定6G技术标准之前,我们还需要多次磋商和谈判,要确定最终版更是如此。但是如果斯托伊察和阿布鲁的假设是正确的,人工智能必将成为推动未来通信网络发展的决定性力量。

最新文章
相关阅读