SHANGHAI -- The third annual HUAWEI CONNECT, a global event for the ICT industry, opened today at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center. Themed “Activate Intelligence”, this year's event focuses on AI: its challenges, opportunities, innovations, and practices.
At the event, Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu announced Huawei’s AI strategy, as well as its full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. Huawei’s AI portfolio includes its new Ascend series of AI chips – the world’s first AI IP and chip series designed for a full range of scenarios (see below for more information). The portfolio also includes new products and cloud services that are built on Ascend chip capabilities. With its full-stack AI portfolio, Huawei aims to provide pervasive intelligence to help drive industry development and build a fully connected, intelligent world.
Ten future changes: Driving Huawei’s AI strategy
Huawei predicts that by 2025, the world will see upwards of 40 billion personal smart devices, and 90% of device users will have a smart digital assistant. Data utilization will reach 86% and AI services will be readily available, as prevalent as the air we breathe. According to Huawei, AI has become a new general purpose technology and will change all industries and organizations on earth.
Proactive change is the first step towards a better future in AI. Huawei has defined ten changes that will help pave the way. They include:
These ten changes are not only Huawei's hope for the AI industry; they are the inspiration behind its AI strategy.
“Huawei’s AI strategy is to invest in basic research and talent development, build a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio, and foster an open global ecosystem,” said Eric Xu during his keynote.
He explained: “Within Huawei, we will continue exploring ways to improve management and efficiency with AI. In the telecom sector, we will adopt SoftCOM AI to make network O&M more efficient. In the consumer market, HiAI will bring true intelligence to our consumer devices, making them smarter than ever. Our Huawei EI public cloud services and FusionMind private cloud solutions will provide abundant and affordable computing power for all organizations – especially businesses and governments – and help them use AI with greater ease. Our portfolio will also include an AI acceleration card, AI server, AI appliance, and many other products.”
Huawei’s AI strategy has five areas of focus:
1. Invest in AI research: Develop fundamental capabilities for machine learning in domains like computer vision, natural language processing, and decision/inference, etc. Huawei places special emphasis on machine learning that is:
data and power-efficient (i.e., less data, computing, and power needed)
secure and trusted
2. Build a full-stack AI portfolio:
Deliver abundant and affordable computing power
Provide an efficient and easy-to-use AI platform with full-pipeline services
Make the portfolio adaptive to all scenarios, both standalone and cooperative scenarios between cloud, edge, and device
3. Develop an open ecosystem and talent: Collaborate widely with global academia, industries, and partners.
4. Strengthen existing portfolio: Introduce an AI mindset and techniques into existing products and solutions to create greater value and enhance competitive strengths.
5. Drive operational efficiency at Huawei: Apply AI to massive volumes of routine business activities for better efficiency and quality.
Xu envisions that Huawei’s full-stack AI portfolio will speed up AI adoption in all industries to provide pervasive intelligence for a fully connected, intelligent world.
Huawei’s full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio: Abundant and affordable computing power will enable inclusive AI
As part of its full-stack AI portfolio, Huawei today unveiled the Ascend AI IP and chip series, the world's first AI IP and chip series that natively serves all scenarios, providing optimal TeraOPS per watt. The Ascend series delivers excellent performance per watt in every scenario, whether it’s minimum energy consumption or maximum computing power in data centers. Their unified architecture also makes it easy to deploy, migrate, and interconnect AI applications across different scenarios.
The Ascend 910 and Ascend 310 chips, which were announced at today’s event, mark Huawei’s leading AI capabilities at the chip level – the bottom layer of the stack. These chips will help greatly accelerate AI adoption in all industries.
Apart from the Ascend series of chips, Huawei’s full-stack AI portfolio also includes the following:
CANN (Compute Architecture for Neural Networks): A chip operators library and highly automated operators development toolkit
MindSpore: A unified training and inference framework for device, edge, and cloud (both standalone and cooperative)
Application enablement: Full-pipeline services (ModelArts), hierarchical APIs, and pre-integrated solutions
Why "full stack" and "all scenarios"?
“Full stack” refers to the functionality of Huawei’s technology. Huawei’s full-stack portfolio includes chips, chip enablement, a training and inference framework, and application enablement.
By “all scenarios”, Huawei means different deployment scenarios for AI, including public clouds, private clouds, edge computing in all forms, industrial IoT devices, and consumer devices.
Providing inclusive AI is one of Huawei’s core goals in developing a comprehensive AI strategy and full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. Huawei is ready to work with all stakeholders to turn AI into a practical reality, making it inclusive and available for every person, every home, and every organization.
In September 2017, Huawei released Huawei Cloud EI, an AI service platform for enterprises and governments. In April 2018, Huawei announced HiAI, its AI engine for smart devices. The company’s full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio is designed to provide powerful support for Huawei Cloud EI and HiAI.
Backed by its AI portfolio, Huawei Cloud EI will be able to deliver a full-stack portfolio for enterprise and government customers, and HiAI will provide a full-stack portfolio for smart devices. HiAI services are deployed on Huawei Cloud EI.