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Artificial Intelligence Set to Take Center Stage at Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Conference, MWC

The world’s largest mobile phone fair will kick off on Monday (Feb. 26), with the industry turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to kickstart sales and excite users. 

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, is expecting 95,000 attendees and 2,400 exhibitors worldwide for an event that lasts until Thursday (Feb. 29). The impact of AI is trickling through every part of the field as companies rush to adopt generative AI and other types of machine learning tools. 

Firms across the wireless sector are integrating AI with telecommunications. Some companies are adding AI features to smartphones and other devices, while others are using AI to improve how network systems operate. 

“Artificial Intelligence provides the telecoms industry, and the societies it serves, with huge opportunities to launch new services, improve connectivity and customer experience. Overall, it’s estimated that AI could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030,” Alex Sinclair, GSMA’s chief technology officer, said in a news release. GSMA is the association behind the MWC show.

“However, it’s critical that AI is democratized to ensure that all parts of the connectivity industry and their customers, wherever they are in the world, benefit,” Sinclair added. 

AI-Powered Gadgets

Deutsche Telekom is set to unveil a concept AI phone designed to streamline smartphone tasks through an AI assistant, eliminating the reliance on individual apps. The phone features a generative AI interface from Brain.ai, and is capable of assuming the roles of numerous apps by anticipating and executing actions. 

“An assistant based on artificial intelligence (AI) replaces the countless apps on the smartphone,” said Deutsche Telekom in its press release. “Like a concierge, the assistant understands your goals and takes care of the details.”

Recently, Google and Samsung revealed their new smartphones equipped with fresh AI features, including enhanced photo editing and simplified internet searches, expected to be major attractions.

Smaller smartphone companies, such as Honor from China, will also introduce their latest offerings at the MWC. The newest top-tier smartphone from Honor comes with an AI-powered camera that has motion-sensing technology, enabling it to detect movement and automatically snap photos at the ideal time.

Lenovo plans to display its collection of AI gadgets and infrastructure tools at its booth, including a range of new AI-powered PCs and edge computing devices. 

AI Up For Discussion

In addition to consumer technology, attendees at MWC will be able to explore how AI, the Internet of Things and quantum computing enhance connectivity for business and industrial applications. AI features prominently in numerous events, with sessions like the Wednesday (Feb. 28) panel “Is 2024 the year of the AI-centric telco?” and the Monday discussion “Harnessing Gen AI at telco scale” taking center stage. 

The session “Developing Gen AI that cares” aims to explore the impact of AI on the telecom industry’s workforce. Companies like AT&T have indicated that AI contributes to decreased call volumes in customer service centers and enhances efficiency in field operations, consulting and contractor costs. 

One discussion to watch is “Revolutionizing Connectivity: Navigating the Future with AI-powered Networks.” This session will delve into the future of AI-powered mobile networks, which aim to merge communication with computing to integrate digital and physical realms. Experts from AT&T, Nokia, Nvidia and Ericsson will contribute to the discussion.

Google is set to dive into its AI breakthroughs, focusing on enhancements for the Android mobile operating system. Apple is likely to sit out MWC, but there are rumors that the company is working to add more AI applications to its devices.