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Nokia chosen to lead Europe’s 6G hive-mind initiative

Hexa-X envisages 6G as a network of networks, connecting everything with a generous dose of AI, and Nokia has been put in charge of it.

As far as we can tell this is the first public mention of the European Commission’s flagship initiative for research into 6G. It seems to be one of those projects where the public sector chucks some cash into the pot in order to incentivise a bunch of companies and academic institutions to collaborate. These often yield little more than a bit of PR for everyone involved, but let’s see.

Apart from just generally giving 6G a bit of thought, Hexa-X has some specific ideas about what it should be all about. There’s talk of ‘defining a new architecture for an intelligent fabric’, a desire to ‘connect human, physical and digital worlds with a fabric of 6G technology enablers’ and ‘eventually creating a single network of networks.’ It all sounds like the stuff of science fiction, which is fine, but also raises profound questions about whether we want everything connected in this way.

“Even though there is still a lot of innovation in 5G with the release of new standards, we are already exploring 6G in our research lab,” said Peter Vetter, Head of Access and Devices Research at Nokia Bell Labs. “In the 6G era we will see applications that will not only connect humans with machines but also connect humans with the digital world.

“Such a secure and private connection can be used for preventive healthcare or even to create a 6G network with a sixth sense that intuitively understands our intentions, making our interactions with the physical world more effective and anticipating our needs, thereby improving our productivity.”

Yeah, you’re not helping, Peter. A 6G network with a sixth sense that intuitively understands our intentions? Are you having a laugh? There are already many enquiries into the ethics of automation and artificial intelligence and every new step in that direction needs to be scrutinised very carefully indeed. As ever, technology can be very beneficial, but once you combine AGI with a network of networks, it’s not paranoia to note the potential for loss of control.

Here are the six research challenges the project will be focusing on:

  • Connecting intelligence: AI/Machine Learning (ML) technologies need to be a vital and trusted tool for significantly improved efficiency and service experience, serving humans
  • Network of networks: multiple types of resources need to be aggregated to create a digital ecosystem that grows more and more capable, intelligent, and heterogeneous, eventually creating a single network of networks
  • Sustainability: energy-optimized digital infrastructure for a reduced global ICT environmental footprint, as well as delivering effective and sustainable digitization tools for global industry, society and policymakers
  • Global service coverage: efficient and affordable solutions for global service coverage, connecting remote places
  • Extreme experience: extreme bitrates, extremely low (imperceptible) latencies, seemingly infinite capacity, and precision localization and sensing
  • Trustworthiness: ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of communications and delivering data privacy, operational resilience and security

Let’s hope they spend a nice long time on that last one, eh? Hexa-X kicks off at the start of 2021 and is budgeted to last 2.5 years, at the end of which it will presumably present its bright ideas to the world. Ericsson is also involved, as are Orange Telefónica and TIM. There are one or two non-European stakeholders but no sign of anyone from China, so global 6G research seems somewhat balkanised at this stage.

We’ll leave you with this cheery video clip as food for thought.


2 comments

  1. Avatar xyz 08/12/2020 @ 1:08 am

    we dont need robots we have plenty healthy hands ready to work.. what will do humans than..be served like a meal or imprisoned like rats… 6gv5g technocrats mafia for what for take our privacy that’s not modern that’s crime..

  2. Avatar Shelton Dale 21/04/2021 @ 8:07 am

    I live in Ada Oklahoma and have most my life. Things have continued to get weirld the last couple years. Gangs of people that just showed up here that I know are up to no good. They are groups that are ahead of the rest of the world . They already got 6g phones that are so Hi-Tech it shows they already can take use it for brain to brain interfaces. And you have all your memory and look and talk the same but it’s not really you. Your personality and love is all you have. Now they can gang shadow you and their a few steps ahead of me, on everything I do or go. they have my truck, my family, home and loves it when I get down like this. We can either stand for our country and Christians who still be at church to lead others to God or let them continue to take over the United States . It’s not hard to see

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