Powering Sustainable Development with Diversified Computing
As we enter an intelligent world at full speed, artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to reshape the way we live and work. AI is already seeing broad adoption in a number of domains, including weather forecasting, smart city operations, quality inspections, autonomous driving, and voice and image recognition. None of these scenarios would be possible without a wealth of computing power. This is especially true for AI-generated content.
Computing power has become a core driver of productivity in the digital economy. And to lay the groundwork for more sustainable socioeconomic growth, it's critical that we work to build up the next generation of computing infrastructure and advance the future of more diversified computing power.
From computing power to digital productivity: Speeding up the digital and intelligent transformation of industries to advance the digital economy
Computing power has become a new source of productivity in the digital economy, a key driving force behind the rapid transformation towards digital and intelligent industries. According to the 2021–2022 Global Computing Power Index Assessment, one point of growth in the computing index translates to a 3.5‰ rise in the size of the digital economy and a 1.8‰ growth in national GDP. Investment in computing power is a huge boost to the economy, and it will inject fresh vitality into all industries while improving productivity and creating new social value.
Huawei is working hard to build the next generation of foundational software and hardware platforms and cultivate a robust computing ecosystem around its Kunpeng and Ascend processors. Our goal is to provide the world with a more diverse range of computing power by using Kunpeng for general-purpose computing and Ascend for AI computing. Through open hardware, open source software, and partner enablement, we are working to strengthen computing power as a new driver of digital productivity and give all industries a boost to their digital transformation journey.
In healthcare, Ascend's AI computing power enables doctors to quickly and accurately diagnose diseases with image recognition. In the past, expert diagnosis took an average of 15 minutes. With Ascend, doctors can reduce that time to 10 seconds while delivering greater diagnostic accuracy than ever before – an increase from 90% to 99%. This can buy more time for patients and is a prime example of how computing power can help save lives.
Another example of the benefits of computing power in everyday life is the Kunpeng Software and Hardware Platform, which now provides integrated and efficient computing power for the medical insurance system in China. This platform has helped many insurance services move online, such as those related to drug purchasing and settlement, diagnosis and treatment, hospitalization, and cross-provincial medical services. Now people don't have to run around to get the medical services they need. Instead, data does the walking for them, giving them much easier access to medical services.
In manufacturing, Ascend AI clusters with strong inference capabilities can automate entire processes. In the steel industry, for example, AI-powered production can be completely automated and monitored, from forging steel billets to steel turning and rolling. This has helped increase the accuracy of steel turning to 100%, revolutionizing the very nature of this once labor-intensive task. All in all, productivity is up, and the work environment is safer and more hospitable.
In energy, the Ascend Software and Hardware Platform and AI inference algorithms are being used to analyze inspection images and videos along extremely long transmission lines. When anomalies are identified, the platform gives early warnings in real time and escalates issues to the right teams. Onsite inspection used to take 20 days, but it can now be completed in only two hours. That's an 80-fold increase in efficiency. With sufficient computing power in place, unmanned transmission line inspection has become a reality, making the work safer and far more efficient.
As diversified computing power continues to advance, it's necessary to have a unified operating system that allows applications to work together across different scenarios. This helps support flexible service deployment and greater synergy between devices, edge, and the cloud.
To this end, Huawei has been working closely with partners to develop two operating systems: HarmonyOS and openEuler. Together, we have built up open source ecosystems around both. HarmonyOS is primarily designed for smart devices, IoT devices, and industrial devices, while openEuler is for servers, edge computing, cloud, and embedded devices. Through OpenHarmony and openEuler, Huawei hopes to tighten collaboration in the industry to build open source operating systems for all scenarios and facilitate the flow of computing power and data. Ultimately, our goal is to promote the high-quality, sustainable development of the digital economy.
Affordable and accessible computing power: Enabling basic scientific research, innovation, and talent cultivation
In recent years, computing has played an increasingly important role in virtually every major scientific discovery and breakthrough. In life sciences, for example, it took 12 years to sequence the entire human genome back in the 1990s. Today, it only takes one day. This is made possible by a more than 1,000-fold increase in computing power. In meteorology, a 15-day weather forecast today is now as reliable as a single-day forecast 20 years ago. Behind this change is a 20,000-fold increase in computing power, which allows us to rapidly process massive amounts of meteorological data in parallel.
An abundance of computing power is crucial for the future of basic scientific research. To more effectively support basic scientific research and innovation, governments, universities, and industries need to work together to provide more readily accessible, flexible, and stable computing services.
In this space, Huawei is actively contributing to the long-term development of the AI industry. We work with universities and scientific research institutions to provide high-performance computing clusters for scientific research in domains like machine learning and molecular dynamics.
An example of this work is the Pengcheng Laboratory in Shenzhen, where researchers used Huawei's AI computing platform to train a large model called Pengcheng Pangu. It's the industry's first natural language processing model with hundreds of billions of parameters for generating and understanding Chinese. With this model, we aim to establish a set of common and easy-to-use AI language development workflows to overcome a variety of processing obstacles in different languages, and ultimately promote greater economic and cultural exchange around the world.
People with the right knowledge and skills are more important than ever as we work to drive progress in digital transformation and the digital economy. Recognizing this, countries around the world are actively exploring the best ways to cultivate digital talent and enhance digital literacy and skills. At Huawei, we are committed to supporting these efforts in every way we can.
Together with partners like UNESCO and Close the Gap, we aim to drive broader digital inclusion through our TECH4ALL initiative. This initiative is designed to help transfer digital skills, enhance digital literacy among teachers and students in remote areas, and promote the availability and accessibility of technology around the world. As of 2022, our TECH4ALL initiative had helped more than 220,000 people, including teachers and students from over 600 schools and also young people, learn new digital skills and improve their scientific and technological literacy.
Back in 2008, we launched a program called Seeds for the Future to support the cultivation of local digital talent in communities around the world. This initiative later branched out into other development programs, including technology competitions and digital skills training programs. To date, these programs have benefited more than 2.43 million people from over 150 countries.
Moving forward, we hope more people and organizations will join our TECH4ALL initiative to support the inclusive development of digital talent around the world.
In addition to promoting digital inclusion, we're also doing our best to protect the planet. We are actively innovating to conserve energy, reduce environmental impacts, and build a greener, low-carbon, and fully connected world for future generations.
We embed sustainability into the entire lifecycle of our products, and will continue to invest heavily in areas like raw materials, production processes, algorithms, and cooling technologies that reduce the environmental impact of digital infrastructure. This will allow us to build more energy-efficient 5G networks, greener data centers and computing centers, and eco-friendly electronics.
Digital technology is reshaping the world, the economy, and the very nature of productivity. With computing power as a new driver of productivity, technologies like 5G and AI are becoming deeply integrated into all industries, promoting digital and intelligent transformation across the board.
At Huawei, we are committed to working closely with our global partners to promote shared success. We will keep innovating together to build a more diversified computing industry and drive greater sustainability. Together, we can build a fully connected, intelligent world.
Chairman of the Board