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Larry Tam, Managing Director, Equinix Hong Kong
In the past decade alone, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has evolved from a scientific concept into a full-fledged technological solution. To leverage its power and fast-track digital journeys, the Greater China Region is set to play a significant role in AI development. According to the Global Innovation Index 2020, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou technology cluster has become the world’s second largest innovation and technology (I&T) hub, where the governments are committed to developing emerging technologies. In Hong Kong, over HK$100 billion has been allocated to support key I&T areas, including AI, to propel the city into a smart future. Although the revolution is already in full swing, with businesses gearing up to advance their AI R&D, complex computing and IT environments are holding them back. How then can these businesses get off on the right foot?Why is interconnection the key to AI development?
The magic of AI lies in how fast and intelligently a model built on machine learning can process and analyze data to conduct inferences, reduce human workloads, and move promptly to help companies stay ahead of the game. Although the amount of data needed for building an AI model depends on its complexity, an enormous data set is still required to support testing and applications, be it for machine learning or interference. As such, getting closer to data sources and having the ability to securely store, easily access, and efficiently handle the data is critical for any AI company to thrive.
Understanding the ROI of AI/ML for enterprises
The rising popularity of deep learning, AI and Machine Learning (ML) today stems from the availability of massive amounts of data for training, advances in ML algorithms and research, as well as dramatic increases in computer processing capabilities. It is no longer about the ‘if’ – but when and how enterprises will start adopting AI/ML.
In addition, some AI companies have been seeking out cloud platforms to support data-intensive workloads and processing, triggering serious security concerns. A survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that 62 percent of AI adopters consider cybersecurity risks as a major or extreme concern, but only 39 percent said that they were prepared to address those risks2. This makes a hybrid IT architecture combining cloud and on-premises capabilities crucial for these companies, with the connection between the two environments being key in underpinning secure computation processes to protect data flows.
This is where interconnection comes into play. Leveraging interconnection, AI companies can enjoy private and direct connections to IT systems and data sources spread across public clouds, private data centers and edge locations, making it possible to collect and save data for computing. By accessing vibrant business ecosystems, this will also enable AI companies to work closely with partners to solve performance and integration barriers.
Leveraging AI-ready infrastructure to accelerate the digital journey – Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks and Precision Robotics
To help AI companies unlock new capabilities and seize opportunities, Equinix is poised to help them build the foundational digital infrastructure they need to achieve technological breakthroughs and fast-track their digital advantage. Recently, it partnered with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) to speed up their AI R&D projects and enable other AI R&D companies to enjoy private, secure and high-speed connectivity to HKSTP’s newly launched STP Platform.
Precision Robotics, a partner company of HKSTP, is a surgical robotics start-up from Imperial College London. The company aims to develop next-generation surgical robots to support the future of precision surgery for personalized healthcare and an improved quality of life. To support its vision, Precision Robotics needed a high-power digital infrastructure to run its IT system for machine learning and AI development. By leveraging HK4, the Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) in Hong Kong, Precision Robotics successfully built a foundational and future-ready digital infrastructure on Platform Equinix® for secure data storage, processing, analysis and machine learning, further accelerating its R&D of innovative surgical solutions for medical doctors.
Expanding your AI horizons with a reliable platformBuilding towards truly intelligent AI requires a robust digital infrastructure that forms a solid foundation to advance R&D and support collaborations with partners. To strengthen your AI R&D capabilities, the time has come to get your infrastructure AI-ready and unleash its full potential with a reliable platform.