Developed by Nokia Bell Labs, Natural-Language Networking will allow operators to rapidly reconfigure networks through plain speech or text prompts

This week, Nokia Bell Labs have unveiled their latest breakthrough in AI and machine learning, allowing telcos to reconfigure their networks simply by issuing verbal instructions.

Dubbed Natural-Language Networking, the new technology can interpret simple text or speech requests and allocate networking resources accordingly, optimising the network to suit the end user’s specific needs.

“Operators won’t need to explore technical catalogues or complex API descriptions when they configure networks. Instead, a simple statement like ‘Optimize the network at X location for Y service’ will work. Those requests could be used to configure a wireless network in a factory for robot automation or optimise networks at a concert for a barrage of social media uploads,” explained Csaba Vulkan, Network Systems Automation research leader at Nokia Bell Labs.

As the Natural-Language Network continues to receive further instructions and make adjustments to the network, the AI will learn how to best optimise the network. Ultimately, this will allow the network to anticipate users’ needs, automatically adjusting the network without human intervention.

The release is part of Nokia’s UNEXT programme, which aims to build a self-regulating, interactive operating system, aiming to replicate the success of their seminal UNIX system.

According to Nokia, UNEXT aims to handle the growing complexity of networks by treating every element – be it a device, an application, a microservice, or an access node – as an independent, self-contained entity, each able to function autonomously while also cooperating with others.

“Natural-Language Networks offer a sneak peek into one of the many capabilities of UNEXT. Reducing the complexity of network management fits squarely with UNEXT’s goal of extending the reach of networked systems by breaking down barriers that prevent those systems from interoperating,” said Azimeh Sefidcon, Head of Network Systems and Security Research at Nokia Bell Labs.

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