The most popular AI stories of 2023

Yanitsa Boyadzhieva
By Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Dec 21, 2023

  • AI has been dominating the global discourse in virtually every walk of life and industry vertical this year
  • Players in the telecom network sector are determined to explore the technology’s potential and put it to use
  • New initiatives, calls to action, and research on the challenges and opportunities for telcos have been at the centre of industry developments

As with just about every other industry vertical, the telecom sector has been impacted by AI this year, in particular the development of generative AI (GenAI) systems, with operators and vendors exploring ways to harness the technology to achieve improved efficiencies.

The GenAI topic has captured imaginations and dominated discussions so much, in fact, that the Cambridge Dictionary team has crowned ‘hallucinate’ its Word of the Year 2023. Hallucinate, in this context, describing a phenomenon where a GenAI system produces false or misleading information.

Here are TelecomTV’s most popular AI-focused articles of 2023, which tackle the all-important questions around the opportunities unleashed by AI, how (and when) the technology is expected to affect the industry by helping it to be more agile and cost efficient, as well as what the main challenges are on the path towards AI implementation and network automation.

1. CSP giants form Global Telco AI Alliance

27 July 2023: A quartet of telco giants – German operator Deutsche Telekom (DT), Middle Eastern telco giant e& (formerly Etisalat), Singaporean operator Singtel and South Korean telco SK Telecom (SKT) – were unveiled as the founders of the Global Telco AI Alliance, a union formed to “accelerate AI transformation of the existing telco business and create new business opportunities with AI services.” Each of the players will contribute their respective technologies and capabilities to the development of a Telco AI Platform, which will act as “the core foundation for new AI services, including those designed to improve the existing telco services”. Read the full story.

2. Towards the AI-native telco

26 May 2023: AI was one of the focal points of this year’s DSP Leaders World Forum in Windsor. Ahmed Hafez, DT’s VP of technology strategy and a co-host of one of the event’s sessions, ‘Creating a framework for the AI-native telco’, urged the industry to find a way to evolve from being opportunistic to AI-native in order to reap the benefits of the technology. Hafez called for the sector to take a holistic view when exploring the potential of AI, adding that the impact of the technology is “the biggest transformation we will ever encounter”, both in terms of its magnitude and pace. Read the full story and watch the full session on demand.

3. SKT and DT unite to help telcos deploy GenAI models faster

23 October 2023: Marking the first significant step for the Global Telco AI Alliance, two of its partners – SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom – joined forces to build a telco-specific large language model (LLM) to make generative AI (GenAI) developments easier and quicker for operators. The pair agreed to develop a multilingual LLM, which will support languages such as German, English and Korean, with a view to launching the first version in the opening quarter of 2024. Ultimately, the LLM is intended to help telcos worldwide, including in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, to develop GenAI services. Read the full story.

4. Data challenges the ‘critical’ obstacle to telco AI developments – report

17 August 2023: While the sector is exploring the adoption of AI, the process comes with its own set of challenges. According to Analysys Mason, the biggest obstacle for telcos to speed up the implementation of AI, specifically for automation of their networks, is an inability to access high-quality data. This, according to the research house, can stand in the way of efforts to “effectively” deploy AI for network and service operations enhancements. Data collection was cited as one of a number of other significant challenges. Read the full story.

5. When will GenAI help telcos reduce their opex?

20 October 2023: To coincide with TelecomTV’s AI-Native telco Summit, we published a DSP Leaders Report, ‘Telecom’s Take on AI’, which dived into a range of questions related to existing AI strategies of telcos and the potential impact of the technology on the sector. According to the findings, respondents comprising almost 120 executives from the telecom sector are bullish about the timeframe in which the use of GenAI will help operators cut their operating expenditure (opex), despite the time needed to plan and implement internal process change. Some believe that network operators will be able to reduce their costs through GenAI tools as early as next year. Read the full story and access the full report for free.

6. Nvidia’s sales triple as it capitalises on its AI advantage

22 November 2023: Nvidia quickly emerged as one of the main beneficiaries of the enormous global interest in GenAI. For the third quarter of the year, the company booked an eye-watering 206% year-on-year increase in revenues to $18.12bn, tripling its sales compared to the same period in 2022. This was driven in particular by the sale of its graphics processing units (GPUs), as well as its software that is  used to train and run LLMs. Read the full story.

 7. GenAI’s benefits will outweigh the risks for telcos, finds Capgemini

6 July 2023: While there are many risks associated with the use of GenAI tools, the telecom industry appears to be more focused on the potential gains. According to a study from IT services and consulting giant Capgemini, most executives in the sector believed the benefits from such tools will outweigh the risks, though respondents from every other sector examined were more positive than the telecom industry participants. Another insight suggested that the vast majority of industry respondents are discussing the topic of GenAI in their boardrooms, while 60% of respondents claimed that their company leaders are strong advocates of the technology. Read the full story.

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

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