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HONOR Throws the Spotlight on AI in Smart Devices at MWC 2024

At MWC Barcelona 2024, George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co., Ltd., took the stage with industry leaders for a thought-provoking panel discussion. The session, titled “Putting Humans First in AI Development: Key Considerations for Creating AI for Smart Devices,” also featured John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd., and Alex Katouzia, Group GM of MCX, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Together, they underscored the significance of crafting AI devices that champion an intuitive, human-centric experience while ensuring user privacy.

“We believe AI will reconstruct the operation system and rebuild our future smartphone experience. HONOR will advance our AI strategy by integrating it across MagicOS and all HONOR devices, ensuring a human-centric experience that delights our users with every interaction,” Zhao stated, emphasizing HONOR’s commitment to developing AI devices designed with human needs at the core.

HONOR’s expertise in on-device AI is demonstrated through the launch of MagicOS 8.0 at MWC, which fully integrated platform-level AI and the industry’s first intent-based user interface (IUI). MagicOS 8.0 also boasts Magic Portal, an intent-based shortcut recommendation feature that lets users seamlessly switch and access services between apps with a single drag. It supports 100 major apps globally.

HONOR also partnered with Qualcomm to demonstrate the use of open-source Llama 2 on the new HONOR Magic6 Pro, showcasing the power of on-device AI even for offline use. HONOR is pioneering an open ecosystem, inviting global partners such as Qualcomm and GSMA to join forces. “By fostering open collaboration, we’re creating on-device AI experiences for the benefit of consumers,” Zhao remarked.

“We want to make it easy for people to develop and innovate on top of our platforms,” said Katouzian. “Cooperation and openness are great for the industry, so Qualcomm’s cooperation with our partners is key. We believe that innovation and technology will make our partnerships stronger. As long as we can continue to innovate and cooperate with our partners, our potential is truly boundless.”

John Hoffman added, “AI is poised to revolutionize everything, and we are excited to see companies like HONOR and Qualcomm leveraging on-device AI technology to innovate smart devices, empowering people’s lives. GSMA, in collaboration with HONOR, has also unveiled the “6G Terminal Vision” whitepaper, outlining a grand vision for the development of 6G terminals in the AI era and charting the course for future industry advancements.”

According to Zhao, the current wave of AI breakthroughs is unprecedented in history and will profoundly affect smart devices. HONOR’s strategic focus is to bring AI to MagicOS, introducing the industry’s first intent-based UI (IUI), incorporating a new kernel, new UI, and an interconnected ecosystem empowered by AI to devices from smartphones to PCs, providing users with a cross-device, cross-application, and cross-ecosystem experience.

“Platform-level AI and LLMs enable HONOR to seamlessly blend AI devices such as AI PCs and AI smartphones into users’ daily lives, understanding their intent and anticipating their needs,” Zhao shared. He added that the more consumers engage with these devices, the more tailored and helpful the experience becomes.

Alex also noted the ongoing shift of AI processing from the cloud to personal devices, including smartphones and PCs. “With better quantization or shrinking of the models, and working hand-in-hand with our partners such as HONOR and other industry partners such as the OS vendors, we will be able to take that [cloud AI] capability and data and move more of that onto the device. The growth potential for on-device AI is virtually limitless.”

“AI cannot exist without a foundation of security,” Zhao declared, highlighting HONOR’s PFAST principle in AI development—Privacy, Fairness and Justice, Accountability, Security and Reliability, Transparency and Controllability. “We call upon the industry to collaborate on AI governance to ensure the privacy and security of individuals,” Zhao urged. The HONOR MagicGuard technology and obtained privacy certifications, such as the ePrivacySeal, are key initiatives in this endeavour.

Driven by the rapid advancements in AI, 6G will bring exciting possibilities but also complex challenges. HONOR and GSMA have released a “6G Terminal Vision” whitepaper at MWC. Developed with contributing partners China Unicom, China Mobile, China Telecom, Du, Telstra and Inmarsat, this forward-looking document outlines the vision for a human-centric intelligent world shaped by the transformative capabilities of 6G and AI.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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