Natural language processing to reconfigure networks through speech

Natural language processing to reconfigure networks through speech

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By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Enabling truly autonomous networks, Nokia Bell Labs has announced an industry-first research breakthrough called Natural-Language Networks that will allow networks to be operated through plain speech or text prompts.

These Natural-Language Networks will understand the intention of users and have the intelligence to act upon them autonomously. Nokia Bell Labs has demonstrating this proof-of-concept technology for the first time at the Brooklyn 6G Summit, New York.

Natural-Language Networks will eliminate the complexity of managing networks, while also enabling much more responsiveness to end user’s needs. By leveraging AI, these networks will allow service providers to deliver and maintain the ideal network configuration for any customer the moment it is requested.

In addition, the Natural-Language Network continuously learns from its actions, further optimizing the network with each successive request. As its knowledge increases, the Natural-Language Network anticipates service and application needs and self-adapts to them without any human intervention.

Csaba Vulkan, Network Systems Automation research leader, Nokia Bell Labs, said: “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 optimize networks at a concert for a barrage of social media uploads.”

The Natural-Language Network is a component of a new Nokia Bell Labs research initiative called UNEXT. Named after UNIX, the legendary operating system (OS) invented by Bell Labs, UNEXT will redefine network software and systems the same way UNIX reshaped computing. UNEXT will make the process of securely integrating anything with the network a simple task by evolving the network itself into an OS.

Azimeh Sefidcon, Head of Network Systems and Security Research, Nokia Bell Labs, said: “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.”

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