Nokia’s AI Breakthrough: Networks Reconfigured Through Human Speech

Nokia Bell Labs has introduced an industry-first innovation known as “Natural-Language Networks.” This revolutionary technology enables networks to be controlled and managed through plain speech or text commands, with networks understanding user intentions and autonomously acting upon them.
Nokia @ MWC 2023 in BarcelonaThe proof-of-concept technology was unveiled for the first time at the Brooklyn 6G Summit, taking place from October 31 to November 2 in Brooklyn, New York. Natural-Language Networks promise to simplify network management and enhance responsiveness to end-users’ needs through the power of artificial intelligence.

By harnessing AI, these networks empower service providers to promptly deliver and maintain an optimal network configuration in response to customer requests. Furthermore, these networks continually learn from their actions, progressively optimizing network performance with each subsequent request. They can anticipate service and application requirements and self-adapt without human intervention.

Csaba Vulkan, the Network Systems Automation research leader at Nokia Bell Labs, explained the transformative potential of this technology, stating, “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.”

Natural-Language Networks are a cornerstone of the “UNEXT” initiative, a new research endeavor by Nokia Bell Labs. Named after the legendary UNIX operating system developed by Bell Labs, UNEXT is set to redefine network software and systems, much like how UNIX transformed computing. UNEXT aims to simplify the process of securely integrating anything with the network, essentially evolving the network into an operating system itself.

Azimeh Sefidcon, Head of Network Systems and Security Research at Nokia Bell Labs, highlighted the broader significance of Natural-Language Networks within the UNEXT initiative, saying, “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.”

Nokia Bell Labs’ Natural-Language Networks represent a remarkable leap forward in network management and are poised to reshape the telecommunications landscape by making networks more accessible and responsive to human needs. This innovation paves the way for a future where network configurations can be intuitively and efficiently controlled through simple, natural language interactions.