If you can imagine a future wherein artificial intelligence is used to help solve mobile networking issues and propagate networks, then you're thinking on the same wavelength as Huawei chairman, Eric Xu. According to Xu, who recently spoke at 2018's Huawei Analyst Summit, the company wants to use AI "as extensively as possible", and that will include, among other things, incorporating the technology into its network equipment. Ideally, nothing short of a physical hardware failure of some sort, such as a broken cable or shorted component, will require human intervention; when it comes to things like software-side network optimization, fixing addressing issues, virtualization and allotments for service, Xu says that Huawei wants to be able to rely on AI to not only make the right decision as to how best to proceed, but to actually implement that decision.
Xu did not go into great detail about how it's all expected to work, but the gist is that AI programs will be installed in network equipment, and taught what sorts of errors to look for and how to fix them, as well as what constitutes good network optimization. This means that the AI would learn over time how best to optimize and fix each individual piece of network equipment on the software side, though it would likely be limited to exceedingly simple patch-ups like resetting a misbehaving piece of hardware or rerouting traffic away from a distressed tower, at first.
Speaking further on the company's extensive use of AI, Xu said that Huawei is already beginning to integrate the technology into the company's smartphones, and will do so in an increasingly comprehensive fashion as the technology moves forward. Presumably, all of this means that AI will play a big role in the key functions of the company's slated 2019 smartphone, which is said to be Huawei's first completely operable 5G smartphone made for commercial 5G networks. The company is already using a range of equipment in the 5G tests that it carries out in cooperation with carrier customers and other entities with interest in 5G technology, including prototype smartphones with 5G modules wired into them, which means that a commercial 5G phone is, at this point, only a small evolutionary step up from what's currently being used in labs and in the field, even if customers can still only get 4G LTE phones from the large OEM right now.