Skip to main content

3 Trends Shaping the Next-Generation of the Internet: Dowson Tong

Dowson Tong, Tencent’s Senior Executive Vice President and CEO of Tencent Cloud and Smart Industries Group, recently spoke at the Boao Forum for Asia on the future of the Internet and its trends. Tong outlined three major trends that will shape the next generation of the Internet: AI-driven, immersive and integration with industries.

He emphasized that artificial intelligence (AI) will become the core driver of the Internet, with machines providing content and even services, changing its supply and demand relationship.

Dowson Tong shared views about the next-generation internet at the Boao Forum for Asia, March 30.

Tong thinks that AI will significantly enhance work efficiency and accelerate the development of cloud computing. He noted that large-scale AI models require high computing power and high-speed connection. Therefore, the application of AI requires the cloud as a carrier to be “plug-and-play.” Thus, the integration of AI and cloud will have a major impact on the cloud’s growth potential and development model.

AI as Core Driver for the Next Generation of Internet

“AIGC will enhance productivity and transform the Internet’s supply and demand relationship. In the past, people were the main providers of Internet content and services, but machines may become providers in the future,” Tong said in his speech.

In addition to AI-driven, Tong also mentioned that the Immersive Convergence, which was introduced by Tencent in 2022, is another trend of the future Internet. The information of the Internet has evolved from graphics and text to three-dimensional representation of the real world, enabling two-way interactions and operations between the virtual and real worlds.

As an example, Tencent Cloud and Sany Group jointly launched an unmanned mine truck, allowing truck drivers to sit in a comfortable office and operate unmanned mine trucks through the screen. This was made possible by the integration of Tencent Cloud’s real-time audio and video technology and 5G network, which effectively copes with weak network conditions and reduces video transmission delays from seconds to less than 100 milliseconds. This ensures smooth, stable, and reliable remote control.

The next-generation Internet is becoming even more deeply integrated into industries. Companies in the value chain, from design and production to marketing, are increasing the use of the Internet to enhance output and efficiency.

Cloud Development Accelerated by AI

Tong believes that AI technology will greatly enhance production efficiency.

One example is the 3D virtual scene automatic generation solution developed by Tencent AI Lab. Showcased at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last month, the solution uses AIGC technology to create lifelike, diverse virtual city scenes in a very short period of time from scratch. The “city” covers 25 square kilometers where 4,000 buildings locate and 130-kilometer roads run. The construction of such a large-scale city usually took several artists a few years, but it now takes only a few weeks with the aid of AI.

Furthermore, Tong pointed out that the development of AI is beneficial for the development of the cloud.

The cloud infrastructure can provide high computing power that’s essential for AI model training. As a result, AI technology will accelerate the use and popularity of the cloud.

The next-generation Internet can largely enhance production efficiency, making it quickly applied to various industries and enterprises. At the same time, AI technology requires the cloud as a carrier to be “plug-and-play”, which will increase the cloud’s penetration. In the future, more industries will transition to the cloud, and more people will use it.

Tencent’s Hunyuan AI large model has covered natural language processing, computer vision, multimodality, and many industry and domain models. It has also improved ad recommendation accuracy in Tencent’s own products and services.

The integration of AI and cloud will enable faster and more efficient production. The future of the internet is exciting, and we can expect to see transformative changes in the coming years.