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How Cisco is Quietly Powering the AI Revolution The Unsung Heroes of AI


How Cisco is Quietly Powering the AI Revolution The Unsung Heroes of AI

Cisco Systems, a name often associated with enterprise networking solutions, is now emerging as a significant player in the artificial intelligence (AI) domain. While many of us might be more familiar with consumer-facing AI products like ChatGPT, MidJourney, or DALL-E, it's worth noting that the technology powering these applications often relies on robust, behind-the-scenes infrastructure provided by companies like Cisco.


The narrative at Cisco Live, an annual event focused on enterprise networking solutions, was clear: Cisco is not just about routers and switches; it's about enabling the future of technology. The event, featuring high-profile personalities like Elton John and Tom Brady, underscored the company's commitment to making a significant impact on the AI landscape.


Cisco's technology forms the backbone of much of the internet traffic today. As highlighted by Cisco executives, about 80% of global internet traffic runs on their technology. This infrastructure is crucial for the development and deployment of AI applications, from data centers to cloud services.


Cisco's approach to AI is divided into two main categories: AI for products and products for AI. 


AI for Products: This involves integrating AI into their existing portfolio, enhancing features in security, networking, and collaboration tools. By embedding AI, Cisco aims to improve user experience, streamline operations, and introduce new functionalities.


Products for AI: This category focuses on creating infrastructure that supports the development and deployment of AI applications. Cisco’s partnership with Nvidia on the HyperFabric project is a prime example. HyperFabric aims to simplify the integration of AI technology for companies by providing a pre-packaged solution that includes networks, processors, and storage. This makes it easier for businesses, regardless of their AI expertise, to leverage advanced AI technologies.


Cisco's ThousandEyes platform, which monitors and troubleshoots network issues, now incorporates AI to predict and resolve potential problems before they escalate. This proactive approach ensures that companies experience minimal downtime, fewer security issues, and reduced vulnerability to hacks. The integration of AI in ThousandEyes enhances its capability to provide real-time insights into network performance and security, making digital experiences smoother and safer.


Cisco’s $1 billion AI startup fund underscores its commitment to fostering innovation in AI across the tech stack. This fund is aimed at investing in startups that focus on different layers of AI technology, from hardware to applications. By filling gaps in the AI ecosystem, Cisco aims to build a safe, accessible, and trustworthy AI infrastructure.


A recurring theme at Cisco Live was digital resilience. This concept involves preparing for and mitigating any issues that could disrupt digital experiences, from cyberattacks to software bugs. Cisco's comprehensive visibility into network operations allows it to pinpoint problems rapidly, ensuring that businesses remain robust against various threats. This resilience is crucial in maintaining the integrity and performance of AI-driven services.


While Cisco may not be the first company that comes to mind when thinking about AI, its contributions to the field are substantial. By providing the infrastructure that powers many of the AI applications we use today, Cisco plays a pivotal role in advancing technology. Their efforts in integrating AI into their products, enhancing network resilience, and investing in the future of AI ensure that they remain at the forefront of technological innovation.


As AI continues to evolve, the importance of robust, secure, and efficient infrastructure cannot be overstated. Cisco's ongoing initiatives highlight its crucial role in shaping the future of AI and ensuring that the digital experiences we rely on are more secure and reliable than ever before.



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