Connected Technology Is Healthy Technology

Michael Shepherd By Michael Shepherd Lead AI Research Technologist, Dell EMC Support & Deployment Services April 26, 2019

Imagine for a moment getting a call from your doctor. The news is bad and test results indicate a life-threatening disease is about to impact your life. As a technologist, I’d naturally question every piece of data behind this conclusion. That same instinct to question everything is shared by many people I’ve known facing this type of situation. Like them, I would begin to search the Internet to learn more about my diagnosis, hoping for good news while trying to understand the complex physical dynamics unseen by the human eye. When faced with such a crisis, we all need something positive to hold on to, ideally hope that’s grounded in logic. One thing I’ve learned from my work in AI research that would give me great hope is that because of AI, earlier detection and greater accuracy regarding cures are possible. Doctors can set into motion the most effective course of action for individual patients guided by “data” and “science”.

The same logic can be applied to business technology. Once connected, technology can capture vast amounts of daily telemetry data (such as temperature sensors on a processor) to help us better understand environments and take predictive and preventative actions before we ever get to a point of an IT “health” crisis.

Predictive, Adaptive-AI Support Technology to Stay Ahead

At Dell Technologies Services we are connected to over 55 million devices2 today and that number is continuing to grow. Our AI-powered connectivity technology, SupportAssist1 proactively predicts and prescribes hardware and software optimizations for our customers with 650 billion+ rules executed daily2 to help us answer key questions about what they need and how their technology is performing. This technology works as if your devices are wearing health trackers providing feedback to Dell. That is how we predict over 3.1 million issues annually2 and provide IT with insight into their environments.

Although our machine learning techniques have effectively been providing predictive failure alerts for years, our Services Technology group is leveraging new cutting-edge techniques, such as Generative Adversarial Networks and Reinforcement Learning, to focus on improving existing models while tackling increasingly larger opportunities. What this means to customers is that we’re working toward being able to predict even more issues with greater accuracy.

A Peak Behind the Curtain of Innovation at Dell

At first look, all the ways that Dell Technologies is using AI to pioneer new methods to support customers may not be obvious. From cutting edge Dell EMC Ready Solutions for AI to software platforms like World Wide Herd for Federating Learning in Genome research, Dell Technologies is building the foundational underpinnings that businesses around the globe will need to become successful in this new age. Within the walls of Dell Technologies, AI Research teams are filing patents and blazing new trails in support of Industry 4.0. By building and applying AI use cases to real-world scenarios that drive optimization in Dell’s own digital transformation, our innovators are leading the way with new Human|Machine partnerships.

Dell Technologies Services didn’t just hire a large group of specialists and experts to make this possible. Instead we are empowering small strategic teams with a passion for the impossible to take visionary steps as they apply AI advancements to foundational business initiatives. The resulting freedom and agility to experiment and run proof of concepts in areas like data ontology, automation, reinforcement learning, graph networks and modular fusion methods has been a challenging but transformational process.

Connectivity Is the Key to Detection, Prevention and a Healthy Environment

While our relationship with AI is still complex, the era of Human|Machine Intelligence is upon us, and we are starting to see real results in how it impacts our lives for the better. At an industrial scale, AI is helping doctors with medical imaging, as seen with Google detecting metastatic breast cancer with 99% accuracy. At a personal level, our health is becoming increasingly tied to emerging technologies like smart watches and health rings like the Ouraring. These real-time data collection devices tell us to drink more water, get up and move or sleep more. That feedback loop brings healthier insights to every person as it compares our behaviors to other the broader population.


As AI matures it will deliver on the Human|Machine Intelligence experience by continuously getting ahead of issues undetectable to the human eye. By connecting devices to technology like SupportAssist, AI will provide the key feedback and insights required for a healthy environment.


1 SupportAssist automatically detects and proactively alerts Dell to: operating system issues, software upgrades, driver updates and patches, malware, virus infected files, failures of hard drives, batteries, memory, internal cables, thermal sensors, heat sinks, fans, solid state drives and video cards. Predictive analysis failure detection includes hard drives, solid state drives, batteries, thermals and desktop fans. Not available on Linux, Windows RT, Android, Ubuntu or Chrome based products.

2 Based on an internal analysis of Dell Technologies connectivity and portal technologies for enterprise and client systems as of April 2019.

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Lead AI Research Technologist, Dell EMC Support & Deployment Services

Michael Shepherd is a Technical Evangelist with 20 years’ experience, providing vision and leadership through transformational AI initiatives. As the Lead AI Research Technologist at Dell EMC in Support & Deployment Services his insights into supply chain, manufacturing and software services are foundational to his message that a proper perspective should be at the core of all data science and product performance analytics.

Michael leads the Dell Data Science Forum and offers his expertise both as a member of the Advisory Council at UT McCombs School of Business MBA and with the core team for Xavier’s Artificial Intelligence Initiative for Pharma. He is an innovator with twelve patents spanning hardware and software methods in eight countries.

When he isn’t consumed by data science he can be found hiking with family and friends somewhere off the beaten path and out of service.

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