Why IoT should have an artificial intelligence layer
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Combining artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things opens the world to unlimited technological potential. In this article, Rick Delgado, freelance technology writer and commentator, explores why it makes sense to add an AI layer to IoT, possibly adding new possibilities and capabilities to both technologies.
The Internet of Things is a powerful technological force. So many devices and activities in our personal and professional lives are connected to it—from smartphones and activity trackers to huge manufacturing centers and medical devices, more and more things are being connected to the IoT every day and transforming how we live and work.
At the same time, artificial intelligence technology is also developing rapidly, with 80% of the world’s largest companies having incorporated some kind of cognitive technology into their products. AI trains computers to take on some human forms and tasks and expands the world of technological possibilities to combine machine learning and human creativity.
With two large technological movements making waves around the world, it makes sense to combine them and add an AI layer to the IoT. Combining AI and the IoT opens new doors of possibilities and expands what both technologies are capable of. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for IoT is that everything is segmented vertically, meaning that information can be pooled in certain areas, but those pools of information don’t communicate with each other. To truly reach the full potential of the IoT, an AI layer needs to be added that brings together each silo of information.
IoT and AI go together like peanut butter and jelly
First, there’s the sheer amount of data produced by the IoT. Connecting devices around the world leads to smarter communication and better information, but the amount of data can be overwhelming and too much for humans to sort through. One of the things that AI does best is combing through piles of information to pull out the most applicable nuggets and perform analysis. AI algorithms can be created to pluck out vital information, thus saving humans hundreds of hours of work and likely providing more reliable results and analysis. IoT is powerful when communicating between machines, but adding AI combines machine learning with deep learning algorithms. AI can pull in a huge amount of data and begin to learn from that, while IoT provides insights into how machines work in different conditions or scenarios.
This information can be applied to nearly everything—instead of only sorting through some of the data the comes from fitness trackers around the world, companies can have access to a wide range of customer fitness information. Similarly, information coming from a factory’s production and shipping areas can be analyzed to find the best ways to increase efficiency and production. The beauty of AI is that it can continue to teach itself, meaning that after the initial algorithm is complete, the machine can continue to learn and adapt as the machine or information changes.
With the information analyzed, a combination of AI and IoT can then be used in a number of areas. One of the fastest growing AI areas is bots, which can be used with the IoT to help customers solve issues with their connected devices, pull in data from a number of sources for scheduling and virtual assistance, and even create reminders for a number of things, such as PALS online renewal in the medical space. AI can also be used to create a knowledge base from large datasets. Imagine a machine that could read all of Wikipedia and condense it into information that pertains best to your endeavors. It could similarly be used to read all data from a group of IoT-connected devices and extract the most relevant information to put into a searchable dataset. That information can then be made accessible to other areas in the IoT.
In theory, an AI layer can learn from one silo of IoT data and apply that to a different silo. For instance, an algorithm or learning from IoT data in the telecommunications industry can be transferred through AI to IoT information in the financial space. IoT thrives on connectivity, and AI can take it to the next level by sharing machine information between industries and groups.
Combining artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things opens the world to unlimited technological potential. Either system on its own is powerful, but by adding AI to IoT, customers and businesses will be able to see an increase in usability, productivity, and information accessibility. The sky is the limit for an AI-layered IoT.