Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) individually have the potential to deliver tremendous value. Today, industry leaders are beginning to realize the importance of deploying these technologies in conjunction with each other, representing a potential trillion-dollar market opportunity.
For IoT to deliver on its promise, it needs AI to make sense of the data, determine appropriate options, and seamlessly provide that intelligence to the business.
For years now, we’ve been talking about the increasing velocity and unprecedented disruption of this marriage. In bringing these two ascendant technologies together, some companies have raced forward, while others have sat back and watched. Those waiting will become further behind as the benefits for using AI and IoT in conjunction with one another are increasing.
IoT has reached an inflection point where, as with any successful technology, the linear progression has achieved critical mass, and rapid growth is depicted as a “hockey stick” on the graph. While all technologies start on the margins, IoT seemed to have been stuck there for a while, slowly moving forward – testing various engineering configurations, analytical interactions, and ecosystem supporters.
How did we get here?
The internet was disruptive because it forever changed the way humans communicate with each other. AI and IoT are disruptive because they will forever change the way humans communicate with machines.
This is a fundamental shift.
Wait, haven’t our machines always been able to communicate with us? Yes. Basically. Poorly. We were required to learn different languages for different machines.
Humans needed to do whatever individual machines required. We conformed to them. Each time Microsoft Office changed a menu, we relearned. How many of us reading this went to school for years to learn how to speak to machines in languages that are now obsolete! Unfair? Crazy? Yes.
Machines weren’t adaptable. Machines couldn’t learn. Humans are adaptable. Humans can learn. And so we did. But what would happen if we could have a smart, connected conversation?
Imagine this healthcare scenario, a fictitious, but sure to be manufactured, “MyHealth” health tracker.
AI and IoT made us the promise we wanted to hear. Systems would be better, would do better and deliver the ultimate health tracker that alerts individuals to potentially life-threatening health issues before they occur.
While this is still a fantasy right now, ALL of the underlying technologies – private cloud, public cloud, edge, etc. – exist to make it a reality.
Clearly, in this scenario, there are multiple, integrated hardware and software products working together to execute tasks. Often, delivering an experience like this required several partners. Data, analytics, tracking, updating to match the individual, integrated with other sources – including the weather, maps, and dietary programs. With IoT and AI working together, harnessing the sensors, software, and resulting data, this fantasy health tracker could come to life. Most importantly, because of the intelligence and convenience it delivers, it opens up new potential subscription revenue and data brokerage opportunities. Manufacturers and other service providers could pursue multiple new revenue streams.
We could have picked a building’s systems, a firefighter’s safety gear, a car’s autopilot, or a robotic arm on a factory line.
Each one has a solid IoT evolutionary path. As you develop the user journey, assemble the data, the individual use cases in the experience and the technology stack to deliver, return, and analyze them, you recognize talking to machines is a combination of services and insight. You also realize that a lot of data is now spread across multiple sources and interaction types, and each time you make that jump, there’s risk.
Whenever data is outside your wall, it’s at risk. You have to ensure you do everything you can to keep it secure.
Once your device data goes “outside your control” and is handled by another entity for interaction, you might unwittingly be powering some other company’s intelligence. Privacy is – and will only increase as a – critical consumer issue.
Increasingly, as what you do with your devices and data moves from:
- understanding the device to
- understanding the client to
- understanding the environment to
- understanding interactions and being able to make recommendations and take actions, you realize that putting your arms around as much of that data as you can is worth something.
About the Author
Top-ranked Postscapes, Global Data, Digital Scouting, and Onalytica global IoT leader Ken Herron is the CMO of intelligent IoT messaging company UIB, Unified Inbox. Ken has a rich academic background with degrees from the prestigious universities like Stanford Graduate School of Business and Thunderbird School of Global Management. Prior to UIB, he has contributed majorly to various leading companies while playing the roles like Strategic Advisor and Technical Writer.