The Intelligence of Things

Why the looming prospect of Artificial Intelligence is one of great promise

Artificial intelligence could define smart objects in its truest sense when paired with IoT

On a scalar representation of the most popular technological advances, IoT would certainly score on the higher spectrum of the range. The automation of the sense-transmit-store-analyse process is what has made IoT a huge success. The implications of the kind of data it generates and the kind of action humans can base off of this data is second to none, bar possibly one more technological advancement. That advancement is artificial intelligence (AI).

The simplest definition of AI would be the intelligence displayed by a machine. Machines are designed with the motive to simplify lives and perform complex calculations and tedious tasks in a jiffy. However, it’s always been hard for any inanimate object to take rational thinking into account when going about its duties. This was until AI was a thing. As the concept of machines being able to perform rational functions off their own accord slowly seeped into the modern age, it was only a matter of time before it was paired with the IoT revolution.

The role of AI in IoT is simple enough to understand, even if it is complex to execute smoothly

We’ve already looked at how IoT translated automation into a simple linear chain; sense-transmit-store-analyse. IoT devices first perform sensory functions, transmit unearthed data, store and record transmitted data and finally analyse the data using complex algorithmic processes to perform functions towards an end goal. The key issue in the chain comes where analyses takes place, arguably the only process that could do with the human touch. However, considering the whole purpose of automation would be lost if human intervention were required, the need for something to rationally analyse data beyond the gamut of conventional algorithms was born. The obvious answer to this conundrum was the integration of artificial intelligence in IoT.

In order to reap the full benefits of the treasure trove of data IoT makes available to mankind, artifical intelligence is the final hurrah. With intimate integration into the analysis phase of IoT, AI performs two critical functions; speed up the data analysis process and strengthen the accuracy of the data analysis. Considering the billions of data points IoT generates, it’s impossible for human intervention to be of any use in any scenario. However, what AI does is provides a rational human input and narrows down data to streamline results in a meaningful direction.

As the marriage of IoT and AI came to the fore, stalwarts in the industries rose to the challenge of delivering comprehensive solutions making the best of both the worlds

In terms of examples that are stand-out representations of IoT and AI integration, there are far too many to count in the modern day scenario. Yet, some are a cut above the rest. Tesla motors self-driving smart car concept features an algorithm developed by Google that enables cars to drive automatically just the way humans do; through experience. Virtual personal assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Now are almost a cliché as we approach the tail-end of 2016, yet remain strong and primary examples of the concept. AI is a breath of fresh air compared to the basic functions that chat-bots performed for addressing customer grievance in the online customer support ecosystem. Purchase prediction is also an incredibly lucrative concept adopted by large retailers. Amazon’s anticipatory shipping project for example aims to anticipate and ship your desired products to you before you even need them.

It’s safe to assume that AI and IoT are a match made in heaven. In the true sense of automation, AI effectively skates over the only minor drawback in the IoT function. In the years to come, as IoT garners worldwide attention and takes centre spot, AI will most certainly have a large hand in ushering it on stage to soak in the limelight.

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