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Why IoT and AI is the match made in technology heaven

Let us start with a basic understanding of IoT and AI in layman terms. The Internet of Things (IoT) could be defined as simply as taking all the devices in the world and connecting them to the internet. 

Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans and can make decisions like humans.  Both these technologies promise to simplify our lives and drive incredible growth and success for the entire human race. With us so far? Great.

Now, IoT and AI are treated as separate entities and don’t often enter the same discussion. But if made to work together, they could bring in a technological revolution as has never been seen before. 

So, why is IoT and AI the perfect match made in technology heaven? 

Let us take a closer look at how these two technologies working together could work. We live in a data-driven world and the ability of our devices to connect to the internet and exchange data at high speed is already revolutionary. But there’s more to come. 

Being a data generation system, IoT generates an enormous amount of data every second, and the complexity and volume of data keep growing exponentially. Unfortunately, only a small portion of that generated data is currently being used to its full potential. This is where AI comes into the picture. 

For optimal value to be extracted from all that data we can use AI-driven analysis instead of the traditional Analytics methods. We don’t just want our devices to be connected and to transfer data. We want them to work smartly at their full potential without any human intervention. This can be achieved through AI (well, through Machine Learning, which is a part of AI) which detects patterns in the data presented. It learns from these patterns, in order to adjust the ways in which it analyzes that data or triggers actions.  Hence a partnership between AI and IoT could make our systems more intelligent and bring a revolution in the digital world.

Of course, this AI-IoT fusion is already the key to success in various industries. It helps to detect anomalies in systems, generate predictions, improve risk management, reduce downtime, and improve operational efficiency. 

There are various cognitive services in AI like facial recognition, language processing, and image recognition which are being clubbed with IoT devices to make accurate predictions and derive useful insights. And yes, without the need for human intervention. Let us look at a few real-life examples where business functions and consumers have benefited hugely by this union of technologies.

  • Walmart uses facial recognition and IoT tags to improve retail business– Walmart uses facial recognition technology in its stores to improve the shopping experience. The images of customers received through installed cameras at stores are fed to AI.  AI analyzes the facial expressions of customers and identifies whether they are satisfied or unhappy with the services provided. The staff takes the feedback accordingly to improve elements of their service. 
  • Transit monitoring Services in Logistic Management– In logistics, transit monitoring is one of the most crucial and essential tasks. A variety of technologies are used to carry out real-time tracking of vehicles and to detect maintenance issues and delays with the truck. This data, with the help of AI, is used for predictive maintenance and to avoid costly repairs. By using AI, logistics companies can do condition monitoring. This requires monitoring various asset parameters like temperature, fuel level, etc.  The data received from various sensors are fed to the AI model which detects anomalies and provide alerts to avoid any disaster. 
  • Oil and Gas industry use IoT and AI to save millions of dollars– IoT sensors capture real-time information about various parameters such as pressure, temperature, oil flow, etc. The collected information is fed into a smart manufacturing system that analyzes these parameters and recommends, and creates, the best temperature and pressure to enhance the overall process and derive better profit. For example, Shell has used this to monitor their Nigerian oil fields and they report that it has helped them save millions of dollars.
  • Autonomous Vehicles– Autonomous vehicles are likely to be the next big thing for an intelligent urban transportation system. Self-driving cars and intelligent traffic management are already being tried by big Automotive companies like Tesla with the help of IoT and AI. Safety is, obviously, the most important aspect when it comes to autonomous systems. Any malfunction or anomaly within the system can be disastrous and fatal in the case of autonomous vehicles. Using both IoT and AI, intelligent decision-making could be enabled within edge devices to overcome these challenges. 

As more people and companies invest in AI-enabled IoT devices, the technology we use will become more automated and become free of human intervention. The change will not be just in regard to automation but the systems themselves will become intelligent.  

There’s little doubt that the union of AI and IoT will revolutionize the world. The fact is, these two technologies perfectly complement each other. That’s why they look set to provide consumers and business the most-streamlined solution imaginable.