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Can AI Unlock The Power Of The IoT?

Can AI unlock the power of the IoT?

The future can be defined with two technologies: artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The combined power of which will be game-changing for many organisations. By partnering the two technologies, the potential of both will be fully unlocked. Most notably with the IoT and its wealth of data.

The growth of IoT data

As more ‘things’ are connected to the Internet, organisations will gather increasing amounts of data. We create over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data as we go about our daily activities, from checking our emails to browsing the internet and swiping through apps. This is expected to increase ten-fold by 2025 – fuelled by a rise in enterprise data from IoT devices and autonomous vehicles.

Making sense of data

However, it’ll be impossible to make sense of this mass of data with AI. Humans cannot physically sift through all the information the IoT will generate. AI will be needed to derive intelligence and insights from the IoT – and to manage the devices themselves.

The sheer quantity of IoT data (that is ever-changing and real-time) requires AI because traditional analytics and business intelligence tools cannot manage it. Unsupervised learning, like clustering, and machine learning systems are needed to identify normal and abnormal patterns and uncover hidden data groups. Without requiring an advanced set-up or time-intensive input from human operators.

Many steps to add value

Indeed, extracting insights from the IoT involves many steps that AI will add value to. Connectivity, security, data storage, system integration, device hardware, networks and application development are all required to effectively use the IoT.

Combining AI with the IoT will extract meaning from the various devices. Allowing for greater operational efficiencies across a supply chain, for example, or deeper customer engagement across all marketing channels, offline and online. Using the IoT and AI together will create a dynamic where companies can gain crucial, quality insights from every device and piece of data. Meaning the IoT can be proven to add value to the bottom-line. With an associated impact on stakeholder buy-in and investment for further IoT and AI projects.

End-to-end insights

Plus, the IoT provides unparalleled details in the end-to-end customer experience, supply chain and partner relationship. It can tell an organisation exactly what a customer is looking at or interacting with. How employees are moving around a shop floor or office, and whether suppliers are delivering goods on time. Every part of the enterprise ecosystem can be mapped out and analysed in real-time.

Real-world experience

Organisations will gain an interface to the real world, instead of relying on guesswork, models and lag data. With enough data from different business areas, AI can become intelligent enough to model different business processes and predict performance or risk factors based on this. For example, sensors placed on lorries can track their location across the world – giving early warning if a shipment is going to be delayed or if a driver has gone off-route.

To effectively use the IoT and gain value from it, the devices cannot be used in isolation. The IoT must be partnered with AI if tangible benefits are to be realised. Without AI, the IoT isn’t intelligent. It’s just connected.

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