Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) have defined the previous decade. Ever since the massive deployment of concepts like Big Data and cloud architecture occurred, our abilities to generate, store and process data increased by manifold. This resulted in large-scale data analytics implementations across industries and geographies, which further led to the companies incorporating AI strategies. As the companies gradually uncovered the immense potential of AI, IoT and its allied automation processes became integral to businesses as well.
To put things into perspective, it’s important to understand that the usage of artificial intelligence technologies in the last four years alone has grown by 270%. Besides this, the AI development sector is also expected to be valued at around 118 billion dollars by 2025. At the other end of the spectrum is IoT. Reports reveal that in 2020 more than 30.73 billion devices were connected to an IoT infrastructure and that by the year 2025, close to 152,200 devices will connect to the internet every minute.
What Is AIoT?
For the uninitiated, AI and IoT are complimentary concepts of technology. Because data is at the fulcrum of everything, AI and IoT become the two sides of the same coin in most Applications. The term that encompasses the integration of both is called AIoT. The two technologies work in tandem to offer optimum experiences and applications to users and businesses. Several IoT mechanisms rely on artificial intelligence and its allied concepts like deep and machine learning from automation and predictive analytics.
Artificial intelligence in IoT product development offers tons of benefits in operations, management, customer behavior analysis, and more. To offer an extensive idea, below are the benefits of AIoT:
Boosting IoT Scalability
Scalability in IoT refers to the addition of more devices in an existing ecosystem. This addition could either optimize existing processes or introduce newer features. With the integration of AI, only the required data for specific components reaches them, making the process super-specific.
For instance, a wearable health device only receives data on heart rate and vitals and not GPS and navigation information. As data crunching happens, it becomes easier to deploy newer devices in an infrastructure.
Propelling Operational Efficiency
Organizations and businesses looking to achieve optimum organizational efficiency can do this with the help of AIoT. AI in IoT can be used to detect patterns from data generated, uncover new insights that are otherwise invisible, implement predictive and preventive analytics, bring in automation, detect and fix operational loopholes, accurately predict attritions, improve employee welfare and morale, and more. With AIoT, even accurate time equipment malfunctions can be predicted for precise corrective measures. These make operations perpetual.
Incorporating New Products or Services
Several existing equipment, products, or services can be incorporated with AI concepts to bring in advanced functionalities or fully develop an AI product. For instance, voice recognition or Natural Language Processing can be implemented for advanced HMI systems, commercial fleets can be integrated with AI and IoT devices for insights generation, and to bring in advanced road and driver safety measures, websites and marketing campaigns can be made more effective and goal-driven through specific parameters and even campaign simulation mechanisms and more.
Optimize Risk Management
As we mentioned before, predictive analytics can be deployed to assess an organization’s probable risks and prevent them with pre-emptive measures. Instances like equipment malfunctioning, cyber-attacks, employee and workplace safety can be predicted, and rapid response protocols can be implemented to better tackle situations. One simple example of risk management with AI is the custom premiums on car insurance policies that completely depend on driver behavior and history.
Real-Time Monitoring and Actions
What becomes crucial with automation and IoT concepts is real-time monitoring. This helps in the consistent supervision of devices, equipment, and modules and allows systems to take decisions and actions when things go wrong autonomously. For instance, when navigation systems in vehicles detect increased traffic in a current route, real-time monitoring allows the vehicle to look for a different route and suggest it to drivers for uninterrupted driving.
Prevent Unintended Downtime
Several industries like oil and natural gas, thermal power plants, automotive factories and more cannot afford downtime, specifically when they are unplanned. They rattle schedules and planning for a specified timeframe, leading to probable losses and delayed deliveries as well.
With AIoT, unplanned downtime can be prevented thanks to predictive maintenance concepts. Based on historic data and current operating trends, machine learning algorithms can accurately predict downtime and schedule advanced servicing or even component replacement to ensure processes are uninterrupted.
Optimized Customer Experience
The volatility associated with consumer behavior has always been a challenge for businesses in delivering good customer service. With AIoT, this can be achieved by introducing new data touchpoints and aspects like heatmaps offer analysts a comprehensive idea of customer behavior.
From understanding market demands to deciphering what sells and what doesn’t, AI can allow businesses to make changes at product and product positioning levels for more revenue and market penetration. AIoT can also make ways for personalized marketing and segmented targeting for more campaign effectiveness.
AIoT has affected every industry it touched. From manufacturing to healthcare, there is hardly any sector that is yet to experience the awesomeness of AIoT. So, let’s quickly dive into the impact of AIoT across industries to get a better idea.
In manufacturing, the onset of industrial automation, robotic arms, deep learning algorithms, and more has not only optimized efficiencies but paved the way for reduced operational expenses as well.
Smart Cities and Homes
Smart cities and homes ensure advanced safety for civilians and homeowners with their airtight security systems. Besides, they also help in the responsible consumption of non-renewable resources, curbing pollution, and more.
AIoT in eCommerce helps businesses in advanced product positioning, relationship optimization with vendors, automation of invoicing and billing, generating real-time insights on package deliveries and shipments, and more.
With the help of sensors and telematics, airlines are being made safer and trackable with AIoT. The data generated from flight routes are also studied for diverse purposes, including fuel consumption, weather, and more. Besides, AIoT also helps in seamless check-in and airport procedures.
Logistics and Operations
Supply-chains are optimized, and inventory management is simplified with AIoT. Sensors and devices can detect when an item would go out of stock and autonomously replenish the product. AIoT also affects commercial fleets and delivery modules for safety and seamless operations.
Body sensors can accurately predict when a person is most likely to have a cardiac arrest and notify doctors autonomously. There have been real-world instances of smartwatches saving people as well. In industries, body sensors can be used to prevent calamities and for better tackling of industrial hazards.
Mobile healthcare, electronic health records, remote healthcare consultation, drug research, researches in oncology and genetics are some of the aspects AIoT is working on. From making clinical trials more airtight to helping doctors detect even minute physical changes in skin and organs, AI applications make even the unthinkable possible.
The automotive sector experiences tons of benefits because of AIoT with the implementation of concepts like telematics, human-machine interface systems, in-vehicle infotainment devices, electric vehicles and autonomous vehicle controls, adaptive cruising, and more.
Voice assistants detect keywords and help users get advanced or super-precise results for their queries. They also consistently learn about user preferences, tastes, interests, online behavior and recommend personalized content accordingly.
In edge computing, AIoT offers benefits like reducing latency, increasing network availability, reducing costs involved in storage and data communication, bringing in real-time decision-making systems, and more.
Apart from letting users unlock their phones, IoT applications are helping in finding missing persons and children, preventing retail store crimes, bringing in safety measures in schools, detecting frauds in casinos, finding missing pets and animals and more.
Real-World AIoT Applications
ET City Brain
As we mentioned, AIoT can make cities smarter and roads safer. One such real-world example of this concept in action is ET City Brain. Developed and launched by the Alibaba group, this platform uses artificial intelligence and IoT technology to monitor traffic and road usage, detect accidents, track illegal parking, and pave the way for ambulances by modifying traffic signals and more. The concept also has a proven record of reducing traffic in China by 15%.
Tesla’s Autonomous Cars
What had been a concept only in books and movies has become a reality with the help of AIoT. An autonomous car is a hub of sensors, imaging devices, gadgets, cloud architecture, and data processing modules. All these work together to allow the cars of Tesla to drive autonomously without the need of a driver.
The car collects data from diverse aspects such as road and weather conditions, incoming traffic, pedestrian details, cornering vehicles, speed, fuel consumption, and more and makes accurate driving decisions (every second) for seamless journeys.
Amazon Smart Retail
Amazon Go, a concept store launched by Amazon, is nothing less than revolutionary. It allows users to walk into the store, pick up an item from an aisle and leave. The stores are devoid of cashiers because the IoT devices in action deduct money from users’ virtual wallets. When an item is picked, it’s immediately added to their carts, and when it is kept back, it gets deleted again. When users leave, the system quickly works on the cart orders and processes payment accordingly.
IoT cannot be as effective and powerful as it is now without AI. Together, these two concepts are bringing a new era of experiences and realities to our consciousness. The convergence of AI and IoT only marks the beginning of advanced concepts to come in the near future. What do you think we will get to witness?