Technology is moving at such a rapid pace that it has the potential to fundamentally change the world in just a few short years. Those that adapt quickly will move along and grow within the economy. Those that wait will find their working characteristics changed.
There is talk of a 4th Industrial Revolution which will be a consolidation of a number of critical technologies. IoT is one of them but AI, Machine Learning and Big Data are others. Currently, applications for these technologies are limited but are fast becoming “productised”. Just yesterday I investigated something called NLG (Natural Language Generation) which is an AI component of the writing process. While technology like that may not be perfect yet with advancements in computing technology and increases in the amount of data the systems can process they will soon be perfect. The implications are astounding as the cost of writing content will drop to almost nothing.
How does AI/Machine Learning impact IoT? IoT is about for the most part gathering data. IoT is the best link to the physical world (trucks, pallets, chairs, etc…) and digital world. With IoT devices businesses are able to start gathering practical information about what is happening in their business environment in real time and pragmatic way. AI/Machine Learning thrives on that data. With satisfactory data AI can become extremely accurate and highly functional – but at a very affordable rate. There will come a stage where the “are you human” question on a form will generate an answer indistinguishable from that of a computer.
Why should businesses take note? The pace at which change is happening is going to be so much faster than any other industrial revolution. EG Virtually the moment a satisfactory language generator is developed the cost of implementation will be significantly cheaper but with the ability to expand and develop new concepts. AI language generation will impact journalists, writers and even call centre agents. We are already seeing this type of technology in the form of Chatbots on Facebook and many websites.
Our specific niche is in the IoT space where potentially thousands of new devices will be deployed. What’s very special about IoT is that the devices may be of an incredible standard of technology but their implementation will be simple and straight forward. IoT is able to bridge the gap between the most simplistic device implementation and the most complex data acquisition process.
A lovely example is an elderly person tracking device. Its technology allows the family to monitor critical components like falls or where the person is. From the perspective of the elderly person, they are wearing a watch that tells the time. Nothing else matters to them. That is quite beautiful from a technological implementation – IoT is able to supply the most highly advanced technology to a generation that essentially skipped out on the computing age.
To conclude; In the context of business process management – IoT has the potential to be more at the heart of the inner workings of a business than any other technology. The information gathered through that process linked into an AI backbone has the potential to guide a business better than any other technology before. Finally, since IoT as a technology will be pre-built technology people can take devices (while understanding what they do) and link them into a business (even if you don’t understand how the technology works).