The rise of Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT)
Table of Contents
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the leading technologies businesses are investing in most to gain a competitive advantage and increase efficiency in 2021.
In 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger enthralled the world in an American science fiction film ‘The Terminator’. Arnold played the role of a cyborg assassin sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, whose son John Connor will one day wage a long war against machines in a post-apocalyptic future. A future dominated by an artificial superintelligence network called ‘Skynet’ that wants to replace humans with machines.
Fast-forward to 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has not taken over the world but is undoubtedly one of the most critical technologies transforming the way businesses function.
Another disruptive technology that is equally changing today’s business world is the Internet of Things (IoT). It helps in effectively capturing a massive amount of data from multiple sources and sensors. However, the multitude of data coming from countless IoT devices from smart homes, wearable devices, intelligent vehicles, and smart cities makes it complex to collect, process, and analyse.
AI and IoT are redefining the way companies operate. With its powerful subset of machine learning, AI has paved the way for smarter task execution with real-time analysis and more significant interaction between humans and machines. In contrast, IoT has elevated the scale of communication between devices and humans via effective intelligent technology.
“Global organisations working with IoT data now realise that if they want to derive real value out of the data, they need AI and analytics. Improving the speed of data refresh in collecting sensor data combined with AI helps expand an organisation’s ability to focus on immediate planning while also quickly identifying and resolving operational problems. This combination produces greater agility and efficiency,” says Jitender Jain, Founder & CEO at KocharTech.
What is the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT)?
By combining AI and IoT, you get AIoT – the Artificial Intelligence of Things.
Think of IoT devices as the digital nervous system while AI is the brain of a system.
AIoT can be defined as decision making aided by AI technologies in conjunction with connected IoT sensors, systems or product data. AI technologies include deep learning, machine learning, natural language processing, voice recognition and image analysis.
To fully understand AIoT, you must begin with the Internet of Things (IoT). When ‘things’ like wearable devices, smartphones, coffee makers, refrigerators, air conditioners, sensors and other equipment are connected to the internet and can be recognised by other devices and collect and process data – you have the internet of things.
AI is when a system can learn from data and complete a set of tasks in a way that seems intelligent. Therefore, when AI is added to IoT, those devices can analyse data, make decisions, and act on that data without humans’ involvement.
AIoT enables data analytics to optimise a system and create higher performance and business insights and generate data that helps to make better decisions and that the system can learn from.
Examples of Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) in action
The combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart systems makes AIoT a powerful and vital tool for many applications. Let’s have a closer look at businesses that have achieved better user experience and designed new business models with AI-powered IoT.
1. Smart retail
A camera system enabled with computer vision capabilities can use facial recognition to identify shoppers when they walk through the door in a smart retail environment. The system gathers intel about visitors or buyers, including their gender, product preferences, traffic flow, and more, analyses the data to accurately predict consumer behaviour. It then uses that knowledge to make decisions about store operations from marketing, staff/product placement, and other choices.
For example, suppose the system detects that the majority of customers walking into the store are Millennials. In that case, it can use push notifications for product advertisements and in-store specials that appeal to that demographic, helping drive up sales. Smart cameras can even allow shoppers to skip the checkout line, i.e. Amazon Go store.
2. Drone traffic monitoring
In smart cities, there are many uses of AIoT, i.e. traffic monitoring by drones. Traffic congestion can be reduced if it can be monitored, and adjustments to the traffic flow can be made in real-time. When drones monitor a large area, they can transmit traffic data. AI can then analyse that data and make smart decisions on how to best mitigate traffic congestion by adjusting speed limits and traffic lights’ timing without human involvement.
3. The ET City Brain
Alibaba Cloud’s ET City Brain solution is an intelligent AIoT system that uses big data computing and deep neural networks to process massive logs, videos, and data streams from systems and sensors across an urban center. This system can detect illegal parking, road accidents, change traffic lights to help ambulances get to patients who need assistance faster, and so much more.
4. Office buildings
Another area where AI and the IoT intersect is in smart offices and commercial buildings. Companies can install a network of intelligent environmental sensors in their office or building to detect what personnel are present and even regulate temperatures and lighting to enhance energy efficiency.
Another use case is where a smart office or building through facial recognition technology can control building access. The union of connected cameras and AI that can recognise images taken in real-time against a database to decide who should be granted access to a building is AIoT at work.
Similarly, employees wouldn’t need to log in via biometrics or attendance for compulsory meetings wouldn’t have to be done, since the AIoT system takes care of it for you.
5. Fleet management and autonomous vehicles
AIoT is used in fleet management today to help monitor a fleet’s vehicles, reduce fuel costs, track vehicle maintenance, and identify unsafe driver behaviour. Through IoT devices, i.e. GPS and other sensors and an artificial intelligence system, companies can manage their fleet better thanks to AIoT.
AIoT is also used today with autonomous vehicles. Tesla’s autopilot systems use GPS, sonars, radars, and cameras to collect data about driving conditions. Next, an AI system makes decisions about the data the IoT devices are converging. With the power of AI, Tesla’s self-driving cars predict pedestrians and cars’ behaviour in various circumstances, e.g. they can determine road conditions, optimal speed, weather, avoid obstructions, and get smarter with each trip.
6. Autonomous delivery robots
Like how AIoT is used with autonomous vehicles, autonomous delivery robots are another excellent example of AIoT. Robots are implanted with sensors that gather data about the environment the robot is crossing and then make moment-to-moment decisions about reacting through its onboard AI platform.
Answering the need for deliveries that minimise human contact, companies currently operating delivery robots include Amazon, Google, Cartken, FedEx, Starship Technologies, Robomart, Kiwi, and ZMP Inc.
7. Robots in manufacturing & logistics
The manufacturing industry has already embraced new technologies, i.e. IoT, AI, robots, machine learning, deep learning, facial recognition, and many more. Robots in factories are turning smarter with the aid of embedded sensors, which helps data transmission. Furthermore, as the robots are provisioned with AI algorithms, they can learn from newer data. This not only saves time and cost but also makes the manufacturing process better over time.
Boston Dynamics are at the forefront of creating smart robots and are changing your idea of what robots can do from sensing, inspection, and remote operation in your manufacturing plant to moving boxes in your warehouse.
Overall, IoT, united with AI technology, will lead to an advanced level of solutions and experience. To gain greater value from your network and transform your business, you should integrate AI with incoming data from the IoT devices.
How AI and IoT converge to change the way you do business?
While IoT accumulates large amounts of data through device connectivity via the internet and Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning helps assimilate and evaluate this data.
Machine Learning (ML) in IoT devices helps identify patterns and detect any data collection faults through advanced sensors. Inherent things like stimulation to air, moisture, temperature, contamination, lights, sound, vibrations, etc. are derived with this technology. Unlike traditional technology, IoT and ML make operational forecasts 20x quicker with greater accuracy. This is a significant reason why companies that use AI technology see massive growth in their revenue numbers.
IoT and AI are currently in demand by most businesses, whether it’s a Fortune 500 or a startup. Since both their abilities are limitless, companies wish to use them to their full potential and unbridle their potentiality to the world.
Advantages and benefits of AI & IoT in business
Together, AI and IoT are unstoppable forces of technology.
Artificial intelligence of Things (AIoT) leads to a broad range of benefits for companies and consumers like a proactive intervention, personalised experience, and intelligent automation.
Here are some of the top benefits of combining these two disruptive technologies to a business:
1. Data mining, sharing, and formulating user perceptions
Data collection is essential for a business’ growth and development. Companies being able to discover vital and significant findings during big data processing speedily is perhaps one of the most significant advantages of using cloud-based AI. As a business, you can gain previously undiscovered insights, gaining an edge in the marketplace.
With data collection and mining, you can also foretell future trends before your competition does, create a more efficient and speedier data entry, predict fluctuations in your markets, and get an in-depth analysis of your target market. You can make the most of the information which you have access to. And since you will be making the right choices with your business, you will avoid expensive mistakes.
2. Improved customer experience
IoT has transformed how we handle data, and AI makes it easier to handle all that information. IoT devices have a unique mechanism to track, record, and observe patterns in users’ interaction with the device(s).
Companies use the collected data to devise better ways to enhance customer experiences. There are many ways businesses use AI to improve their customer experience, and AI Chatbots is one of them. You can program chatbots to address any concern that your clients may have and offer solutions. Unlike people, AI chatbots can interact with infinite clients simultaneously and can both respond and initiate communication.
It was estimated that 85% of all customer interactions would be taken care of by intelligent machines in 2020.
3. Elimination of downtime
Oil and gas manufacturing organisations use heavy machinery, which can suffer unseen/unplanned breakdowns causing downtime that can incur substantial financial losses. An AI-enabled IoT platform enables predictive maintenance helping you foresee machinery failures and breakdowns by utilising the analytics. Then you can plan a course of action and avoid your operations from being affected.
A recent study by Deloitte led to the following conclusions:
- 20-50% decrease in time taken for maintenance planning
- 10-20% increase in equipment availability and uptime
- 5-10% cutback in maintenance costs
4. Enhancing security
With a steady rise in burglaries, vandalism, cybercrime, data breaches and confidential information theft, security and safety are the most concerning business factors. IoT powered by AI provides combative support to your private information and doesn’t allow third parties to intrude. Various organisations are facilitating machine-to-machine communication to detect incoming threats and send automated responses.
A typical example would be in the banking sector where illegal activities in ATMs are identified by IGZY’s IoT sensors or cameras, and conveyed immediately to the bank’s security officials or even law enforcement agencies as per SOPs.
In China, the police use AI to identify and capture criminals. The Chinese government maintains the world’s largest CCTV network, and since AI allows facial recognition, they can spot and track suspects efficiently.
5. Boosting operational efficiency
Artificial Intelligence in IoT crunches the endless flow of data and detects the patterns not identified on simple gauges. Machine Learning (ML), coupled with AI, can predict operational conditions and determine the parameters to be adjusted to ensure ideal outcomes. Thus, intelligent IoT offers insights into which processes are redundant and time-consuming, and which tasks can be fine-tuned to magnify efficiency, e.g. Google’s reduction in expenditure in cooling their data centres, which they could do with AIoT.
Like Google, you too can detect which of your operational activities require fine-tuning so that efficiency is not overlooked.
6. Increasing automation
You can use AI to operate many other technologies and enhance automation in the industry, e.g. you can control robots in factories with AI or regulate temperatures via intelligent heating.
In Japan, robots that look like humans and even dinosaurs now serve as receptionists in some hotels. They can automate check-ins, booking services, and speak in four different languages, i.e. English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Korean. If you’re ever in Sasebo in Nagasaki, Japan, meet Mirai and Yumeko (the two dinosaurs) and one female human-looking robot receptionist named Kibo at the Henn na Hotel Huis ten Bosch.
7. Helps in processing business analysis
There needs to be a delicate balance between demand and supply. AI helps improve inventory management and let go of the pressure on the stock, as it will help you know in advance when you need to restock.
This aids retailers if they hoard too many products to find out later that they cannot sell them all, proving how accurate it is than manual methods. There are IoT applications, which help them in gathering the data and analytics for the maintenance of stock.
8. Inventory tracking and management
Companies that depend on storage and warehousing are benefitting a lot with the emergence of IoT. It can help in efficiently tracking and managing inventory as it gives you automatically controlled options. You only need to install IoT software and devices in your storage units and warehouses to assist you in handling inventory changes. In the retail industry, companies also connect AI with RFID and cloud technology to track inventory.
9. Better risks management
Pairing AI with IoT helps businesses understand and predict a broad range of risks and automation for a quick response. Thus, it allows them to manage financial loss, employee safety, and cyber threats more efficiently.
For example, Fujitsu ensures worker safety by engaging AI for analysing data obtained from connected wearable devices.
10. Triggering new and enhanced products/services
NLP (Natural Language Processing) is rapidly getting better at empowering people to communicate with devices. IoT and AI can create new products or enhance existing products and services by enabling the business to process and analyse the data rapidly.
For example, Rolls Royce leverages AI technologies to implement IoT-enabled aeroplane engine maintenance amenities to identify patterns and ascertain valuable operational insights.
11. Increase IoT scalability
IoT devices range from smartphone devices to high-end computers to low-end sensors. The most common IoT ecosystem involves low-end sensors that offer tremendous amounts of data. An AI-powered IoT ecosystem analyses and compiles the data from one device before transferring it to other devices. It helps reduce large volumes of data to a usable level and allows connecting a large number of IoT devices.
12. An efficient recruitment process
You can’t deny that recruitment is one of the most challenging business tasks involving a lot of steps and resources. Employees play a huge role in the success or failure of your business.
There are AI solutions that can help your HR department save time finding and selecting the right candidate.
Furthermore, people are known to make the wrong assessments and make errors while hiring candidates. AI can solve these problems by completing the hiring process more efficiently.
From managing inventories to assisting in data mining to improving personalised shopping experiences, Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) is transforming how people do business today, and can ignite innovation is any area of your business.
How AI and IoT will play a crucial role to your business growth in 2022?
The convergence of AI and IoT are redefining the way industries, businesses, and economies function globally. AI-enabled IoT creates intelligent machines that simulate smart behaviour and supports in decision making with little or no human interference.
Both startups and large organisations prefer AI technology for unleashing the full potential of IoT. Leading vendors of IoT platforms, i.e. Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce, are consolidating AI capabilities into their IoT applications.
A recent survey conducted by SAS, Deloitte, and Intel asked 450 business leaders worldwide about their use of IoT and AI technologies.
90% of those global business leaders revealed that the most significant predictor in realising value from the Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives across an organisation is the heavy use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The research also showed that organisations using IoT with AI appear to be more competitive than IoT-only enterprises by a double-digit margin across various business indicators like employee productivity, innovation, and operating costs.
Other key findings include:
- 79% of senior leaders are involved in IoT project decisions, and 92% of those leaders say that AIoT value exceeds expectations.
- 68% of companies rely on IoT data to inform daily operational decisions through spreadsheets and other non-AI technology. Only 12% of respondents use IoT to inform planning decisions, but respondents using the data for daily planning increases to 31% when AI enters the picture.
- 34% of respondents said increasing revenue is the top goal for using AIoT. That’s followed by improving the ability to innovate (17.5%), offering customers new digital services (14.3%), and decreasing operational costs (11.1%).
- Companies that have developed AIoT capabilities report stronger results across critical organisational goals, including speeding up operations, introducing new digital services, improving employee productivity, and decreasing costs. For example, companies using IoT data to speed up operations without AI saw a 32% increase; companies adding AI to the mix saw speeds improve by 53%.
- Business intelligence (33%), near-real-time monitoring and visibility (31%), and condition-based monitoring (30%) topped the list of analysis techniques used with IoT projects.
Is your business ready for a digital transformation with AIoT?
IoT and AI are capable of making your business smarter. By combining these two technologies, you will enable your business to achieve even more significant digital transformation.
Since 2003, KocharTech has been powering Fortune 500 companies, MNCs, and unicorn startups across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
We specialise in digitally transforming business processes by designing disruptive solutions using the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) technologies.
Our solutions are innovative, scalable, and built to fit the needs of every business. By combining human and digital engagements, we work on ‘Accelerating Value’ for our customers – and yours.
IGZY (the IoT arm of KocharTech) is an ecosystem of smart sensors that helps you simplify your business and life through technology.
We give you control over the safety, security, convenience, and efficiency for your business.
Whether it’s the challenge of a fragmented security ecosystem or safety concerns at your company, our reliable IoT platform allows you to keep an eye on all important things that matter to you from anywhere, anytime.
Our unified IoT platform empowers you to monitor, identify and measure deviations in your business environment and access all your CCTV cameras through our smartphone app.
So, explore the possibilities of AIoT today and connect to a smarter way of doing business in 2021 with IGZY.