Data Tools: Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are the fundamental technology to the Internet of Things (IoT), which are everywhere and they are shipped more frequently than smartphones (Ashton, 2015). The IoT is the explosion of device/sensor data, which is growing the amount of structured data exponentially with huge opportunities (Jaffe, 2014; Power, 2015). Ashton (2016), analogizes IoT to fancy windmills where data scientist and a computer scientist are taking energy and harnessing it to do amazing things. Newman (2016), stated that there is a natural progression of sensor objects to become learning objects, with a final desire to connect all of the IoT into one big network.  Essentially, IoT is giving senses through devices/sensors to machines (Ashton, 2015).

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of things

Thus, analyzing this sensor data to derive data-driven insights and actions is key for companies to derive value from the data they are gathering from a wide range of sensors.  In 2016, IoT has two main issues, if it is left on its own and it is not tied to anything else (Jaffe, 2014; Newman, 2016):

  • The devices/sensors cannot deal with the massive amounts of data generated and collected
  • The devices/sensors cannot learn from the data it generates and collects

Thus, artificial intelligence (AI) should be able to store and mine all the data that is collected from a wide range of sensors to give it meaning and value (Canton, 2016; Jaffe, 2014). The full potential of IoT cannot be realized without AI or machine learning (Jaffe, 2014). The value derived from IoT depends on how fast AI through machine learning could give fast actionable insights to key stakeholders (Tang, 2016). AI would bring out the potential of IoT through quickly and naturally collecting, analyzing, organizing, and feeding valuable data to key stakeholders, transforming the field into the Internet of Learning-Things (IoLT) from the standard IoT (Jaffe, 2014; Newman, 2016).  Tang (2016), stated that the IoT is limited by how efficiently AI could analyze the data generated by IoT.  Given that AI is best suited for frequent and high voluminous data (Goldbloom, 2016), AI relies on IoT technology to sustain its learning.

Another, high potential use of IoT with AI is through analyzing data-in-motion, which is analyzing data immediately after collection to identify hidden patterns or meaning to creation actionable data-driven decisions (Jaffe, 2014).

Connection: One without the other or not?

In summary, AI helps give meaning and value to IoT and IoT cannot work without AI. Since, IoT is supplying huge amounts of frequent data, which AI thrives upon.  It can go without saying that a source of data for AI can come from IoT.  However, if there were no IoT, social media can provide AI the amounts of data needed for it to generate insight, albeit different insights will be gained from different sources of voluminous data.  Thus, the IoT technologies worth depends on AI, but AI doesn’t depend solely on IoT.