The future is here: AI meets IoT

Learn everything you need to know about the blending of AI and IoT, plus some major AIoT trends happening today.
Maggie Murphy
March 21, 2022
Man using facial recognition security system

When people hear the term “artificial intelligence,” they often think of Skynet from the Terminator films or the robot rebellion from I-Robot. That’s why it’s important to make the distinction between true artificial intelligence (what some might call self-consciousness) and current AI technology. So far, we have gotten to the point where machines can learn from the past and adapt to new situations but are not truly intelligent. Still, when this technology meets the growing IoT network, some pretty amazing things can happen.

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What happens when AI integrates with IoT?

IoT produces huge amounts of data. Imagine 10,000 machines in a smart factory, with all of their unique data points on supply needs, production speed, and recent maintenance. Now, try to imagine keeping track of all that information in real-time. You can see why getting a machine to manage this massive data output would be a better option. AI takes the data from IoT devices and looks for patterns. Then, it learns how to manage complex systems better. What’s truly unique about AI is that it can make choices about what actions ought to be taken. But not all AI is the same. Some AI is perfectly built for large-scale data and maintenance management. But other, more advanced AI is designed to learn how humans behave and take on tasks that we would never have imagined could be done by a machine.

Recommended Reading: Artificial Intelligence (AI) vs. Machine Learning (ML): What’s the difference?

The benefits of AIoT

AI can be integrated with IoT in a lot of ways, but the key benefit is that AI can learn and adapt. This moves IoT from being a highly advanced monitoring and control system to networks that can actually manage themselves. Let's take a look at some of the resulting benefits of combining AI technologies with IoT infrastructure.

1) Better predictive maintenance in smart vehicles

Most of us are used to preventative maintenance in vehicles (like a standard 3000-mile oil change), but predictive maintenance is a bit different. Predictive maintenance is when AI can take data about the current state of parts, driving conditions, and other factors and then decide what parts and systems are likely to need maintenance soon. It can also make suggestions about ways to prevent problems in the future.

2) Ability to use data more

Another major benefit of AI is its ability to make reasonable predictions based on large amounts of data collected by IoT devices. In the past, it was up to humans to examine the IoT data output and try to determine what might be the best way to boost efficiency. AI can autonomously process that data, make predictions, and even carry out actionable results. All this works together to greatly reduce redundancy and find new ways to make systems work.

3) Reduction of unwanted downtime

Preventive maintenance is also one of the main ways to avoid downtime. For example, this is already being implemented in an Australian solar power plant where direct inspection of equipment is harder due to the remote location. AI drones inspect the panels for dirt, malfunction, or any other issues to make sure that they never stop generating power. In fact, the firm Anodot estimated that predictive maintenance will save organizations between $240B to $630B by 2025 due to the reduction of downtime and associated maintenance costs.

4) Safer and smarter cities

Smart cities bring a whole new layer of complexity to IoT and AI. Traffic, crime, utilities, emergency services, food distribution — all of these are layers in the larger system that makes up a city. When these layers begin to interact with one another, it allows for some exciting possibilities. For example, some cities are already using surveillance cameras at public events that are linked to AI-based video analytics software. The aim is to have the AI recognize any out-of-the-ordinary behavior that could indicate a terrorist attack or potential crime.

Recommended Reading: Everything you need to know about IoT smart cities

5) Prevents costly errors in the manufacturing industry

With the speed of current assembly lines, even five seconds of flawed production comes at a huge cost. Since most defects in products can be seen visually, an AI can spot a problem using a high-speed camera. Then it can instantly remove the faulty product or shut down the whole process to avoid wasting resources.

6) Heighten security measures in business transactions

There are a lot of ways AI can tighten up cybersecurity. And considering the number of IoT devices involved in business transactions, it is sorely needed. AI is helpful in intrusion and malware detection because it’s is great at detecting patterns. If your system is ‘acting strange,’ the AI will immediately pick it up. With its predictive abilities, AI can also help find vulnerabilities in code and anticipate weaknesses in systems that hackers might exploit.

The 5 major AIoT trends happening today

AIoT is already making a big impact. The decision-making and predictive abilities of AI are able to do more of the heavy lifting when it comes to large-scale management. Innovators are finding new applications for AIoT that are only possible when these technologies work together.

Recommended Reading: Top IoT trends for 2022

1) Smart manufacturing

Adding the adaptive learning capabilities of AI into manufacturing IoT systems presents some exciting possibilities. For example, smart factories use this technology to monitor assembly lines, drastically reduce downtime, and receive remote updates on any assembly line problems. They have also significantly cut down on time spent planning logistic operations. Pushing AI even further, adaptable autonomous robots can accomplish job site tasks ranging from driving screws to soldering metal.

2) Smart cities

From traffic lights to video surveillance, AIoT makes smart cities a realistic possibility in the next ten years. Automated vehicles are only possible with the combination of IoT and the decision-making power of AI. Video surveillance run through AI can detect objects, faces, and actions and then alert security only when needed. AI collecting weather data from a network of IoT devices can send resources where needed before an approaching snowstorm. If AIoT can take the load of management away from overburdened city personnel, it will allow them to focus on tasks that only humans can do.

3) Smart homes

Imagine your front door automatically swinging open for you — because your house recognized your face. This isn’t that far off. AIoT can heighten home security by monitoring video surveillance and recognizing when a stranger is in your house. AIoT also has the ability to learn the likes and dislikes of every member of your family and tailor temperature, lighting, and the audio environment to whatever they prefer. Some brands are already releasing IoT devices that can prepare preloaded meals. Once AI is integrated, cooking may become the next chore AIoT can manage.

4) Wearable technology

Smartwatches, VR headsets, and Bluetooth headphones are all current examples of wearable IoT. But adding AI to the mix presents even more applications. Augmented reality glasses that can overlay information in real-time, alerting you to important updates. Smart Watches that can learn your behavior and habits, and make decisions like a virtual personal assistant. Yoga pants that help train you and adapt to your skill level. These are all possible with AIoT.

5) Healthcare advancements

AIoT is already making a big impact on healthcare. Currently, AI-equipped insulin pumps are adapting to the blood sugar patterns of people with diabetes. With the help of IoT devices like continuous glucose monitors, the AI is able to learn from past mistakes to better manage blood sugar levels. Some companies have even proposed smart shirts to monitor respiratory problems. Another key advantage of AI is its ability to take in massive amounts of data. For example, doctors often struggle to diagnose patients with more obscure problems because one person can’t possibly know every symptom. An AIoT equipped diagnostic station could solve that problem. Using decision-making algorithms to compare the symptoms to billions of possible problems could result in a quick and accurate diagnosis.

Get connected with an IoT sim card by Hologram

AI can learn. And with learning comes self-improvement, decision-making, and adaptability. AIoT has the potential to reshape how we use IoT. It moves IoT from data collection and monitoring to adaptive personal assistants. It releases AI from the confines of desktops to have a much bigger impact on the world.

For AIoT technology to be beneficial, cellular IoT devices first need a reliable SIM card that can adapt to the changing cellular landscape. Hologram’s IoT SIM card offers seamless, global coverage for IoT devices with access to LTE/4G/3G/2G/CAT-M technologies. With our Hyper eUICC-enabled SIMs, you’ll gain access to new connectivity partnerships without any additional carrier negotiations, integrations, or hardware swaps.

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