We Need to Push the AI Button to Unlock IoT


Artificial Intelligence might seem like a dystopian science-fiction future for some, but it’s already transforming our daily lives and will certainly play a growing role in IoT applications and deployments.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is about sensors embedded into devices of all kinds, which are connected to the internet and provide data to be analyzed to take action, be it sending a drone to a complex construction site or detecting free parking spots. In any case, the success of those actions depends on the analysis previously made by Artificial Intelligence, better, Machine Learning.

As the data created by devices keeps growing -it’s expected to reach 847 zettabytes by 2021, according to Cisco-, Industrial IoT (IIoT) markets are becoming aware that the combination of IoT and Machine Learning not only enables new products and services but also increases efficiency and competitiveness, which is no small development. And I’m not just talking about predictive maintenance, which is probably the most widely recognized application of AI in IIoT at this time.

There are multiple use cases epitomizing that AI and IIoT are made for each other. In fact, Gartner estimates that more than 80 percent of IoT projects will include an AI component by 2022, in comparison to the current 10 percent. The questions that follow are: “Does this investment make sense for my business?” “Will it strengthen my differentiation capabilities?” “Where to start?”

These are the kind of questions we will answer at the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC) to be held in Barcelona on 29th-31th October 2019. Since its first edition back in 2015, the event has grown to become the global reference for industrial IoT, and the annual meeting for industry stakeholders to establish new partnerships.

We know that the adoption of AI poses some technical and organizational challenges as the IoT is a complex ecosystem with many moving parts and an incessant flow of data. We know that there are emerging ethical and legal issues to be addressed. And as the leading event in IoT, we want to help companies and organizations navigate this paradigm shift.

Since 2017, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Systems has become a parallel forum within the congress aimed at discovering how this technology is disrupting the IoT landscape. We’ve brought Sophia the robot and showcased the endless possibilities that AI brings to IoT.

This 2019 edition, we step further with a 3,000m2 dedicated zone for Artificial Intelligence companies and a 3-day program with more than 50 speakers and keynotes like Joe Barkai, author of The Outcome Economy; Wael William Diab, Senior Director at Huawei Technologies; Jennifer Bennet, Technical Director at Google Cloud; and Teresa Tung, Managing Director at Accenture Labs, reflecting on the emerging initiatives on industrial Artificial Intelligence, their benefits and the social responsibilities they convey.

Written in this way, IoTSWC looks like another tech event. It’s not. We surely need a ‘mise en scène’ to speak our minds, but we also want you to make the most of what you see to know where the action is in AI and IoT. It’s not the future, it’s now.

About the author: Roger Bou is Director of the IoT Solutions World Congress, the international leading IIOT event, organized by Fira de Barcelona in partnership with the Industrial Internet Consortium since 2015. Focused on Industry 4.0, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Quantum, he is also member of the Board in Barcelona Qbit (Quantum Computing) as well as mentor and advisor of different programs for Startups.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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