While the development of the internet of things has revolutionized heavy industry, online shopping, localized data collection and virtually every other aspect of modern life and business, innovators are still struggling over the future of the IoT, and how they’ll get there. While many see big data as the driving engine behind the IoT, savvy investors and entrepreneurs have shown that the real power behind the interconnectivity phenomenon is artificial intelligence.

SwissCognitiveTapping into the potential of AI won’t be easy for innovators, but doing so will be far more profitable for the IoT’s future than relying on big data alone. As programmed intelligence grows to new and greater heights, its ability to optimize the IoT will only be enhanced.

A new way of thinking

While artificial intelligence has largely been confined to “narrow” applications, such as operating robotic arms on an assembly line or handling other repetitive, simpler tasks, new developments in AI are changing the way it’s impacting the market. Today’s AI is increasingly capable of operating as a prediction engine, being used to foresee and exploit forthcoming market trends more so than being used as robotic labor. As the quality of AI’s predictions continues to grow , companies in virtually every industry will come to rely on its accurate forecast more so than on big data analytics. While investments in big data will serve companies for decades to come, the potential of big data can only truly be realized when it’s paired with advanced AI capable of putting it to good use. As the specialized hardware needed to exploit truly advanced AI continues to develop at a breakneck pace, the option for companies to use AI will also grow cheaper. So much of the data that flows through and enables the IoT can only be made helpful through the use of or with help from AI, meaning that developments in AI will more so than anything else shape the future of the IoT.

Making use of the data

IoT sensors are rapidly coming to be embedded in virtually every modern structure and home, meaning localized data collection is more optimized now than ever before. As the volume of data collected grows, only AI with deep machine learning capabilities will be able to crunch it effectively. As cognitive computing capabilities become more impressive, companies will come to rely on them to replace or supplement their beleaguered human staffers. As Forrester’s report notes, AI investment is likely to grow by a staggering 300% in 2017 as companies realize the gold mine of potential that rests in harnessing the power of algorithms. […]