It is always important for businesses to leverage the latest technology, as you probably know. In the wider picture, these decisions can gradually change the nature of business itself. Two good examples of this are AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology and IoT (Internet of Things) technology. Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits and risks that we can expect from these emerging tech trends.
How Is AI Useful For Businesses?
Needless to say, artificial intelligence offers a lot of labor-saving possibilities. This is basically an automated employee that doesn’t have to be paid, so there’s one big advantage right there. Apart from the cost-saving benefits, AI can be used to automate a lot of routine tasks, making your business operations more efficient.
This report of a detailed study identified five key areas in which AI can be particularly useful:
- Data science competence
- Business domain proficiency
- Enterprise architecture expertise
- Operational IT in general
- Digital inquisitiveness
Now, let’s try to put that into terms that normal people can understand:
- Data science competence: AI can be used to automate some of your routine data handling procedures. This can lead to more efficient databases with far fewer errors or omissions.
- Business domain proficiency: This term usually refers to the use of AI to analyze and improve one’s business process. An impartial intelligence will be concerned only with producing the desired results.
- Enterprise architecture expertise: The automated design of appropriate network/application architecture.
- Operational IT: Routine IT tasks like network monitoring and software updating.
- Digital inquisitiveness: The use of AI to predict the future, usually by analyzing current trends.
How Is IoT Technology Useful For Businesses?
“Internet of Things” technology also has many potential uses for businesses of all types. Most of these uses come down to one thing: Better management of resources and individuals. These devices provide real-time data and can be incorporated into virtually any object. Such an object is then usually referred to as a “smart device.”
Apart from monitoring, there are also some good remote-use possibilities here. When equipment can be operated from afar, it means that you won’t have to send someone out to physically do the job. IoT devices also have the potential to service themselves if something goes wrong, which seems like a very practical idea. Even if they just update their firmware from the internet without being told, that can save a lot of time.
Using The Two Together
It doesn’t take a tech genius to figure out how these things are used together: Use the AI to run the smart devices! If you have one unified AI running all your IoT devices, you can ensure that their data is always in sync and that no problem goes unnoticed. This is a simple concept with near-infinite possibilities.
The AI would, of course, need to be programmed for security as well. This would turn it into a combination of butler and guard dog. They can provide service while also responding to any detected threats. There is definitely a need to increase the security of web-connected IoT devices, and a well-designed AI could be just the thing for that.
Although figures vary, it seems that a lot of people are combining these technologies. The massive amount of data that can be accumulated from IoT devices is best handled by an automated AI assistant. Think about it: If you have only seven devices running 24 hours a day, that’s 168 hours worth of data flow, and large organizations will likely have a lot more than seven.
After a few years, this massive amount of data will probably become too bloated for a human to competently manage. This is where an AI can serve as a “virtual librarian” who aids human workers in accessing the data that they need on demand.
Potential Risks And Problems
It’s hard to discuss this kind of thing without imagining a “Terminator” situation. Obviously, the dangers of a rogue AI should not be overlooked. Already, there have been a number of incidents in which artificial intelligence did not perform as intended. Obviously, more work has to be done in order to make these things more predictable.
IoT currently has a big problem with security. When you have so many important devices and systems connected to the web, that will present the possibility of someone hacking/hijacking them through the web. Worse, many of the current IoT devices on the market do not come equipped with any significant security. There is a trend toward the enabling of web encryption, which is good. However, that one step will not be enough.
Consider this: Many cities are now using IoT technology to create “smart cities” (or at least certain “smart areas” within their cities). This means that crucial infrastructure, from traffic lights to garbage collection to emergency response is now controlled automatically and connected to the web. We don’t have to tell you how bad it could be if someone compromised that infrastructure with harmful intent.
Risks To Privacy
We also need to talk about another obvious problem: Business privacy. Even in a public environment, a person does have a right to a certain amount of personal privacy. The combined use of AI and IoT can definitely be used to violate that right. When we look at a lot of these “smart cities”, we can see that governments are mostly using this technology to monitor and control their populations.
There is no reason to think that the business sector will be immune to this kind of problem. Even if you aren’t worried about unlawful surveillance from the authorities, there are still private-sector threats to consider. If a hacker (or a group of them) is able to manipulate an AI that controls crucial business functions, the data leakage is likely to be severe.
Whether you feel this technology is worth the risk or not, there is no denying its benefits. There’s also no denying the benefits of a competent IT support provider. Implementing something like this will require someone with skill and experience, and PCH Technologies can offer that with no problem. If you need local managed IT services or any other kind, you can call us at (856) 754-7500.