Technology has advanced at an exponential rate, as explained by futurist Ray Kurzweil’s core thesis of “the law of accelerating returns”, so far he has a good track record with his predictions and looking at Moore’s law as an example, the exponential growth doesn’t seem to be letting up.
To put things in perspective, charting at the growth in five, ten, and twenty years, we are looking at increments of thirty-two, a thousand, to a million times respectively. With the accumulated tools and knowledge in our hands, the advancements of AI and IoT technology stands out.
In the developments for AI In 2016, we have seen the tech giants of our era clamouring to be “AI companies” with their investments in the field paying off. Following the momentum through to 2017, the focused charge in the research and understanding of AI, and the results compounding with technology’s exponential growth will result in changes and improvements to AI that seamlessly integrates or overrides existing systems, affecting many different facets of our lives.
On the side of IoT technology, 2016 saw many endeavours with a shift from hype to reality being a theme. With IoTs being a blanket term for any device that boasts interconnectivity and communication with data and other devices, they have been prevalent longer than most would realise. By 2008, there were more devices connected to the internet than people on earth. And it looks to keep escalating, with a projected growth from USD 4 trillion in 2015 to USD 11 trillion a year by 2025, these numbers affect the movement of home IoT devices, with a healthy increase from 444 million device shipments from 2015 to 1,111 million shipments by 2020.
Looking at technology trends for 2017, we see many trends that leverage on each other. Mainly having IoT and smart home technology coincide with machine learning, big data, and automation. Advancements in both home IoTs and AI will result in home IoTs being more accessible, and affordable, covering ranges from smart HVAC solutions to lighting, and security to give the needs and the potential for a basic home IoT setup a broad stroke.
The tandem of home IoTs and AI advancements will aid in digitising our physical world. AI as a is a current trend, a tag that bestows added value to services and products it touches. Unseen, and unnoticed, many devices, services, and interactions that we experience daily have been impacted and guided by AI. With a survey showing that there is a wide perception gap, and fear of AI, up to 84% of the survey participants not realising that they were interacting with AI, and 70% expressing fear of AI. The shift is inevitable, and the only way to eliminate this fear is through acceptance, and understanding of how AI can enrich our lives.
Bernard Marr has an article that gives a good explanation on how machine learning as a subset of AI is the driving force contributing to many recent developments to how we use and interact with AI. Advancements in machine learning are crucial for the future of home IoTs, for the technology to cement itself as the new norm.
Different families and individuals display varying habits and preferences in their home. This leads to a sequence of events, that can spawn to multiple permutations. The factors range from specifying which devices to switch on, to specific settings for each device, that can react to different contingencies such as weather conditions, and individual preferences. In general, the optimum temperature for individuals are based on slight variations from the ambient temperatures, that matches the climate conditions, and seasons of the area. The future smart home IoT system has to have the entire home in sync to these considerations.
Machine learning in home IoTs works along with big data, leveraging and making sense of mass user data, to accurately pinpoint and predict the needs and wants of each individual. With good home IoT systems requiring little to no setup, communicating with existing devices, allowing the homeowner to experience an elevated level of ease, comfort, and convenience.
“AI should have one simple goal: Connect a customer to an outcome that has meaning. Nothing else matters,” mentions Pega’s CEO, Alan Trefler. And with how users and their home IoTs are communicating and learning from each other, our smart homes will only get smarter.