DAY 3 RECAP: IoT and AI, the perfect match

Endings are somehow bittersweet. Also in large events like the IOTSWC where you get great ideas and networking contacts but also questions are encouraged as part of the learning process for everyone.

On the third and last day at the IOTSWC19, Marta Muñoz, who leads IDC EMEA’s Internet of Things (IoT) research, advisory, and consulting, took stok of the IoT situation and made it clear that “we’re in a new stage of maturity of IoT” “Now companies are looking at data and trying to make sense of it”, she added when presenting a study on the combination of AI and IoT conducted by IDC and sponsored by SAS with the support of Deloitte and Intel.

There are, of course, businesses which are already looking at IoT as an investment, developing pilots and integrating KPIs to monitor their results. Yet there are also explorers which remain somewhat skeptical. But, overall, they agree that both the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence drive value through data as they contribute to highlight daily problems and offer solutions. However, many recognize that there are still some obstacles to overcome like the lack of specific skills and some data concerns.

In fact, when walking around the congress for these three days, the main sentiment was that, in the end, it’s all about data, that data surely is “the new oil” and that, no matter the technology, insights, an not just connectivity, are somehow a part of the solution.

In a session about the Sensor Based Analysis of Movement and the Quantification of Pain, Discomfort and Desequilibrium which sounded a bit technical by the title but was really entertaining, Mark Wolff, Chief of Health and Life Science Analytics at SAS Institute, underlined that “IoT won’t work without AI”, that AI is “data-hungry”, that we need algorithms to help us, and also that decision-making at the point of the sensor is not only decisive but inevitable.

“We’ll have to rely on edge analytics,” he said, as one of the greatest challenges of clinicians is time. Indeed, time and how to parcel that out is the most valuable commodity for many people. So, thinking about software, or even a piece of code, as a medical device makes sense. Does that entail better diagnosis and efficacy of treatments? By telling a personal story, Wolff showed that it is now possible to measure pain. So, at least, digital, automated clinical assessment is closer. Personal stories are compelling.

This is certainly promising, but -there is always a but- security and privacy are still the weak points of the story. Don’t get us wrong. Surprising and extraordinary efforts are under way in businesses from around the globe. Yet there are still threats. The most worrying are those related to access to sensitive data, sabotage, and the use of botnets for DDoS attacks.

Hence, getting serious about IoT security is getting crucial for any business. To tackle this issue, Global Platform introduced during IOTSWC19 a new collaborative industry initiative, named IoTopia, aimed at developing fundamental elements such as Security by Design, Device Intent to identify connected things and managing their behavior; Secure Onboarding and Device Lifecycle management. These four pillars are not easy to implement but collaboration is a powerful engine to make clear the industry determination to boost those efforts.

In the end, it all boils down to join efforts to build a better connected future. At IOTSWC we’re already working on that. See you 27-29 October 2020!

Pedro Mier

Pedro Mier holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineer ing from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, MBA from ESADE and PADE from IESE. He is currently President of AMETIC (Association of Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications Companies of Spain), Shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRYO Aerospace & Electronics, Board Member of the Premo Group and Committee of CTTC. member of Space Angels Network and Member of the Sc ientific Advisory