Artificial Intelligence (AI) has opened many doors for various industries. With its capacity to translate data in ways that add value to people’s lives, it bridges digital and human experiences. Since its inception, AI has collected more data than anyone can ever process. And as it continues to be integrated into society, the “cloud” we know is no longer just the one above our heads.
This phenomena goes hand-in-hand with a new technology paradigm called the Internet of Things (IoT). Referring to the network of connected physical objects that are embedded with sensors, it enables the exchange, processing, and use of meaningful data. It is also what makes today’s otherwise ordinary things “smart.”
That said, here are some industries that are leveraging these technologies to find new ways to achieve goals and enhance services.
The internet has democratised information access and broken down educational barriers like distance. But on top of that, it is also creating a more personalised learning experience. More schools are starting to acknowledge that students cannot be contained in the traditional one-size-fits-all mould. In an interview with The Atlantic, Professor Rose Luckin of University College London states, “The real power of artificial intelligence for education is in the way that we can use it to process vast amounts of data about learners, teachers, teaching, and learning interactions.” Through this, teachers can better assess how to effectively deliver their lessons and ensure that students absorb, not just memorise, class materials.
In the healthcare industry, where mistakes can mean life or death, smart technology is proving to be highly valuable. AI and the IoT are doing so much more than just streamlining patient records — it’s analysing them on a mass scale to detect developing diseases, like cancer, in individual patients. Though a total remedy is yet to be discovered, a team led by the London Institute of Cancer Research and the University of Edinburgh may have found a way to prevent cancer before it even rears its ugly head. Known as Revolver, the AI-powered technique detects patterns in DNA mutation within cancers and uses the information to forecast future genetic changes in patients. Other companies are also using similar technology to prevent heart attacks, diabetes, and other diseases, which means millions of lives can be saved.
Supply Chain and Logistics
Gone are the days when companies had no choice but to blindly trust third-party logistics providers to get goods from point A to B. Smart tech has lessened human error and made manual processes like shipping and tracking much easier and more transparent. Truck tracking, for instance, puts managers in the passenger seat of every vehicle in their fleet. It can help ensure the fleet remains on schedule and sends alerts in the event of a breakdown, or to warn against harmful habits like speeding or excessive idling. Given this technology, Verizon Connect explains that managers have more control and can take immediate action whenever needed. In turn, this can help reduce fuel costs, prevent accidents, and improve fleet productivity. Although this technology is yet to be rolled out in Singapore, it has been mandated in the US, and other countries are expected to follow in the coming years.
The agriculture sector is extremely crucial to human survival, yet it is an industry fraught with issues like wastage. Now, smart tech is filling these unmet needs and dramatically helping farmers. For example, an IoT-enabled system called Semios provides farmers with solutions for pest control. Not only can it detect when the pest population is getting too high, it can also automatically disrupt their mating patterns. It singlehandedly eliminates the need for pesticide use, lessens resources lost to pests, and ensures nothing gets in the way of maximum crop yields.
Customer convenience is the pulse of modern retail, and IoT is making sure consumers are more empowered than ever. Of course, who else could be at the forefront of this innovation than Google? Their recently launched Nearby Notifications feature helps users discover what’s around them using location-based notifications for apps and websites. According to the company, it enhances the shopping experience by letting customers do more with their phone — whether they’re scanning items to get instant reviews or finding the nearest available stock for the shirt they’re eyeing.