IoT & AI: The Future in the PresentQuayd Tait
IoT (Internet of Things) & AI (Artificial Intelligence) are terms many are still getting used to. From the days when computing was centralised in mainframes, forcing large organisations to function with refrigerator-sized cabinets in cooled rooms, through stepping out into the computer-server era, talking about IoT’s cloud computing is still a novelty.
But there’s no question, whether we realize it or not, the job market and how we live are and will be affected by matters IoT & AI. Current jobs are indeed on the chopping block as AI technology applications increase. But that isn’t bad news, it just means making better career choices. Opting for work in IT rather than opening a company to rival Uber makes no sense if self-driven cars are where it’s at.
Say Hello to IoT’s AI Digital Voice Assistants
Voice recognition technology brought users closer to IoT’s AI world. Top of the range is Google’s Voice Assistant and Apple’s Siri. Near the end of 2019, we said goodbye to Microsoft’s Cortana as the digital giant is set to integrate with Amazon’s Alexa, who is proving a strong contender on this catwalk.
“We tested many voices with our internal beta program and customers before launching and this voice tested best,” an Amazon spokesperson told PCMag, about their choice to name their assistant Alexa and use only a woman’s voice. IoT & AI researchers noted that female voices are widely perceived as more pleasant than male ones. In the very near future, users will be able to ask Alexa “why did you do that?” to question unexpected behaviour.
2020 is set to see exciting developments for Alexa, as analyst Geoff Blaber says, “This avalanche of new products underlines Amazon’s desire to extend Alexa’s reach to every part of people’s lives – be that in the home, or on the move via new Echo Buds or in the car through the deal with General Motors.”
Amazon announced that Alexa, IoT & AI’s favourite, will soon be able to mimic the voice of Samuel L Jackson, among other celebrities – for a fee of course. Amazon said it would use a “neural text-to-speech” engine to mimic celebrities’ voices on Alexa-powered devices. It will use recordings the stars provide as the basis for other computer-generated utterances. In the case of Samuel L Jackson, consumers will be given the choice of whether they want a version that swears or not!
IBM’s Watson however – an AI of a higher IoT order, dealing with physicians and the like, speaks with a male voice. If asked whether Siri is male or female, the voice reply is “Don’t let my voice fool you: I don’t have a gender.” Some languages across the IoT & AI spectrum, offer male or female voice options. Siri, for one, also boasts a few dialects.
Amazon’s devices chief Dave Limp shone a torch for the way ahead during a launch event at the Seattle headquarters. Changes to its Ring-branded smart doorbells, mean these will now gain use of Alexa, including a service that will allow visitors to record a message if the owner is out and unable to answer remotely via the device’s app.
Such is technology’s pace of change that it isn’t enough to keep up, we must get ahead because the future is already present.
What is the Future of the Cloud for IoT & AI?
Clint Boulton of CIO Africa headlined a fast-approaching reality: “Edge computing will blow away the cloud,” he foretold.
At the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Network event, Peter Levine spelt it out a little more; “I’m going to take you out to the edge to show you what the future looks like…A large portion of computation that gets done in the cloud today will return to the edge.”
The Edge of the Cloud in the world of IoT & AI is where self-driving cars and drones – essentially data centres with wheels/wings – might just start to evaporate the cloud somewhat. Unthinkable? It may seem so when Cloud computing has only just started. In the end, it’s likely that while the Cloud may thin out, it’s role will just change as Edge, edges in!
IoT Edge is an Internet of Things service that enables users to carry out Edge computing. As its name implies, Edge computing brings capabilities closer to end-user applications. So, instead of devices needing to process via the Cloud infrastructure for instructions or analysis, they are given the ability to accomplish these tasks on their own.
An IoT gateway is a physical device or software program that serves as the connection point between the Cloud and controllers, sensors and intelligent devices. A gateway essentially provides a place to pre-process data locally – at the Edge – before sending it on to the Cloud.
Indeed, the road ahead is lit with spectacular IoT & AI advancements. “The next generation of artificial intelligence that lets computers teach themselves. Deep learning techniques program machines to perform high-level thought and abstractions, such as image recognition. The technology has advanced marketing by enabling more personalization, audience clustering, predictive marketing, and sophisticated brand sentiment analysis,” says Business Insider Intelligence.
Huge Connect is, not only your best partner in connectivity but your bridge into the grand new world of IoT & AI, voice recognition technologies and edge computing.
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