In July of 2017, MarketResearch.com published an overview article called “The Convergence of 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, and Internet of Things,” by the staff of Mind Commerce, a research and consulting company providing services to telecommunications and IT clients. The piece lists “four key technologies” transforming Information and Communications Technology (ICT)— and all the industry verticals that are dependent upon telecom and IT.
The authors examine, in detail, how each of these technologies creates opportunities to “significantly enhance user experiences for communications, applications, digital content, and commerce.”
“Every large corporation collects and maintains a huge amount of human-oriented data associated with its customers including their preferences, purchases, habits, and other personal information. As the Internet of Things (IoT) progresses, there will an increasingly large amount of unstructured machine data. The growing amount of human-oriented and machine generated data will drive substantial opportunities for AI support of unstructured data analytics solutions.” — Mind Commerce Staff, MarketResearch.com
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI, as the authors define it, is code that allows computers to learn and perform cognitive functioning similar to that of a human brain. Long-term, the goal for AI is for it to “provide autonomous decision-making on behalf of humans, both directly and indirectly, through many processes, products, and services.”
Already, AI is being used in areas like Internet search and robotics. A current trend is to incorporate this technology into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) using chat bots: automated programs that carry on audio or text conversations with customers.
Right now, the authors note, AI is transforming again, being used as a form of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) across applications, services, products, and solutions. AI can now be used to help different applications and products “talk” to one another, improving processes. Machines that can converse and make autonomous decisions can learn to reduce fraud, for example. When used in Virtual Personal Assistants (like Siri), AI technologies may even be able to provide human-like advice to customers.
2. Fifth Generation (5G)
According to the authors, 5G is a game-changer, fundamentally different from 4G/LTE currently active on mobile devices. It provides higher data rates and greater speed, but it’s more than just a better version of the same—it’s “a purpose-built technology, designed and engineered to facilitate connected devices as well as automation systems.”
What this means: the new iteration of mobile exists to support the Internet of Things (IoT), which “will be highly pervasive and impact all sectors,” say the authors.
Wireless carriers will need to evolve to adapt to mobile’s new technology needs, such as accommodating more data and providing longer-term storage for it. The authors predict that wireless infrastructure and mobile network operators will need to evolve their business models completely.
3. Data Analytics
As the Cloud, the Internet of Things, and “enterprise operational technology” converge, the authors feel that big data analytics will be more important than ever to process these real-time streams of information. “Enterprise will realize significant tangible and intangible benefits from IoT data,” the authors predict.
How? By sorting and storing data and releasing it for further study. “IoT Data as a Service (IoTDaaS) offers convenient and cost-effective solutions to enterprises of various sizes and domain. IoTDaaS constitutes retrieving, storing, and analyzing information and provides customers either of the three or integrated service packages depending on the budget and the requirement.”
4. Internet of Things
The authors break down their IoT discussion into the three main categories: Consumer IoT, Enterprise IoT, and Industrial IoT.
Currently, Consumer IoT is mainly concerned with connected homes, connected cars, and wearables. Connected vehicles can promote driver and pedestrian safety; connected homes, offering tech like smart appliances, offers lifestyle enhancements; and wearables (like smartwatches and potentially, smart clothing) promote health and connect humans wirelessly to the “macro” and “micro” worlds surrounding them. Wearables may soon allow for “Ambient IoT” as well, connecting people to services as they move through the world. All of these technologies collect data and present challenges such as privacy and security.
Enterprise IoT is concerned with businesses running efficiently and effectively—by cutting out the middleman.
Industrial IoT (IIoT) looks to streamline industrial processes by connecting up the Internet of Things with technologies like Big Data and Streaming Analytics—for example, to improve healthcare diagnostics or create “smart cities” that function more efficiently.
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