Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things from IEEE Educational Activities

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow at an astonishing pace, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing at practically the same rate. While the IoT concentrates on the connectivity of multiple devices, AI focuses on the automation of those devices to perform tasks independently. What happens when the two worlds of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things collide?

As John Ginovsky and Mark Jaffe point out, we can see some effects already:

  • Voice-responsive devices such as Siri and Alexa provide solutions and connect to other devices as requested
  • Smart machines are capable of sensing low supply and reordering supplies on their own (e.g., washing machines)
  • Wearable technology connects users to other devices and personalizes the users’ experience

It’s easy to see that, when used correctly, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things devices can make our lives easier and more efficient. But we’ve only scratched the surface, and there’s far more to come. Here are some possibilities that are on the horizon:

  • Billions of autonomous, connected devices will gather and transmit information on everything from logistics to weather patterns to retail experiences without human intervention (Aite Group)
  • Self-driving vehicles will manage parking meters or pay other cars to move for passengers needing faster transport (Zilvinas Bareisis)
  • Devices will track your health and send real-time updates to your health care provider, saving you a trip to the doctor’s office

And far, far more.

One major advantage that is encouraging businesses to incorporate both IoT and AI is the ability to improve customer support through analytics and personalization. According to a study conducted by Zebra Technologies, “Nearly 70% of retail decision makers surveyed are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things, and 65% plan to invest in automation technologies” over the next few years.

Needless to say, the omnipresence of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things working together in homes and businesses is only just beginning.

For more information on the IoT and how to prepare your organization for this shifting digital landscape, check out the IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.


Ginovsky, J. (2017, June 9). Preparing for AI and IoT’s coming collision. Banking Exchange.

Jaffe, M. IoT Won’t Work Without Artificial Intelligence. Wired.

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