We have come so far since the early days of an Internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence when things seemed new. Here is a new world that totally works on computation statistics and smart cloud data servers. With the amalgamation of two major technologies like IOT and Artificial Intelligence (AI), things are moving towards a better future for sure. Industries like automation, advanced robotics, domestic appliances or the so called smart home, manufacturing, fashion and retail are all reaping the perks of these futuristic technologies. While this blend or convergence of smart techniques is in its initial years of progress, each year we move ahead few steps and make a bigger leap than the last one. It seems only a thing of yesterday when our homes and domestic appliances started embracing the intelligence from AI and the ability to connect well through the technical gift of IOT. With the emergence of major data storage technologies and smarter computational abilities, these technologies will keep on evolving in the year 2018 as well.

Want to get an idea of what this transformation would be like?

Here are some major areas that would witness a tremendous leap in the year 2018. Let’s explore each one by one.

• Fog computing to make processing of information faster and easier –

At the moment, real time data is used to process operations, through a cloud based server and a centralized information center. With the emergence of Fog Computing, the calculation metrics will shift to the smallest parts of any device and these will become intelligent enough to calculate risks, assess situations and take the corrective steps on its own. In the end, the operational summary would be sent to the cloud where it will remain on the record. This move will significantly reduce the burden to outperform on the cloud data centers, as much of the operational activities will happen at the grass root level. A major benefit of this operational enhancement would be great results in reducing energy consumption. Many business giants have started preparing for this big leap by getting smarter hardware and software installed on their business premises. There would be an increase in the percentage of businesses opting for the smart and intelligent machinery that’s compatible with the AI enabled IOT operations. Internet of things will make many leaps in terms of how it operates and analyses data inputs.

• Artificial intelligence embedded into ordinary household gadgets –

The quality of intelligence in the domestic sphere would become more realistic with smart devices that could be controlled with a smartphone. Without having to be present in the same room, anyone could send commands to a washing machine to wash and dry clothes, turn the lights on and off, turn the thermostats on high or low, and doors to automatically shut and open. Kitchens would become efficient places where much of the work could be performed with electrical appliances requiring less manual directions. Not only smart homes with inbuilt IOT, but ordinary homes will also see a rise in the usage of smart products and appliances and will pave way for a hassle free lifestyle. Voice assistants offered by Amazon and Google are some great devices which will make living smarter. The growth of retrofit IOT solutions would be more in developing countries because of limited purchasing power and admiration for evolving technologies.

• Intelligent IoT devices that could self-calculate and perform –

The distance between IoT and AI will keep on reducing, leading to the development of amazing functionality in devices and operational excellence. With user specific intelligence, the same type of IOT device would be capable of offering user specific experiences. IOT applications would become smarter enough to cleverly observe the environment, correct the flaws and auto correct a plethora of operational glitches. A rise in user specific technology will create the much needed base for Personal Artificial Intelligence era.

As we know that when we talk about AI and IOT, it is making things happen in a number of industries in numerous ways and methodologies. To understand the trends industry wise, let’s look at the bigger picture and try to understand the upcoming technical forecasts industry wise in the year 2018.

Let’s check out the major turns and path breaking trends in prime sectors like retail, telecom and manufacturing for the year 2018.

• Retail industry will remain concerned about safety, has a great scope in the operational arena –

Retail businesses will see a perspective shift from mass production to more personalized outputs. With technologies like smart voice assistants, buyers could ask the same to become better informed about products. Intelligent devices will make it easier to solve problems like ‘finding your desired size, colors, knowing the fabric, price and other details that are being answered by real staff at the moment. AI will provide user information and better hospitality to consumers through chatbots which would be great in terms of costing and information supply management.

“more and more retailers would start adopting artificial intelligence and embrace technologies that bring better client engagement and personalized experiences”, tells Charlie Cole, Global Chief E-Commerce Officer at Samsonite to Forbes Magazine in an interview.

Retail industry will also strive towards ‘one click checkout’, enabling smart sensors and radio frequency identification tags. Amazon Go Store is a great example of this.

• Manufacturing will shift from hard working to smart working, thanks to innovative intelligence

Artificial intelligence helps the manufacturing industry design and offer products and interconnected appliances that work by their own inbuilt intelligence. Assume, your newly bought washing machine recognized a small fault and reports it to the nearest company services representative, before it turns into something bigger to deal with. With the emergence of proactive servicing and complaining, the whole look and feel of consumer satisfaction will change for the better. IOT further strengthens this bond, making things work in a cohesive environment. It is therefore not surprising that around 68 % of service teams in manufacturing sector used IOT to perform smartly. Growing at a rate of 119% annually, this market will see, custom ordering and personalized consumer engagement in the year 2018.

• Telecom would be more personalized with less human labor –

It seems just like yesterday when telecom giant Vodafone launched chatbot ToBi to address issues like consumer interaction and answering general FAQ about its products and services. This year in 2018, the company will further optimize its networks through artificial intelligence to make way for better user experience. ToBi will be more artificially intelligent and will interact in sync with Amazon’s Alexa with futuristic machine learning features, suggests a report released by The Drum. There would be increasing use of IOT and AI to remove the need for human presence for physical and repetitive tasks like tower installation and radar settings.

“As the task of managing networks becomes more complex, our engineers can use machine learning to release themselves from routine tasks that are very time consuming to focus their effort on more critical and strategic projects,” says Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone Group’s Head of Network Strategy & Architecture.

What would happen when AI will shake hands with IOT in 2018?

There would be more new areas that would become open to research and practice when these two techniques continue on embracing each other. When AI uses machine learning, it could process big data and analyze vast information to correct and reprogram critical scenarios in multinational organizations. For example, artificial intelligence can help manufacturing business by ordering products in advance when scarcity is to be expected. In factories, it could pre inform about machine or process failure to correct the problem before it even becomes one. AI will help in building a mesmerizing experience of a grand home possible by coupling AI with IOT.

These two technologies could help in analyzing human behavior via Bluetooth signals, motion sensors and facial recognition techniques, resulting in automatic changes in room’s light and temperature setting. Artificial intelligence with IoT could help observe huge data regarding a typical health condition. For example, a doctor could assess millions of similar cases by deploying AI for clinical studies and come up with more successful results on surgical and other medical treatments. In short, we can say that if AI is a mind, then IOT is like its hands, helping to create a bigger, better and more efficient scenario and outperforming the last achieved successes in each and every vertical of life.