Forbes equate the hype around cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to the launch of the internet some thirty years ago. Describing the rise of the internet as the greatest technology revolution since the industrial revolution, they describe the combination of cloud, IoT and AI as “driving opportunity and threat in equal measure”.
Think of AI and cloud computing as the brain of IoT, providing incredible amounts of value to IoT. Set to totally revolutionise how we interact with various “things” in the world around us, the IoT wave was triggered by the rise of the smartphone and seems almost unstoppable. In fact, according to BI Intelligence, there will be a total of 22.5 billion IoT devices connected in 2021, which is close to three and a half times the number of IoT devices in 2016. BI Intelligence also forecast that there will be $4.8 trillion worth of IoT investments between 2016 and 2021.
Here are two “whys” that explain what role cloud computing plays in the growth of AI and IoT:
Why cloud computing is key to IoT success
Cloud computing and IoT technology ultimately have the same goal – to up the efficiency of everyday tasks.Where IoT generates lots of data that can be used to improve and streamline business processes, cloud computing offers the efficiency required for this data to be accessible in real time. For developers, cloud enables them to deploy IoT initiatives far quicker because they can store and access data remotely. And we’re not just talking about regular data, we’re talking about Big Data. Cloud enables businesses to manage all of this information.
Why cloud computing is essential to the success of AI
“Cloud computing using AI isn’t a radical or revolutionary change. In many respects it’s an evolutionary one,” Dr Wanli Min, chief machine intelligence scientist at Alibaba Cloud, wrote in November last year. “Over the next few years we can expect to see the industry continue to boom, with AI driving cloud computing to new heights, while the cloud industry helps bring the benefits of AI to the mainstream.” Given the fact that many AI applications rely on video analytics and that applying AI to the analysis of live video demands low latency cloud offers the computing power necessary to make this happens smoothly.
Essentially, cloud is the glue that holds emerging technologies together. “Cloud enables mobile connectivity; mobile connectivity creates more data; more data makes artificial intelligence better; AI enables more edge use cases; and more edge needs more cloud for storage and compute,” said Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of VMware, at a conference last year.
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