AIoT: When AI Meets the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology helping us to reimagine daily life, but artificial intelligence (AI) is the real driving force behind the IoT’s full potential.
From its most basic applications of tracking our fitness levels, to its wide-reaching potential across industries and urban planning, the growing partnership between AI and the IoT means that a smarter future could occur sooner than we think.
This infographic by TSMC highlights the breakthrough technologies and trends making that shift possible, and how we’re continuing to push the boundaries.
AI + IoT = Superpowers of Innovation
IoT devices use the internet to communicate, collect, and exchange information about our online activities. Every day, they generate 1 billion GB of data.
By 2025, there’s projected to be 42 billion IoT-connected devices globally. It’s only natural that as these device numbers grow, the swaths of data will too. That’s where AI steps in—lending its learning capabilities to the connectivity of the IoT.
The IoT is empowered by three key emerging technologies:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Programmable functions and systems that enable devices to learn, reason, and process information like humans.
- 5G Networks
Fifth generation mobile networks with high-speed, near-zero lag for real time data processing.
- Big Data
Enormous volumes of data processed from numerous internet-connected sources.
Together, these interconnected devices are transforming the way we interact with our devices at home and at work, creating the AIoT (“Artificial Intelligence of Things”) in the process.
The Major AIoT Segments
So where are AI and the IoT headed together?
There are four major segments in which the AIoT is making an impact: wearables, smart home, smart city, and smart industry:
Wearable devices such as smartwatches continuously monitor and track user preferences and habits. Not only has this led to impactful applications in the healthtech sector, it also works well for sports and fitness. According to leading tech research firm Gartner, the global wearable device market is estimated to see more than $87 billion in revenue by 2023.
2. Smart Home
Houses that respond to your every request are no longer restricted to science fiction. Smart homes are able to leverage appliances, lighting, electronic devices and more, learning a homeowner’s habits and developing automated “support.”
This seamless access also brings about additional perks of improved energy efficiency. As a result, the smart home market could see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% between 2020-2025, to reach $246 billion.
3. Smart City
As more and more people flock from rural to urban areas, cities are evolving into safer, more convenient places to live. Smart city innovations are keeping pace, with investments going towards improving public safety, transport, and energy efficiency.
The practical applications of AI in traffic control are already becoming clear. In New Delhi, home to some of the world’s most traffic-congested roads, an Intelligent Transport Management System (ITMS) is in use to make ‘real time dynamic decisions on traffic flows’.
4. Smart Industry
Last but not least, industries from manufacturing to mining rely on digital transformation to become more efficient and reduce human error.
From real-time data analytics to supply-chain sensors, smart devices help prevent costly errors in industry. In fact, Gartner also estimates that over 80% of enterprise IoT projects will incorporate AI by 2022.
The Untapped Potential of AI & IoT
AIoT innovation is only accelerating, and promises to lead us into a more connected future.
|Edge computing||Smart thermostats|
|Voice AI||Smart speakers||Natural language processing (NLP)
ePayment voice authentication
|Vision AI||Massive object detection||Video analytics on the edge
Super 8K resolution
The AIoT fusion is increasingly becoming more mainstream, as it continues to push the boundaries of data processing and intelligent learning for years to come.
Just like any company that blissfully ignored the Internet at the turn of the century, the ones that dismiss the Internet of Things risk getting left behind.
—Jared Newman, Technology Analyst
How Central Banks Think About Digital Currency
Central bank digital currencies are on the horizon. What do 65 central banks representing 91% of global GDP think about them?
How Central Banks Think About Digital Currency
In the late 1600s, the introduction of bank notes changed the financial system forever. Fast forward to today, and another monumental change is expected to occur through central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
A CBDC adopts certain characteristics of everyday paper or coin currencies and cryptocurrency. It is expected to provide central banks and the monetary systems they govern a step towards modernizing.
But what exactly are CBDCs and how do they differ from money we use today?
The ABCs of CBDCs
To better understand a CBDC, it helps to first understand the taxonomy of money and its overlapping properties.
For example, the properties of cash are that it’s accessible, physical and digital, central bank issued, and token-based. Here’s how the taxonomy of money breaks down:
- Accessibility: The accessibility of money is a big factor in determining its place within the taxonomy of money. For instance, cash and general purpose CBDCs are considered widely accessible.
- Form: Is the money physical or digital? The form of money determines distribution and the potential for dilution, and future CBDCs issued will be completely digital.
- Issuer: Where does the money come from? CBDCs are to be issued by the central bank and backed by their respective governments, which differs from cryptocurrencies which mostly have no government affiliations.
- Technology: How does the currency work? CBDCs break down into token-based and account-based approaches. A token-based CBDC operates like banknotes today, where your information is not known nor needed by a cashier when accepting your payment. An account-based system, however, requires authorization to partake on the network, akin to paying with a digital wallet or card.
Digital Currency vs Digital Coins
In essence, digital currency is the electronic form of banknotes that exists today. Therefore, it’s viewed by some as a modern and efficient version of the cash you hold in your wallet or purse.
On the other hand, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a store of value like gold that is secured by encryption. Cryptocurrencies are privately owned and fueled by blockchain technology, compared to digital currencies which do not use decentralized ledgers or blockchain technology.
Digital Currency: Regulatory Authority and Stability
Digital currencies are issued by a central bank, and therefore, are backed by the full power of a government. According to the Bank for International Settlements, over 20% of central banks surveyed say they have legal authority in issuing a CBDC. Almost 10% more said laws are currently being changed to allow for it.
As more central banks issue digital currencies, there’s likely to be favorability between them. This is similar to how a few currencies like the U.S. dollar and Euro dominate the currency landscape.
The Benefits of Issuing a CBDC
There are several positives regarding the issuance of a CBDC over other currencies.
First, the cost of retail payments in the U.S. is estimated to be between 0.5% and 0.9% of the country’s $20 trillion in GDP. Digital currencies can flow much more effectively between parties, helping reduce these transaction fees.
Second, large chunks of the global population are still considered unbanked. In this case, a CBDC opens avenues for people to access the global financial system without a bank. Even today, 6% of Americans do not have a single bank account.
Other motivations for a CBDC include:
- Financial stability
- Monetary policy implementation
- Increased safety, efficiency, and robustness
- Limit on illicit activity
An example of payments efficiency can be seen during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when some Americans failed to receive their stimulus check. Altogether, some $2 billion in funds have gone unclaimed. A functioning rollout of a CBDC and a more direct relationship with citizens would minimize such a problem.
Status of CBDCs
Although widespread adoption of CBDCs is still far away, research and experiments are making notable strides forward:
- 81 countries representing 90% of global GDP are exploring CBDCs.
- The share of central banks actively engaging in CBDC work grew to 86% in the last 4 years.
- 60% of central banks are conducting experiments on CBDCs (up from 42% in 2019) and 14% are moving forward to development and pilot arrangement.
- The Bahamas is one of five countries currently working with a CBDC – the Bahamian Sand Dollar.
- Sweden and Uruguay have shown interest in a digital currency. Sweden began testing an “e-krona” in 2020, and Uruguay announced tests to issue digital Uruguayan pesos as far back as 2017.
- The People’s Bank of China has been running CBDC tests since April 2020. In all, tens of thousands of citizens have participated, spending 2 billion yuan, and the country is poised to be the first to fully launch a CBDC.
The U.K. central bank is less optimistic about a rolling out a CBDC in the near future. The proposed digital currency—dubbed “Britcoin”—is unlikely to arrive until at least 2025.
Disrupting The World of Money
Wherever you look, technology is disrupting finance and upending the status quo.
This can be seen through the rising market value of fintech firms, which in some cases are trumping traditional financial institutions in value. It is also evident in the rapid rise of Bitcoin to a $1 trillion market cap, making it the fastest asset to do so.
With the rollout of central bank digital currencies on the horizon, the next disruption of financial systems is already beginning.
From Amazon to Zoom: What Happens in an Internet Minute In 2021?
A lot can happen in an internet minute. This stat-heavy graphic looks at the epic numbers behind the online services billions use every day.
From Amazon to Zoom: An Internet Minute In 2021
In our everyday lives, not much may happen in a minute. But when gauging the depth of internet activity occurring all at once, it can be extraordinary. Today, around five billion internet users exist across the globe.
This annual infographic from Domo captures just how much activity is going on in any given minute, and the amount of data being generated by users. To put it mildly, there’s a lot.
The Internet Minute
At the heart of the world’s digital activity are the everyday services and applications that have become staples in our lives. Collectively, these produce unimaginable quantities of user activity and associated data.
Here are just some of the key figures of what happens in a minute:
- Amazon customers spend $283,000
- 12 million people send an iMessage
- 6 million people shop online
- Instacart users spend $67,000
- Slack users send 148,000 messages
- Microsoft Teams connects 100,000 users
- YouTube users stream 694,000 videos
- Facebook Live receives 44 million views
- Instagram users share 65,000 photos
- Tiktok users watch 167 million videos
As these facts show, Big Tech companies have quite the influence over our lives. That influence is becoming difficult to ignore, and draws increasing media and political attention. And some see this attention as a plausible explanation for why Facebook changed their name—to dissociate from their old one in the process.
One tangible measure of this influence is the massive amount of revenue Big Tech companies bring in. To get a better sense of this, we can look at Big Tech’s revenue generating capabilities on a per-minute basis as well:
|Company||Revenue Per Minute||Market Cap ($B)|
Much of the revenue that these elite trillion-dollar stocks generate can be traced back to all the activity on their various networks and platforms.
In other words, the 5.7 million Google searches that occur every minute is the key to their $433,014 in per minute sales.
The Internet Minute Over The Years
With the amount of data and information in the digital universe effectively doubling every two years, it’s fair to say the internet minute has gone through some changes over the years. Here are just some areas that have experienced impressive growth:
- In 2016, Snapchat users 527k photos per minute, compared to 2 million in 2021
- In 2017, Twitter saw 452k Tweets per minute, compared to 575k in 2021
- In 2018, $862,823 was spent online shopping, while 2 million people were shopping per minute in 2021
- In 2019, 4.5 million videos on YouTube were being viewed every minute, while in 2021 users were streaming 694k hours
- In 2020, Netflix users streamed 404k hours per minute, growing to 452k hours in 2021
Here’s a look at the services that have been featured in the various iterations of this graphic over the years:
Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube are the only three brands to be featured every single year.
Internet Growth Perspectives
The Internet Minute wheel also helps to put the internet’s rapid rate of adoption into perspective. For instance, in 1993, there were only 14 million internet users across the globe. But today, there are over 14 million just in Chile.
That said, the total addressable market still has some room left. By some measures, the complete number of internet users grew by 500 million in 2021, a roughly 11% jump from 4.5 billion users in 2020. This comes out to an astonishing 950 new users on a per minute basis.
What’s more, in the long term, with the appropriate infrastructure in place, certain areas within emerging markets can experience buoyant growth in the number of connected citizens. Here’s where the next billion internet users may come from, based on the largest disconnected populations.
|Rank||Country / Territory||Unconnected People||% of Population|
|8||Democratic Republic of Congo||71,823,319||81%|
With this growth trajectory in mind, we can expect future figures to become even more astonishing. But the human mind is known to be bad at interpreting large numbers, so in future editions, the internet minute figures may need to be stripped down to the internet second.
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