IoT Is on More Pragmatic Route as Experts Discuss Ethical Challenges

IoT, AI and machine learning have been on world tech experts’ radar for quite a while. Not only market leaders like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Intel, IBM, but also mid- to small-size companies and start-ups fire users’ imagination by exploring new opportunities, developing apps, reporting more and more data to be processed in various ways. Less spoken about potential practical outcomes, challenges and ethical dilemmas, giving the impression we are dealing more with some buzzword technologies rather than thought-out strategies and processes.

We at Auriga have been delivering services for IoT domain for the last several years, helping customers enhance their products with new value-added capabilities, delivering data to decision-makers, ensuring security and reliability – whether it is an assets management system, remote cardio monitoring solution or a smart agriculture drone software. To stay ahead of the competition and be certain our vision and services align well with the current trends and know-hows of the IoT community, we visit all key events of the industry. Bosch Connected World was on our list for a long time and we are happy it proved we are on the right track and introduced our experts to potentially powerful and useful development platform for the future projects.

IoT Goes Pragmatic

At Bosch Connected World 2020, all attention was on the Bosch.IO subsidiary consolidating software and hardware developers, cloud specialists, and user experience designers working on IoT and digitalization projects. The core product of this subsidiary was the Bosch IoT Suite, which is a flexible, cloud- and device-agnostic software platform for IoT solutions. It already connects more than ten million sensors, devices, and machines with their users and business applications in retail, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, mobility, and other sectors.

Undoubtedly, IoT holds enormous potential in nearly every industry. As IoT is moving beyond the hype, businesses should focus on their ROI in terms of both absolute value and time. For example, Gartner recommends that the majority of IoT projects should target financial payback in less than a year. Is it always rational and cost-effective to install sensors everywhere and collect huge amounts of data, analyze it, and make data-driven decisions?

Vyacheslav Vanyulin, Auriga’s CEO, said:

IoT is entering a more pragmatic and practical phase, and IoT leaders can now prioritize potential IoT opportunities through the lens of cost-effectiveness and business value. As we used to say for several years already, collecting and storing data is only the first step; we should understand what to do next, namely how to manage and process data. We should create analyzers and Machine Learning algorithms to identify patterns, build logical chains, and draw conclusions. Furthermore, we should take into account that new data is constantly flowing and collected data is constantly changing and adapt our decision-making to this.

At Auriga, we believe that IoT is not just about sensors, it is not even solely about data analytics. It includes sensor maintenance, workforce upskilling, ensuring cybersecurity, building trust in IoT, developing interoperability, and creating business partnerships and ecosystems. There are many crucial elements to a successful IoT implementation. It requires significant investments for still-hard-to-quantify returns, and this is why the IoT, and IIoT in particular, are not yet ready for prime time.

Andrey Shastin, the Technology & Business Partnering Executive at Auriga, added:

We continue to explore the IoT industry and look for valuable partnerships and our own niche in IoT software development to see how our expertise and experience can help our clients get the most from their IoT initiatives. While many IoT cases cover predictive maintenance, IoT is also of great interest to medical device manufacturers and many other clients from various domains. We have already partnered with test automation solution vendors and hardware manufacturers to cooperate on IoT projects. Now, we are trying to determine how to use the opportunities of the Bosch IoT Suite to deliver successful IoT solutions to our customers. As AI is very case-specific, we at Auriga are striving to look deeper into each business case to understand how to leverage IoT and AI technologies to benefit our clients.

AI Code of Ethics

Bosch Connected World 2020 showed that Bosch IoT solutions increasingly feature AI. By 2025, every Bosch product will either contain AI or have been developed or manufactured with its assistance. Bosch expects that AIoT (Artificial Intelligence in IoT) will be a significant driver of AI adoption. This has been confirmed by Artificial Intelligence in IoT (AIoT) Convergence research, which has predicted that IoT systems will have become increasingly more cognitive by 2024 rather than relying solely upon autonomic event-response logic.

Bosch sees AI as a global engine of progress and growth that, nevertheless, raises many challenging ethical questions. This is why Bosch has announced guidelines for the use of AI in its intelligent products. Bosch’s AI code of ethics is based on the key principle that AI should be a tool for people, meaning that humans should retain control over all AI-based decisions. In developing AI solutions, we should combine a drive for innovation with a sense of social responsibility. AI products should be safe, robust, explainable, and thus trustworthy, following both legal and ethical requirements.

In addition, Bosch has signed up to the High-level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, a body appointed by the European Commission to examine issues such as the ethical dimensions of AI. Bosch is investing €100 million EUR in the construction of an AI campus where 700 of its experts will soon be working on safer and more trustworthy AI applications. Over the next two years, Bosch plans to train 20,000 associates in the use of AI.

In Summary

The discussion of ethics and responsibility in IoT and AI development set the tone for the whole Bosch event. This brought us to the more fundamental questions of what a “thing” of the Internet actually is, how many “things” we require to call something IoT, and whether it is still IoT if a “thing” only connects to the network once a month. There are no clear answers to these questions, just as it is uncertain what approach to AI in IoT will be the most beneficial in the long term. Nevertheless, Bosch Connected World 2020 provided a great platform for IoT enthusiasts willing to better understand IoT and develop IoT solutions for a better life.

About Bosch Connected World

Bosch Connected World, which is Europe’s leading event for the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and digital transformation, took place at the end of February in Berlin, Germany. Auriga’s experts joined over 3,500 IoT enthusiasts, including 700+ connected solution developers, 150+ conference speakers, and 80+ exhibition partners from diverse industries around the world to discover the latest IoT software, hardware use cases, and best practices.