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Industrial Internet: A Step ahead towards an Artificial Cognitive Society?

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Bijon Islam
April 27, 2014
Industrial Internet: A Step ahead towards an Artificial Cognitive Society?

The human civilization has increasingly become connected by technology and social media platforms which have forever changed the way we interact with each other. A significant part of our lives are being spent in the digital space and with each generation the time within digital network increases. Movements like “Arab Spring” have exhibited that this have significant impact even at geo-political level.
However, as we go along analyzing merits and drawbacks of such societal change have you thought about the possibility of a similar network where artificial beings especially machines (which now have substantial computing power) communicate with each other? Sounds like a movie script out of Matrix or the Terminator franchise, may be not and here’s why.

2013 has seen an explosion of interest in “Big Data”. Mckinsey estimates the market at ~ US$ 300 billion. Top universities like Northwestern and NYU have opened up MSc programs in Predictive and Business Analytics respectively. “Data Science” has become a hot topic in business discussions as well. Advent of technology have made data capture and storage cheaper and with increased efficiency in data structuring algorithms the co-relation between real time analytics and business action has become stronger. For example, Amazon automatically generates reading recommendation to their clients. Now, if the analysis is automated is it possible the execution is too. Don’t look too far, “High Volume Trades” or HVTs in capital markets may just be the starting point.
Now if we combine “Big Data” computational power with machine learning, the “Internet of Things (virtual representations of objects in digital space)” and machine-to-machine communication we are actually at the door step of the Industrial Internet – a digitized space for artificial cognitive beings. The concept has been put forward by General Electric (GE) and is demonstrated in the state of art factory they opened in New York in 2012 which manufactures advanced sodium-nickel batteries for powering cell-phone towers. The factory hosts 10,000+ sensors spread across 180K square feet of manufacturing space, all connected via high-speed intranet. And these monitor intricate component quality, power usage, temperature to even specific air pressure or humidity in the plant. Whenever, any parameters need adjustment the different machines are able to communicate with each other and execute the requisite action.
However, according to GE this is just the beginning. Right now the communication network is just intra-factory but it is possible to encompass all the products that ever went out of this factory within the network. In that way all shipped products would be constantly monitored and whenever there is mal-function, remedial action can be dispatched within the shortest possible time.
The whole structure in itself has immense possibilities – different machines are able to communicate within each other, make decisions and take actions. Just think whatever machines and equipment we have at our home today may one day be connected so that when we go to sleep the app on phone will start sleep monitoring, the alarm clock will adjust itself, the TV would shut down and a soft music would start playing whilst the light slowly dims. And before we wake up the shower water heater and coffee machine will start humming. Seems like sci-fi dream now, but just wait out three years and we would possibly get to see things even more amazing.
 


Profile
WRITTEN BY: Bijon Islam

Bijon Islam is specialized in business model development, financial structuring and inclusive business design with 10+ years of experience in corporate/ investment banking (with Citibank, N.A.), private, development and public sector consulting. Co-founder and CEO of LightCastle, one of the country’s fastest growing consulting firm with 100+ projects in 3 years and social ventures like www.pujeebd.org and www.thepitchperfect.com

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

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