Can the IoT take a life of its own?


By E.G. Nadhan

The Virtual Conference eSummit this month on Wed, 17 Feb 2016 features a diverse array of sessions on the Internet of Things.  I am one of the speakers featured at 2 PM Central on the subject – Can the IoT take a life of its own.  Gearing up to speak at this session, I am taking the opportunity to share some of my initial thoughts on this subject.  With the continued emergence of the IoT, we have slowly but steadily begun to associate more and more behavioral characteristics with the IoT devices.  If the human brain is at one end of the spectrum of subjective intelligence, the raw IoT device is at the other end.  Perhaps, with some programmed intelligence built into the device, the IoT device can start creeping more towards the center in this spectrum.  All that said, will the IoT ever lead a life of of its own?  What will a day in the life of the IoT Device look like?  Join me as I explore this from various dimensions.
The human brain – the most intelligent thing of all – is characterized by its varying ability to subjectively exercise logic that address those gray areas in scenarios where there is no clear black & white answer. The manner in which each brain exercises these thought processes yields a subtly different answer unique to each human being and scenario. Thus, we develop various traits that define our personality and character.  How do these traits manifest themselves for an IoT device? Let us see. 

Ethics. One of the recent college application essays was about how the applicant dealt with an ethical dilemma.  Not an easy one to address (Oops! there goes my subjective human brain!). Some human brains tend to struggle with a conflicting set of thoughts that yield no clear answer.  How will the IoT deal with such situations? This article on the real dilemma of ethics and IoT should get us thinking for sure — subjectively speaking!

Trust. Over the years, we tend to build out a close circle of family and friends in whom we develop a sense of trust.  And then there are those unfortunate occasions, when we are proven wrong.  The Circle of Trust slowly develops some perforated edges. But, what about the IoT Device? In IoT we trust. Or, do we?

Affinity. Humans tend to gyrate towards like-minded acquaintances so that they can enjoy the comfort of interacting on their favorite topics — be it sports, music, latest movie in town or even technology topics like the Internet of Things ! Call it being on the same wave length or chemistry but there is something to be said about that instinct to reach out and make an emotional connection with another human being.  Can IoT devices on their own identify the presence of other devices they can partner with? Will the washing machine have enough intelligence to sense that there is a dryer next to it and should therefore signal that the next load will be ready in 20 minutes?

Fashion. Wearables can be beautiful ornaments.  Innovation happens when fashion meets function.  The human being likes to adorn itself with the ornaments that resonate with the rest of the attire and the occasion at hand.  But, when the human also wants to use wearables, a subjective call needs to be made between fashion and function.  Will the IoT device want to change colors and present itself in a more appealing manner so that it is more attractive to its own consumer — the human being?  How do you know that your Poodle is not a Snake?

All that said, when the human brain goes to work on purposefully integrating different IoT devices, magic happens as witnessed in this Intel show at Comdex 2016 with a 100 Amazon drones.

Those are the thoughts that go through my mind as I think about what a day in the life of IoT might look like. 
What say you?  What are other characteristics that define the state of mind for an IoT?

Please let me know.

*Reposted from Pulse
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/day-life-iot-device-e-g-nadhan?trk=mp-author-card

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