Internet Of Things vs. Artificial Intelligence: Competitors or Accomplices

Internet of Things vs. Artificial Intelligence

The constant change in technology has been giving rise to new concepts frequently and artificial intelligence & internet of things are creating a buzz among the tech freaks and among the lives of users recently. The two concepts have created a great impact on the latest work methodology and the way in which the future would be molded. So what is IoT and how is it different from artificial intelligence? Do these technologies work in conjugation or work against each other in completely different scenarios? Before we dwell into the deeper applications, let us focus on getting our basics right and familiarize ourselves with the terms internet of things and artificial intelligence. Read on to know more.

Internet Of Things Vs. Artificial Intelligence

Simply speaking, internet of things is a technology through which the devices can interact with each other without the interference of any user or connecting device. Essentially, there are sensors installed in the devices which are then connected to a common platform where the information is stored and analyzed and then utilized for enhancing the user experience. The things in the internet of things can be mobile phones, vacuum cleaners, cars, our own homes and many other things, the concept of smart home arises from the utilization of the concept of the internet of things.

Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, aims at letting the computer system perform intelligent tasks which otherwise would only be possible for humans such as language understanding, pattern recognition, speech and face recognition etc.

In internet of things, the devices are fed with the fixed set of commands like turning off the lights when any person leaves their house or automatically opening the door when a person enters their home. In artificial intelligence, the machines are equipped with various learning mechanisms comprising of neural networks akin to human brains. This essentially renders cognitive ability to the machine where the machine learns through a process of trial and error and adapts to the environment accordingly. In short, through artificial intelligence, machines are made capable enough to make rational decisions.

In AI, the machines are not fed with strict codes but are instead fed with an ability to learn.

Are AI and IoT Related?

We are now familiar with the basic concepts of artificial intelligence and internet of things. In internet of things, we saw how the data is analyzed for the betterment of user experience. All the internet of things follows five basic steps of sensing the changes, transmitting the information, storing the information in databases, analyzing the information and then acting upon the result of the analysis.

There is one very important thing to be realized especially in the first three steps of the above process. Technically, these processes are dumb and only when combined with extensive coding, the following steps are made possible.

So how does the internet of things process the last step of the process which is to “Act”? This act can be related to a number of things ranging from physical actions to providing basic information to the consumer. Nonetheless, this last step of acting is what makes the internet of things worthwhile. In order to achieve this action, there must be the analysis of the information and this is where artificial intelligence steps in.

So typically in case of the internet of things, the software utilizes machine learning which helps in detecting patterns in the given data so that the device can adjust accordingly and then analyze the given data. This is similar to our recommendations window where Google displays ads as per our search history or Netflix displays customized movie recommendations.

To sum up, internet of things can’t work without some level of Artificial intelligence.

To simplify this relationship between artificial intelligence and internet of things, let us consider a hypothetical scenario where a father is walking with his son on a random footpath. The son suddenly notices a car passing by and says, “ I just saw a Ferrari”. The dad then takes a look at that same car and says, “That is not a Ferrari. It is a Lamborghini, my boy”. The son learns this and logs this event in his mind. Next time, he is able to spot a Lamborghini correctly.

So the father, car traffic, and son in the above scenario represent data scientist, data, and artificial intelligence simultaneously where the son’s brain is trained via machine learning or reinforcement learning. This exchange of data between in an interconnected environment would be termed as the internet of things.

Potential Real-Life Examples Of Combining AI With IoT

So in theory, we have seen that internet of things essentially deploys sensors to the devices which then connect to the internet and send data for evaluation so that the user experience can be enhanced. We later related how artificial intelligence is important in achieving this very goal of enhancing user experience. So with a standpoint of any executive or a user, what are the things that one must be aware of when plunging into the world of AI and IoT? Technically, there are three points to discuss herein-

  • What could be the real world usage of amalgamation of artificial intelligence and internet of things? 
  • What are the future applications of the same technology? 
  • How are the present implications of this technology affecting the near future? 

So going by these pointers, we will discuss one by one, the answers to the same. First, let us discuss some real-life examples to understand how artificial intelligence works in parallel with the internet of things to make the user experience better. It is to be noted, however, that these are not the typical alarm tray type Internet of things examples and rather include subjects that effectively explain how IoT and AI can collide. In this cue, we shall discuss three notable examples.

Automatic cleaners like iRobot Roomba- this example is included here since this was the very first automated vacuum cleaner manufacturing company that had set standards for commercially successful robot cleaner back in 2002. This was developed in a way that the technology-assisted the vacuum cleaner to map the house and then remember the layout, all the while adapting to different surfaces and finding the most efficient movement pattern to clean a room. It could also auto- dock for recharging its batteries. This is definitely a clear-cut example of the imbibitions of artificial intelligence within the internet of things.

Nest lab’s thermostat solutions- Smart homes are yet to revolutionize the lives of common people but that doesn’t change the fact that the major players are not working ardently in the same direction. Nest, a company that was acquired for 3.2 billion USD by Google is working vehemently in this field. Nest’s IoT device had a clean interface which was a respite from the cluttered physical dials and given the smartphone integration that allowed for temperature controlling from anywhere, Nest did a great job in creating a smart home solution. Talking about artificial intelligence, the IoT device developed by Nest learns the temperature preference of the users and the same times, adapt as per the work schedule of the users by lowering the energy use. No wonder it witnessed great success in terms of sales revenue.

Automatic vehicles by Tesla- Since cars are things, the auto driver feature of the cars can be seen as a powerful source of artificial intelligence and Tesla seems to be the big player of the game. So how this artificial intelligence relates to the internet of things? As per Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, the cars produced by Tesla are connected to a common internet of things platform and while the each of its cars learns something new by itself, every new information is shared with all the cars via this IoT platform and hence, the driving experience is enhanced. Without this common internet of things platform, the cars won’t be able to make so much progress as they do currently in Tesla’s company.

So these were some examples that explained how the internet of things and artificial intelligence are intertwined in some current devices. As for the potential usage in the near future, the opportunities are endless and only time can reveal how both of the technologies are deployed to achieve the human goal but some of the common areas where this would be particularly useful are-

  • Security devices
  • Language translators
  • Face recognition
  • Emotional analysis


So throughout the article, we have seen how the internet of things and artificial intelligence, though two different technologies, are likely to work in parallel to achieve maximum benefit. So rather than pitting these two against each other, it is better to focus on finding ways to utilize both of them to tan heir maximum potential in conjugation. In conclusion, we can safely derive from our research that in an internet of things, we can depict what the device is capable of accomplishing while in artificial intelligence, we never know what the machine can accomplish until it actually does so.

I’m Krunal Vyas, IT consultant at iQlance Solutions Pvt. Ltd, is one of the leading Website and Mobile Apps Development Company Based in Toronto & New York, I have helped more than 200+ clients to bring idea in to reality. I have attended many tech conferences as a company representative and frequently blogs about the search engine updates, technology roll-outs, sales & marketing tactics, etc. for more details visit our website and Email us on : info@iqlance.com

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