AI and IoT in 2020
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By the end of 2020 there will be 20.7bn IoT devices

Published 24/01/2020

By the end of 2020 there will be 20.7bn IoT devices

Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to drive the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2020. As the fundamental ingredient needed to make sense of the vast amount of data collected by businesses, we will see demand for practical AI solutions and the skilled professionals need to design, implement and analyse the information continue to grow throughout 2020. 
We look at a few trends in AI and IoT for 2020.


More Unique and Intelligent AI

Businesses are collecting more and more data which is increasing the demand for more sophisticated AI to process and understand this raw data into something meaningful. But data-hungry systems face both business and ethical constraints in what kind of information they’re using. Harvard Business Review points out that top-down AI systems will require more unique data sets And these systems will be faster, more flexible and more innately intelligent.

Companies and organisations are already putting these more natural systems to work. There are 2 growth streams of data. Big data is still big business, processing vast amounts of information. But there is also a growing number of companies in a variety of niche fields, each with their own proprietary access to unique data, exploring explicit information for AI progression.

This underscores one of the most important facts about AI development: it's hinged on unique data sets. Together with IoT devices that generate this data, AI-enabled systems could mimic human reasoning and use an artificial version of common sense to better understand everyday objects and actions, communicate more naturally and handle unforeseen situations.

Blockchain as a Backend

IoT’s centralized network that works on the backend of these devices is one of the main reasons that IoT networks are so vulnerable. With billions more IoT devices predicted worldwide by the end of 2020, they are a big target for threat actors, so trust is a major issue. Security has become an important aspect of the IoT ecosystem and blockchain offers a greater level of security.

Blockchain can be employed on IoT backend networks to improve security in several ways. Blockchain is decentralised, so no single authority can approve transactions, thereby eliminating Single Point of Failure (SPOF) weakness. In this sense, blockchain will be essential to safeguard data and allow IoT devices to operate securely.

More Appliances on IoT than People

In 2019 the number of IoT connected appliances was estimated to be about 3.7 billion. By 2020 the number of IoT devices is set to increase to approximately 20.4 billion. The McKinsey Institute commented on the huge impact that IoT will have on the world economy, with growth in both business and consumer use, impacting across all aspects of people’s lives. From setting up of doctor’s appointments, maintaining home security and energy consumption, the IoT is becoming ubiquitous in everyday life.

AI, IoT and 5G Marriage


At the end of 2019 we saw the first commercial launches of 5G. By 2020 there will be global launches in most developed economies, which will encourage industry collaborations with AI and IoT systems. Innovations allowing AI-powered business-critical systems to run unencumbered over mobile networks like Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), will radically speed up how services are developed and delivered.

As 5G networks become more established over time, it will provide lower latency and real-time processing. The increasing number of IoT devices which emergency, eHealth, logistics and security depend on, will be enabled by quality high-speed networks to transmit and share information. Industries will no longer operate in a vacuum, as they will be part of an ecosystem enabled by the IoT with its data processed by AI and disseminated and delivered over a faster network.


Specially written for Empiric by Jennifer Birch

About Empiric

Empiric is a multi-award winning business and one of the fastest growing technology and transformation recruitment agency's specialising in data, digital, cloud and security. We supply technology and change recruitment services to businesses looking for both contract and permanent professionals.

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