Sensory Data and the Self-fixing, Self-diagnosing World of IoT and AI

Refrigerator bulbs burn out, laptop batteries degrade and car transmissions stall over time. These life frustrations are inevitable parts of our technological world. Though we’ve made significant advancements in terms of how long new tech lasts, few – if any – things last forever.

Still, that didn’t stop us from creating the next best thing.

New artificial intelligence has helped our everyday devices become self-aware. Not in that scary “IT’S ALIVE!” way, but more so in a self-reporting kind-of way.

Consider this: Your laptop battery will die, permanently, unable to retain a charge. Sad as that sounds, it’s inescapable. Whether that occurs in the next 2 to 5 to 10 years is anyone’s guess. Imagine that your computer could also proactively order its replacement parts and have them shipped to your door prior to the battery demise, without you having to lift a finger.

That’s the future of AI we are looking at. Self-diagnosing, self-fixing… stuff.

I’m talking about more than just computer batteries though. Think about cars, household appliances, TVs, etc. Some of these things might even be able to apply patches and updates to prolong their usefulness. And that’s just icing on the AI cake.

Artificial intelligence is evolving beyond reporting and providing real computational and cognitive work, which should usher in an age of convenience for both customers and workers.

However, as with any new technology, not everyone is thrilled for new AI devices. Some people are even fearful these smart items will render their careers obsolete and remove their workforce.

A recent New York Times article says this won’t come to pass. Jobs will change, as they often do with the emergence of disruptive tech, but probably for the better and with shifting responsibilities to more productive means. Very few things can be fully automated, and those that can, are and will be, often need a guiding hand as a failsafe.

In 2016, AI researchers aim to remove more and more of the monotonous tasks we’d rather not do and free up more creative and innovative positions.

For sales, customer service and other business professions, AI could be a godsend. Keeping the customer happy is very much a proactive ordeal. Self-fixing and self-diagnosing merchandise would not only cushion those oh-so-tense tech support and customer service calls, it would make many of those interactions unnecessary, and when they do happen customer service reps will be much better informed and have the tools they need to fix the problem quickly and efficiently. Knowing what a customer needs before they do? Talk about a smooth customer experience.

Customers are plugged in, linked up and universally connected through the Internet of Things. And with artificial intelligence adding an extra layer of smart to our smart devices, personalization and superior customer experience should soon be in our grasps.
Ashley Unitt
Ashley Unitt

Ashley founded NewVoiceMedia to exploit the obvious benefits of putting an enterprise-class contact centre in the cloud, and now serves as Chief Scientist, leading the architecture and research teams. Prior to NewVoiceMedia he spent ten years at Ltd developing innovative CTI software solutions including voicemail systems, hot-desking products and an open source gate keeper. Ashley's blog will focus on security, PCI-DSS and general cloud computing issues. Outside of work he spends most of his time running around after his two young children. You can follow Ashley on Twitter at

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