AI, the internet of things, and industrial automation are IT trends to look out for in 2021, but what are they?"> Back
AI, the Internet of Things, and Industrial Automation; What Are They? What Will They Effect?
March 26, 2021

AI, the internet of things, and industrial automation are IT trends to look out for in 2021. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Digital transformation is quickly changing how the world is connected and how it works. In 2021, there is unprecedented growth and demand for Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and industrial automation technology. These three  technology trends  will have a massive impact on America's workforces and combine to level up the technological experience of people worldwide. So, the question many people want an answer to is: What are AI, IoT, and industrial automation technologies, and how will they affect you on a day-to-day basis? 

What is Artificial Intelligence? AI is a broad term that refers to a computer or machine's ability to mimic or exceed human-like intelligence. AI abilities include "learning from examples and experience, recognizing objects, understanding and responding to language, making decisions, solving problems—and combining these and other capabilities to perform functions a human might perform." [1] Examples of common uses of AI are  driving a car,  personalizing learning, targeted messaging in advertising and marketing, providing customer service with chatbots, and fraud detection.  

For decades, AI was only a science fiction motif. Now, it is integrated into nearly every part of your life, from the music automatically queuing on your Spotify to the autopilot technology flying your plane. AI is more ingrained in your daily life than you know.
If you are reading this, AI is the reason why.
 AI has identified that this is content that would interest you. The surge in AI demand and development can be attributed to recent technological advances in computer systems that enable data collection and processing. By 2021, 80% of emerging technologies will be based on AI [2]. This data driver for more accurate and advanced AI technology and insights is intrinsically connected to the Internet of Things.

What is the Internet of Things? IoT "refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing data" [3]. IoT transforms "dumb devices into "smart" devices by adding sensors to physical things, enabling real-time data communication. "For consumers, this means interacting with the global information network without the intermediary of a keyboard and screen; many of their everyday objects and appliances can take instructions from that network with minimal human intervention" [4]. Computer chips are now incredibly cheap to make, and wireless network access is available in most of the world. This provides the opportunity for devices to connect and share data on a scale greater than ever before. With the opportunity to make just about anything part of the IoT, the world is changing. Like AI, IoT is wholly integrated into the average person's daily life at this point. The minute you wake up using your phone's alarm, you actively participate in the IoT network. Your alarm system, "smart" doorbell, car, computer, any "smart" appliance, like Alexa, or even your new refrigerator with the touch screen, data is being collected and connected in the cloud. With this technology and data collection comes a heightened and seamless technological experience. IoT has made the world smarter and responsive. It allows you to connect with people worldwide, get the answers you are looking for online, and provide safety by leveling up your home's protection and enabling a safer driving experience. 

IoT can create efficiency in manufacturing and distribution networks. "Billions of embedded internet-enabled sensors worldwide are providing an incredibly rich set of data that companies can use to gather data about their safety of their operations, track assets and reduce manual processes" [5]. IoT can also gather data on employee's actions and provide employers with insight into their workforce.   

The growth of IoT in recent years is explosive. "There are more than 50 billion IoT devices as of 2020, and those devices will generate 4.4 zettabytes of data [in one year]" [6]. For reference, a zettabyte is one trillion gigabytes. "By comparison, in 2013, IoT devices generated a mere 100 billion gigabytes. The amount of money to be made in the IoT market is similarly staggering; estimates on the value of the market in 2025 range from $1.6 trillion to $14.4 trillion" [7].  

In 2021, growth in IoT and AI are both expected to be massive. The adaptation and integration of information technologies create an opportunity for another  major trend in 2021, industrial automation.  

What is industrial automation? Industrial automation is the "use of control systems, such as computers or robots, and information technologies for handling different processes and machineries in an industry to replace a human being" [8]. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is based on this change in industrialization. Data collection using IoT and analytics of that data using AI are enabling industrial automation.  

Initially, automation was designed to increase productivity so companies could manufacture 24 hours a day and reduce labor costs. Now, the focus of industrial automation is to improve quality and flexibility in manufacturing. For example, "in the automobile industry, the installation of pistons into the engine used to be performed manually with an error rate of 1-1.5%. Presently, this task is performed using automated machinery with an error rate of 0.00001%" [9].  

Industrial automation is the future of manufacturing and is a solution for employers that reduces labor costs. It increases productivity and heightens the quality of work by eliminating human error. Industrial automation increases flexibility by using machines that can be programmed to perform different tasks. It improves information accuracy using IoT data collection. And industrial automation improves safety levels since machines can do dangerous jobs, do not get sick, and handle hazardous materials [10]. 

AI, IoT, and industrial automation technology will be in huge demand in 2021 as companies adapt to new, better ways to work. The pandemic showed companies that changes to their workforces are needed to set themselves up for success in the future – in case another shutdown occurs, and people are unable to work safely. As companies return to work, labor shortages become a significant issue for returning to full production potential. AI, IoT, and industrial automation can help with these obstacles. Machines can become more efficient, and companies can rely on automated systems that integrate data collection and analytics rather than use manpower.  

Using technology will create a more stable and productive future for companies who adapt to these trends. The biggest hurdle to adapt will be to create a workforce that is capable of supporting these systems. The answer is not expensive and ineffective hiring initiatives. It is upskilling your employees to make them meet your current needs. This happens to be easy and effective with the use of AI and IoT integration in online education programs.   

How Can Your Company Easily and Quickly Launch an Upskilling Platform to Adapt to A Changing Workforce?  

AI, IoT, and industrial automation are changing the way the world works. To prepare for the future of work, your company must implement leading technology. According the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey, 37% of companies had implemented some type of AI” [2]. By adopting new technology your company will see an increase in productivity and revenue. It must adapt to smarter technological practices and integrations to increase productivity, revenue, and insights on achieving those goals and where improvements can still be made. In the manufacturing industry, industrial automation is a huge asset for a company to embrace, and those who do not will be left behind. The simple way to prepare your company to use new and improved technology is to upskill your workforce by partnering with an online learning platform provider. Your employees have years of experience and dedication to your company. They are an asset and will appreciate the opportunity to advance their careers and knowledge and  reward you with increased loyalty and performance.  

An online learning platform that will prepare your current workforce for the future should provide some key components to upskill effectively: 

  • High-tech AI-powered online learning environment that is easy to use and scalable
  • Actionable insights and analytics using to track employee progress/performance, enabling quick implementation of improvements
  • Readily available and branded and custom content and training courses that are relevant to your company
  • Engaging delivery methods that keep employees actively learning 

Upskilling employees is the way to ensure your company has a prosperous future.  

Amesite Offers a Single, Easy to Use, Scalable Solution  

Launch an AI enabled online learning program that can prepare and upskill your workforce for trending technological advances like AI, IoT, and industrial automation.  

Amesite is a high-tech AI-powered online learning platform. We specialized in scalable, custom branded online learning environments and content curation to meet the employer's unique needs to support the business's upskilling efforts. Artificial Intelligence drives some of the most compelling experiences on the internet, and Amesite brings these tools to education in a novel and transformative way. 

Amesite's platform offers excellent insights to learners and employers using advanced data analytics, unparalleled ease of use, features that build communication and engagement, and provides compelling custom content.  

Amesite's product is easy to acquire, use and scale and offers:  

  • AI integration
  • A branded, customized platform that's scalable and cost-effective
  • An engaging platform that proves the value of online learning
  • Integrated content and digital backbone buying in one
  • Service setup in 24 hours
  • 30-day delivery of a complete curriculum
  • Complete customer support on an easy-to-use platform that reduces administrative burdens
  • Best-in-class technology that offers all tools in one place 

Amesite creates outstanding learning experiences delivered on its advanced platform, providing an excellent user experience for employees. Using AI and advanced analytics to provide fresh content creates an important context for learning. Coupled with outstanding services, these experiences deepen professionals' interest in subjects important to their company's goals. Amesite's unprecedented retention rate in the enterprise sector is 100%.   

Let Amesite help your company prepare for the future of work today! Request a Demo!  

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[1] IBM. June 3, 2020. What is Artificial Intelligence? Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[2] Shift. May 18, 2021. How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the eLearning Industry. Accessed October 13, 2021. 

[3] ZDNet. Feb. 3, 2020. What is the IoT? Everything you need to know about the Internet of Things right now. Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[4] Network World. May 13, 2020. What is IoT? The internet of things explained. Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[5] Network World. May 13, 2020. What is IoT? The internet of things explained. Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[6] Network World. May 13, 2020. What is IoT? The internet of things explained. Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[7] Network World. May 13, 2020. What is IoT? The internet of things explained. Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[8] Inc. 2021. Top Business and Technology Trends in 2021. Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[9] Inc. 2021. Top Business and Technology Trends in 2021. Accessed March 24, 2021. 

[10] Inc. 2021. Top Business and Technology Trends in 2021. Accessed March 24, 2021.