Cognitive (Internet of ) Things

The book “Cognitive (Internet of) Things” is available from or in both hardcopy and electronic formats.

“Internet of things” (IoT) represents a growing sophistication among devices. Examples of internet of things include mobile handsets, refrigerators, cars, fitness trackers, watches, ebooks, vending machines, parking meters, etc. and, in future are likely to grow exponentially over the coming years. These devices are already collating and communicating massive about of data about themselves, which is collated, curated, and harvested by a growing number of smart applications. Equally interesting, there are important privacy and security hazards. The data, if improperly used can be misused for undesired stalking, discrimination or fraud.

However, just connecting a thing to the Internet does not result in collaboration. I am currently writing a book on Cognitive Things. The core theme of this book is identification of cognitive behavior among Internet of Things. A network of Cognitive Things uses the power of Internet and the data available from a collection of devices to forge new collaborations and new actions unimagined before.

This book covers three related directions associated with cognitive things – business use cases, technical capabilities and impact on humans, and organizations. The business use cases tell us how the cognitive things will be used and justified in their value propositions. The technical capabilities discussion explores the technical feasibility of engineering these solutions. The impact on man-machine relationship explores the integration aspects with today’s world and how the individuals and organizations are likely to adopt cognitive things.

First part of the book explores compelling business use cases to drive cognitive things. Do these use cases relate to objects or humans, individuals or organizations, inside an organization or in a market place? Chapter two identifies how cognitive things take care of themselves, in traditional maintenance, operations, engineering, and reconfiguration aspects. It uses a series of common examples to describe the business value from a cognitive IoT and the business capabilities covered. Chapter three identifies how cognitive things improve support for the individual customer. It examines new roles and responsibilities for the cognitive things and the value provided to the individual. Chapter four identifies cognitive things and their support for an organization. The book uses larger definition of organization and is not limited to the for-profit business organization. Chapter five covers how cognitive things are adding new data sources to the services market place and how organizations are using new business models to serve their business customers using improved data from cognitive things.

The second part explores the technical dimension identifying the key technical capabilities, which are required to fulfill these use cases. For each technical capability, the book outlines the level of sophistication required and available as of today. The data represents extreme velocity, volume, and variety. It is impossible for any computing environment to collect, correlate, analyze all the data being generated, and act upon the results in near real-time. Additionally, appropriate tools and techniques can isolate micro-segments and discover, detect, decide and drive for action for these micro-segments. Advanced analytics techniques can help identify trends, focus on a tiny fraction of the data, enquire and collect additional data wherever needed, and decide how to act upon a situation. Cognitive things will also speed decision-making through automated data collection and decision-making. Early detection and correction can result in substantial benefits to the individuals, organizations, and society.

This section is divided into four chapters. Chapter six focuses on data acquisition aspects and how cognitive things are able to do cognitive acquisition of data. It examines the differences provided by the cognitive function and the capabilities required to realize it. Chapter seven provides details on information processes aspects and examines how new cognitive information processing functions can help cognitive things provide better insight and more focused action. Chapter eight covers administrative aspects and how cognitive things can be more easily installed, configured, monitored, secured without requiring an army of maintenance professionals. It covers thorny issues around data protection, and rights management. While the book covers the technical topics briefly, it will not provide a detailed explanation of the underlying technologies. A number of books have been published on the technical aspects, and the respective chapters provide some useful references to the excellent material available elsewhere.

The third part of the book explores human and machine interfaces. It explores how these changes will disrupt and change our current organizations and how can we prepare ourselves. It addresses some of the pitfalls, which must be avoided. Chapter nine covers machine-to-machine interfaces and how cognitive things can relate to other intelligent agents in conducting their task, supporting their customers and negotiating for a better result for their owners. Chapter ten covers human-to-machine interfaces and how cognitive devices can act as assistants for humans. Chapter eleven covers human-to-human communication with the use of cognitive devices as observers and advisers. Chapter twelve covers impact on organizations and society. It explores the vulnerabilities and what must be done to make IoTs safe. It also explores the nature of man-machine relationship and how it changes with cognitive machines. It projects the changing organization structures and how the twenty-five billion cognitive things will change the way eight billion humans organize and run our organizations and societies.

The book applies a series of public case studies to illustrate its assertions. Innovators and early adapters are already benefiting from the initial explosion of devices and capabilities available today. However, what we see today is only a tip of the iceberg. Using a series of futuristic visions collated through my research, the book additionally explores what is the new act of impossible and where are we headed.