Emily Nousios: What is the Internet of Things?
4/08/2021 – 15:11
“Among the various lockdown viewing options offered by Netflix is a series of animated short stories called “Love, Death and Robots”, which span a breath of genres, from comedy, horror to Sci-Fi and fantasy. The second series features one called “Automated Customer Service” – a darkly comedic episode, which imagines a dystopian future where virtually all human roles, from housekeeping and gardening to lifeguards, have been replaced by artificial intelligence. This episode demonstrates the danger of such dependency on robots (and inept automated customer services), when a hapless householder triggers “intruder” mode in her housekeeping robot, leading to a murderous chase. Away from the cautionary tales of AI, this animated short neatly encapsulates the Internet of Things (IoT) – a series of interconnected objects embedded with sensors and software, each communicating with others over the Internet, relaying and reacting to continually changing information. So much of IOT will already be familiar to us, from smart sensors in our homes (such as Samsung’s SmartThings), allowing us to remotely adjust the thermostat and check who is at the door, to the wearable tech which is continually monitoring our every heartbeat and activity level.”