What Will Drive IoT Value? Algorithms or Data?

It remains to be what relative contributions of value will be made in the communications business by internet of things and machine learning (artificial intelligence). Almost by definition, huge arrays of sensors will create lots of data, from lots of connections. But making sense of all that data is where the actual business value will be created.

In that sense, AI is the bigger trend, compared to IoT. It is only illustrative, but some have estimated that, eventually, transistors used by some individual computing devices will vastly outnumber the equivalent number of a single person’s brain cells. It is an inexact comparison, but illustrative.

Some believe that, in the future, it is not algorithms but data stores that will drive value. The thinking, by some, is that algorithms will become commoditized (widely available at lowish cost), while it will be data on human behavior that becomes valuable because it is less commoditized.

That would be a complete inversion of the present pattern, where some argue algorithms drive value. That switch, where value lies in data stores is seen by many as happening in the internet of things areas.

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