When everything is connected, what do we do?

Written by on September 11, 2015 in Opinion with 0 Comments

Escape from the crisisAs our esteemed managing editor Tony Poulos points out on a regular basis, everything is being connected. Even things that really do not need to be connected. Poulos runs an irregular and irreverent series of articles on the Internet of Silly Things (IoST). His most recent shows us that Samsung is leading the field in the IoST race, connecting everything that sits still long enough. He is not alone in his cynicism (which is actually a cry for help, let’s face it) and Twitter feeds such as this one are in the front row of the mocking crowds.

There is, though, a serious issue here. What do we do when everything is connected?

We focus on connected cars, for instance. Even though this arena is becoming bogged down in safety and regulatory issues (and arguments are breaking out about the best approach) we see the sense. Communications companies see the home and office as places that have largely been conquered. Why not address the space in between, the dark downtime when we need to concentrate on the road and not get distracted by our phones. Connected cars, as long as they are all connected, are a good thing.

Now, though, connected ships are being tested. And connected wheelchairs. Not to mention fridges, freezer and washing machines.

Soon, the Captains of ships will be sitting in an office, coffee in hand, watching on screen, with nothing to do. Soon, it seems, ships, boats, cars and even wheelchairs will be weaving their way, safely, about their business without any need for us at all.

It may even be that we will become the cheap labour as the machines become better decision makers than we could ever be. Artificial intelligence is developing at the same break neck speed as the IoT (and IoST). Facebook, Apple and others are working in this arena, Facebook with the learning capabilities of a billion human beings at once. There are questions about whether this is wise.

It is, perhaps, a philosophical point, at this stage, but, soon, it is one that will keep politicians busy for a long time (which makes it a good thing).

In the meantime we will be busy making sure that all these connected things are safe from hackers, which will also be a full time job.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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