Of all the ways IoT (Internet of Things) technologies promise to change lives and businesses in the next century, the idea that any and all machines could obtain human-esque intelligence through AI (artificial intelligence) is among the most exciting. No longer the realm of science fiction, AI powers many everyday processes and increasingly common devices and services—from Netflix’s personalized content recommendations to smart speakers with voice-activated personal assistants. In 2019, innovative minds and companies will continue to push the envelope, enabling new and/or more advanced applications of AI in business and consumer realms.

Drust, a French automotive-technology company founded in 2014, is one example of how a group of innovators can help drive AI-enabled solutions forward—pun intended. Drust designs, develops, and markets software and AI solutions that aim to enhance the value of data from connected vehicles. The company’s Superdrive cloud-based AI software does this by analyzing various human, mechanical, and contextual factors and then predicting potential road hazards in realtime, thereby helping drivers avoid these hazards. As more automotive companies put AI to use in their product lines, the technology could help prevent accidents and the resulting road injuries and fatalities.

In the home, self-learning devices and technologies are going to help propel the smart-home space forward toward more ubiquitous adoption. VIAROOM is a startup company that offers VIAROOM Home, an autonomous home controller with self-learning capabilities, as well as automatic scene creation and multi-hub orchestration capabilities. The AI-powered solution learns users’ habits and automates home systems, such as lights, heating, doors, shades, and sprinklers. The VIAROOM Home device connects to more than 300 smart objects, and the company showed off many interesting products and related services at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev.

AI will also influence the direction of smart doorbells. Netvue, an AI-centered company that aims to help people in all aspects of home life, is now offering the Belle AI doorbell. Smart, Wi-Fi-connected doorbells traditionally offer the ability to stream live video of a front or back door to a homeowner’s smartphone. Belle takes this a step further, acting like a doorman capable of recognizing and remembering faces. Based on this data, the device can smartly greet guests, whether they’re returning visitors, scheduled visitors, or unscheduled strangers, making home security a little easier and, yes, a little smarter.

Across all industries and vertical markets, smarter is where it’s headed. Smarter devices and smarter services are the way forward in today’s connected world, and AI will help “enlighten” these devices and services. At CES 2019, this trend has not gone unnoticed, and much emphasis is being placed on this exciting sector, with presentations focusing on AI use cases in biometrics and health, mobility, cybersecurity, entertainment, and many other enterprise and consumer applications. Sessions will also focus on key issues in AI, such as the ethics of artificial intelligence. With new opportunities come new challenges, and AI is no exception. However, AI’s role in powering a smarter world seems guaranteed, and the risk/reward ratio seems favorable.

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