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May 2020

Dear ComputingEdge reader:

Leveraging the Internet of Things: Internet of Things (IoT) devices are common in today’s homes and include everything from thermostats and light bulbs to smart speakers and fitness trackers. However, the IoT has enormous potential beyond these domestic applications. Organizations in most industries could leverage the IoT to improve their processes and inform their decision-making. This issue of ComputingEdge examines how two industries—manufacturing and education—can benefit from implementing IoT systems.

Enjoy the issue


Data from Coffee

Do any of you remember the Trojan Room coffee pot? Think back to the 90s. There’s not much to the story, but it is useful to remember when you pick up this issue of ComputingEdge. The quick lesson is that computer networks can provide an incredible amount of data instantaneously, including (back in 1991) a 24-hour-a-day video feed of the coffee pot at the University of Cambridge. There’s a Wikipedia page about it. You might want to look it up.

That Cambridge coffee pot begs the question, “What will the world be like when we have instantaneous data from any part of the world at any time?” We don’t completely know the answer to that question. But Amit Agrawal suggests in “Mining Insights from Visual Assets” that we may be able to obtain a great deal of useful information from video feeds around the word—presumably including video feeds of coffee pots.

In “The Internet of Things Grows Artificial Intelligence and Data Sciences,” Charla Stracener and her colleagues give a more detailed picture of our data-centric future. The real benefits, they say, will come “from analyzing the large amounts of data collected from the OT systems, correlating that to the data from the IT systems, using AI to make predictions, and devising strategy based on the patterns and insights generated from this large pool of data.” Is there a challenge to doing this? According to them, it is skilled workers. We will need to get IT skills and operational skills to collaborate “in tandem.”

With all this new data, we have to ask ourselves, “What are our responsibilities to our neighbors?” This month’s ComputingEdge issue has two articles that are relevant to this question. In “Ethics Is a Software Design Concern,” Ipek Ozkaya reminds us that designing ethics in software is not trivial, but helpfully notes that “this is not completely uncharted territory either.” In “Carousel Kittens: The Case for a Value-Based IoT,” Sarah Spiekermann discusses the IEEE P7000 Working Group and how it is developing “a process model for addressing ethical concerns during system design.”

So, if you have data in your future, from a coffee pot or any other source, you’ll want to have a look at ComputingEdge.

—David Alan Grier for ComputingEdge


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