Internet of Things... What are we talking about ?


The Internet of Things is something similar to some others modern concepts such as the Web 3.0, the semantic Web, the symbiotic web, etc. Actually, it all could be merged into a single approach and could be considered as a “threshold” between:
  1. ·        a former functional and analytical vision of our organizations which makes that information systems are living in parallel of the real world and cannot easily open to each other’s,
  2. ·        and a new paradigm in which human beings and automated entities (such as computer systems, robots, cyberobjects, ), all autonomous (but not necessary at the same level) are all considered as parts of a same complex organization (whenever a common finality can be settled) or pars of a chaotic environment (whenever no finality can be found).


In such a scenario, analytical approaches are no longer useful in themselves (essentially top-down). Additional ones such as systemic (sciences of complexity), cybernetics and decisional (both top-down and bottom-up but mainly recursive) become also highly relevant.

An illustration of this: In the Internet of Things, the “cyberobjects” – i.e. the physical objects associated with their individual virtual intelligence (can be a “software avatar” which can be hosted in the cloud, embedded with the object, centrally managed, etc.) - are gradually becoming full actors in our complex organizations, just as the human beings already are in the current Web 2.0.
Those “object-actors” become then able to react - as processing management operators - to contextual events at very subsidiary levels, whatever is the considered process. Nevertheless, the Internet of Things clearly raises the question of our ability to develop ever more powerful tools in complex environments such as computer systems.

Either objects, with their associated software intelligence, become tangible "actors / partners" acting under our control: that is to say not only assistants but especially counsellors, policy makers, organizers or economic agents... Or we must prepare for the digital chaos. The recent financial crisis is a perfect example of those “crazy IT systems”: they just amplify small and insignificant decisions at the lowest level to make them catastrophes at the overall stage (butterfly effect).
Actually, this revolution in progress, deeply calls into question our “old” social, economic or technical models (mainly functional): we must be ready for a change of the same nature as that which took place between the vision of the cosmos from Newton to Einstein (relativity) or Max Planck (Quantum), but also the consequences of this change (moving from the gun to the atomic bomb).

To tackle those challenges and avoid chaos, we must change the way we both conceive and realize our information systems: cybernetics, sciences of complexity and artificial intelligence are matters that will be critical to make the IOT a success.

Philippe GAUTIER (Business2Any).

Comments

1.On Monday 10 December 2012, 18:24 by Philippe GAUTIER
An example of a realization we - @ Business2Any - made in the field of the Internet of Things with a specific focus on “unstructured open supply chains”....
I can best explain this concept with an analogy: 

TODAY 

NEWTON: Space is already organized, time is a linear dimension, common to everything and objects which are populating space are studied with a prior understanding of the unique organization of the universe.
In that scheme, a WMS (Warehouse Management System) problem is: how to organize space then how to populate it accordingly - then how to find things in it - then how to realign the virtual idea of the reality (information system) with reality (since it always diverges!).

TOMORROW

EINSTEIN/PLANCK: Space isn’t organized a priori. It changes and becomes organized with the auto-organization of the objects which are populating it and time is a dimension that can change, depending on the objects, the organization of objects, etc. But organization isn’t always the same!
In that scheme, the problem of a WMS becomes: how to model the dynamic organization of objects, considering their autonomous behavior and the interoperability between them? The problem of finding them is then different: when we need to find an object, we just ask the object itself...
2.On Monday 10 December 2012, 18:26 by Philippe GAUTIER
3.On Tuesday 11 December 2012, 19:52 by Bill Ingle
I'd say your tomorrow is already yesterday, even as the full impact of Einstein/Planck on thought has yet to arrive (many still imagine they are living in a Newtonian clockwork universe) but the situation isn't very clear at this stage. (Look at gravity, for example, and continuing puzzles concerning it -- something's missing and this may require a fundamental reformulation starting with the work of Galileo and proceeding well past Einstein. Consciousness and perception are clearly part of some new, unknown picture, but who can fully discern this picture today?).
Meanwhile, there's this term "The Internet of Things" floating around, even as a formerly fragmented and tiny M2M industry begins to finally flourish, although it's clear that a good many who tout IoT aren't at all familiar with it, despite the fact that IoT is really a continuation or extension -- how could the IoT emerge without it, without those companies and individuals who have turned M2M into practical realities?
If M2M has primarily been (and is) low data rate and B2B, IoT (when it emerges more fully) is likely to be high data rate and have a much stronger B2B2C flavor.
Thus, even before some Einstein/Planck-colored reality is fully exteriorized, technologically, as the IoT, this a greatly enlarged cross-sector M2M on steroids that's much more B2B2C than B2B, something else will be coming along. It has no name as yet, as far as I know, but I can already imagine some of its stranger aspects. (Note the impact of magnetometers in smartphones used for bizarre-seeming apps already, this amongst great numbers of ordinary citizens, something still primarily off the official radar screens.)
4.On Friday 11 January 2013, 10:28 by Philippe GAUTIER
For us, the Semantic Web, as addressed by standardization work is a dead end, not the concept of Semantic web itself...
Inventing general ontologies to classify everything and to give a common meaning to either events or things is just an endless Sisyphus work (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus).

Two illustrations of it :

* the most intelligent "things" earth has ever hosted, human beings, are not able to do so with their brains, just consider the time we need to - sometimes - converge in a discussion

* existing standards cannot spread to full open loops. All of the implementations of a standard remains in controlled, closed or semi-open loops because it is very complicated to open (different meanings, different rules, etc.).

However, in giving things the capacity to "think", progressively, we will give them the ability to understand, in the context of their objectives, the events that will occur and to react accordingly...
For us (http://www.business2any.com), IoT, Semantic Web, etc... are just a question of "can we give things enough intelligence for a quick ROI" ?


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