by Antoinette Price, IEC e-tech Co-editor and Communications Officer
The IoT Solutions World Congress 2019 held in Barcelona in October attracted over 16,000 attendees and 300 expert speakers who explored the latest Industrial IoT innovations, delving into six themes: connected transport, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, buildings & infrastructure and open industry–as well as two forums: AI & Cognitive Systems and Blockchain.
Wael William Diab, Chair, IEC and ISO Joint Technical Committee covering standardization for artificial intelligence (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42), attended the Congress and participated in several sessions during the AI & Cognitive Systems Forum.
In addition to his role as SC 42 Chair, Diab chairs the IoTSWC 2019 AI Forum, the IoTSWC 2019 AI workshop, the Industrial Internet Consortium’s (IIC) Industrial AI Task Group and is Secretary of the IIC Steering Committee.
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to accelerate the promise of digitalization. Such transformative technology affects every aspect of society,” said Diab. “Thus, it is not surprising that a variety of stakeholders and organizations are playing a role in the development and deployment of AI. The AI Forum at IoTSWC brought together a variety of perspectives that emphasized the importance of building the ecosystem, collaboration and international standardization such as the work of SC 42.”
Presenting the standard’s perspective
Diab presented the work of SC 42 and discussed the importance of standards and the emerging AI ecosystem in the following roles during these sessions:
AI Workshop Chair – Artificial intelligence: an introductory look at the fundamentals and the role of AI in digital transformation
AI, as a key enabler of the fourth industrial revolution and the resulting digital transformation, will affect how we work, live and play for years to come.
The workshop covered how to help people decipher AI–including what it is, where it has been successfully used and made a significant impact, how to get started and what are the key concerns and challenges in deploying AI, including discussions on how AI will enable digital transformation through a set of use cases.
Diab moderated a comprehensive panel with the keynote speakers from the workshop focusing on key issues such as:
- How AI is enabling digital transformation
- Key use cases of AI
- AI ethical issues, the emerging regulatory environment and the importance of international standards to address these concerns
AI Forum Keynote – Artificial intelligence industry ecosystem and standards landscape
AI is enabling digital transformation to reach its anticipated potential. It is having an impact on areas that range from technology to trustworthiness, ethics, societal concerns, governance and application verticals. Similarly, the stakeholders are numerous and diverse, ranging from technologists to data scientists, engineers, practitioners, social scientists and regulators. In response to this revolution, the industry and standardization ecosystems have mobilized according to the variety of concerns.
During this keynote, Diab examined the activities and landscape from an industry and standardization perspective and provided a comprehensive overview of the latest activities of SC 42.
Of particular interest to the audience was how SC 42 is bridging the non-technical and emerging requirements on AI (such as ethical, societal, governance and application requirements) with technical requirements (such as use cases, horizontal standards deliverables, etc.) to accelerate the adoption of AI while simultaneously addressing the emerging nuanced issues. Diab also covered the Big Data ecosystem and analytics work that is part of the SC 42 program of work, as well as emerging initiatives being studied such as an AI Management Systems Standard and AI Systems Engineering aspects.
AI Forum Panel Moderator – IIC Emerging initiatives on industrial artificial intelligence
The application of AI in the Industrial IoT field is at the core of the next wave of digitalization. The IIC works in this emerging area with its diverse stakeholders (global IT and OT organizations) and its extensive IIoT ecosystem.
This panel looked at Industrial IoT and AI, emphasizing the work of IIC including an overview of testbeds that look at Industrial AI applications, domain requirements and end-user interest in Industrial AI. Diab moderated the panel, which included senior leaders from across the IIC such as working group and task group chairs and steering committee leadership. Key takeaways from the panel were:
- The focus on the intersection of Industrial IoT and AI, and its importance to smart manufacturing and other industry sectors
- The existing body of work on Industrial Analytics
- The industrial AI white paper under development by the IIC’s Industrial AI Task Group
- Leveraging IIC testbeds to demonstrate emerging AI technology and standards
- The importance of building out the AI ecosystem through liaison partnerships, especially with international standards committees such as SC 42
AI Forum Chair – The future of AI
Artificial Intelligence is enabling new and emerging aspects of digital business–from basic and applied research, data and digital infrastructure, industrialization, forecasting, decision making and customer interaction to ethical behavior, regulatory policy and oversight. And this is just beginning.
Diab and Edy Liongosari (Chief Research Scientist, Accenture Labs), who jointly chaired the AI Forum and the program committee that designed the forum’s agenda, moderated a panel comprised of the AI program committee members. The panel discussed the future of AI, as well as the forum from a business and technology perspective, covering what the next few years and beyond will look like, what aspects will be further impacted and how to best prepare for challenges to come. Key takeaways include:
- Overwhelming interest and satisfaction with the AI Forum
- Desire to continue a focus on both the business aspects, as well as the deep technical dive
- Identified key areas of high value
- Ecosystem landscape and overview of SC 42
- AI ethics and societal concerns
- Case studies and application domain use cases
- Related technologies such as Big Data and analytics
- Exploring how AI is playing an increased role in cognitive systems