The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) instills a new dynamic of competitiveness and advancement into the human workforce that has the potential to restructure human-machine collaborations. This potential signals a time of reformation in our modern business landscape, as IIoT will impact business processes and operations across many economic sectors.
Facebook, for example, has stretched into the IoT space by re-envisioning the connected experience – from instant messaging, to virtual reality applications, to smarthome systems that start and end with its mobile app. To ensure the automated capabilities of these products and services build upon an intuitive user experience, Facebook has recently begun a pilot program that hires human staff to supervise its AI messaging app “M”, by guiding the app to respond to users’ queries at a high “human-level” fidelity. With such implementation, staff are able to teach Facebook’s networks to mimic human thought processes, allowing Facebook to monetize M’s query interaction history in order to acquire critical data for building a seamless future line of IoT products and services.
IIoT has also helped traditional, labor-intensive industries to overcome the challenges of supporting human resources in isolated, rural jobs. In an attempt to match the employment opportunities that are offered in urban areas, Family Farms Group has developed fleets of driverless tractors that allow workers to operate in the field from a distance. By adopting such IIoT operations, Family Farms Group has successfully transcended the nature of farm work from heavy blue-collar roles, to knowledge-based, technical ones. This significant change is attracting a new generation of Millennial workers to the agriculture industry, and has also optimized farm production to better feed the world’s growing population.
Although currently IIoT adoption has mostly evolved around utilizing automation to drive effectiveness and efficiency, its future will heavily recognize the human workforce as a critical ingredient in many upcoming, connected operations. By then, more jobs will be created, and new boundaries of human-machine collaborations will emerge to produce new types of products and services within the market.