How can Apple and autonomous systems help you?

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't want to say too much, but how can autonomous systems be used and what can they do for you and your business?

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“Autonomous systems can be used in a variety of ways, and a vehicle is only one. But there are many different areas of it, and I don't want to go any further with that,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. He may not want to, but we can: So, how can autonomous systems be used, and what can they do to your business?

If it moves, digitize it

Smartphone users stumble streets staring at, speaking with, or listening to their iPhone or other digital device. We use those devices for almost everything, and one thing we do less and less with them is talk.

The Internet of Things (IoT) means we already have millions of connected devices. These include lights and thermostats—the highly connected London Gateway shipping port also uses robots and automation.

iOS technologies are being used for everything from point-of-sale systems to agricultural management, medical emergency, logistics and distribution, warehousing, and more. Walmart’s recent decision to train staff with a fleet of 19,000 iPads reflects our changing tech times.

Autonomous systems

Wikipedia tells us an autonomous system relates to the complex network of networks that comprise the internet. Apple’s work with Cisco shows it has some interest in the network, but here the phrase is being used to describe a machine equipped with enough contextual awareness to understand and respond appropriately to outside stimulus, while also learning and improving a task(s) assigned to it.

A self-driving car, for example, would need to know where it is going, how to get there, how to obey the rules of the road on its journey, and how avoid collisions with other vehicles, buildings, animals, or pedestrians on the way. These autonomous machines must be able to achieve all of this in real time, on real roads, no matter what random events may take place on those roads. They need to be almost 100 percent reliable. Achieving this is complex.

Enterprise applications

The thing is, once you develop machines that can handle situations as complex as those you experience on the road, then you have developed machine skills that could conceivably be deployed elsewhere.

Apple evidently agrees. Cook says: “From our point of view, autonomy is sort of the mother of all AI projects.”

Here are some of the potential uses of autonomous systems.

Apple in the infrastructure

There is no need for Apple to remain defined as a consumer electronics company. Its investment in embracing next-generation computing technologies, like autonomy, IoT, or AI within its existing platforms mean it could potentially become part of future infrastructure. Apple Energy?

Apple won’t—and shouldn’t—do everything. But the things it doesn’t do will be an opportunity for eagle-eyed entrepreneurs seeking a smart, highly secure, fragmentation-free market-trusted platform upon which to build autonomous systems for profitable verticals. No wonder IBM is a fan.

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

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