The industrial internet has developed steadily over several decades, beginning with the inclusion of sensors and controls on a range of machines and systems, and leaping forward with the advent of remote communications, sophisticated software and analytics.

With the advent of cloud computing and big data, we now have even larger data sets produced by the industrial internet, machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, and social media. This coalescence of extraordinary factors will push the envelope in terms of the underlying “three v’s,” namely:

  • Volume – data storage, organization and the ability to query
  • Velocity  - velocity requires novel streaming capabilities and bandwidth
  • Variability – collection and analysis of structured, unstructured and semi-structural data

One new and interesting way (among many others) to address the “v’s” involves a trend many might not think of: crowdsourcing. We have seen crowdsourcing applied to everything from funding start ups to designing cars – and it’s now a way to increase the human capacity for problem-solving in the big data arena.

Consider some of the fundamental steps in solving problems, in the form of a few contemporary and unexpected examples:

Collection: Generation, editing or augmentation of information, such as labeling or tagging images or data points. The annotation of lunar craters done at Zooniverse presents an interesting example of this

Competition: When a single individual can provide the complete solution. Kaggle is an excellent case study – the Kaggle site contest has lead to the creation of new data-driven models.

Collaboration: Probably the most famous and most popular examples of collaboration is Wikipedia, a crowdsourced, croudserviced, crowdfunded online encyclopedia.

What are some other applications and implications for crowdsourcing, big data, and the industrial internet?

Piero Bonissone is a Coolidge Fellow and a Chief Scientist at GE Global Research. A Fellow of AAAI, IEEE, and IFSA, he has published over 150 articles and holds 65 patents from the U.S. Patent Office (16+ are pending). He has won numerous awards in areas such as Soft Computing and Fuzzy Systems.

About the author

Piero Bonissone

Advanced Analytics Advisor at Schlumberger