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Embedded intelligence

Embedded intelligence

(also embedded AI, embedded artificial intelligence)

Embedded intelligence definition

Embedded intelligence involves incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms within devices, systems, or components. This allows these devices to execute tasks independently, adjust to novel circumstances, and make data-driven decisions without human input. Embedded intelligence is present in a range of applications, including IoT devices, robotics, intelligent appliances, and transportation systems. It can operate even in environments where internet connectivity is limited or non-existent, making it great for applications such as industrial automation, remote monitoring, and offline data processing.

See also: artificial intelligence, machine learning

Embedded intelligence examples

  • Smart thermostats: These devices learn the user’s preferences and habits to adjust the temperature accordingly, optimizing energy consumption and enhancing comfort.
  • Autonomous vehicles: Cars equipped with embedded intelligence can analyze sensor data to navigate, avoid obstacles, and make real-time decisions while driving.
  • Embedded voice assistants: Smart speakers and other devices with integrated voice assistants use embedded AI to understand and process natural language commands.

Comparing embedded intelligence to traditional AI systems

Traditional AI systems often rely on powerful centralized servers to process and analyze data. In contrast, embedded intelligence is decentralized and runs directly on the device, enabling faster response times and reduced latency. This approach also provides greater privacy and security since data does not need to be transmitted to external servers for processing.

Pros and cons of embedded intelligence


  • Faster response times due to local data processing.
  • Improved privacy and security.
  • Enhanced autonomy and adaptability.


  • Limited processing power compared to cloud-based AI solutions.
  • Higher costs for implementing and maintaining the technology.

Tips for leveraging embedded intelligence

  • Consider your application’s requirements and assess whether embedded intelligence is the most suitable approach.
  • Choose the appropriate hardware and software for your embedded AI solution, considering factors like power consumption, processing capabilities, and compatibility with existing systems.
  • Implement robust security measures to protect embedded intelligence systems from unauthorized access and potential cyberattacks.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security