Cognitive 101


This era will redefine the relationship between man and machine – Ginni Rometty – IBM CEO

Cognitive computing is one of the most exciting developments in software technology in the past few years. Conceptually, cognitive computing focuses on enabling software models that simulate the human thought process. Cognitive computing offers fundamental differences in how systems are built and interact with humans. Cognitive-based systems, such as IBM Watson, are able to build knowledge and learn, understand natural language, and reason and interact more naturally with human beings than traditional systems. They are also able to put content into context with confidence-weighted responses and supporting evidence. More specifically, cognitive computing enables capabilities that simulate functions of the human brain such as voice, speech, and vision analysis. From this perspective, cognitive computing is becoming an essential element to enable the next wave of data intelligence for mobile and IoT solutions. Text, vision, and speech are common sources of data used by mobile and IoT solutions. Cognitive systems can quickly identify new patterns and insights. Over time, they will simulate even more closely how the brain actually works. In doing so, they could help us solve the world’s most complex problems by penetrating the complexity of big data and exploiting the power of natural language processing and machine learning.

IBM points to a survey of more than 5,000 C-suite executives by its Institute for Business Value (IBV), which found the following:

  • Sixty-five percent of insurance industry CXOs are pursuing some form of business model innovation, but nearly 30 percent feel the quality, accuracy and completeness of their data is insufficient.
  • Sixty percent of retail executives do not believe their company is equipped to deliver the level of individual experiences consumers demand, and 95 percent say they will invest in cognitive in the next five years.
  • The healthcare industry forecasts a 13 million person gap in qualified healthcare workers by 2035, and more than half of healthcare industry CXOs report that current constraints on their ability to use all available information limits their confidence about making strategic business decisions. Eighty-four percent of these leaders believe cognitive will be a disruptive force in healthcare and 95 percent plan to invest in it over the next five years.

The story was similar across all industries: executives surveyed by the IBV cited scarcity of skills and technical expertise — rather than security, privacy or maturity of the technology — as the primary barriers to cognitive adoption.

The most popular cognitive computing platform in the market, IBM Watson provides a diverse number of APIs to enable capabilities such as vision, speech, text, and data analysis. Watson is now available to developers as part of the Watson developer cloud included in Bluemix distributions.

 

Good resource to learn more about Cognitive Computing, visit IBM:

http://www.research.ibm.com/cognitive-computing/index.shtml

http://www.ibm.com/cognitive/

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