The human brain is unparalleled! And, so is the quest for success which motivates humans to traverse new paths and create new products. As we move ahead in the 21st century, mankind is not satisfied with just the applications of Artificial Intelligence in various fields, humans want more - We now want machines to mimic humans in every way possible! This has paved the path for the development of cognitive technologies to transform the business. Cognitive technologies are slated to revolutionize how companies do business by 2020!
Cognitive technologies can be understood as a subset of artificial intelligence. These technologies include functions that could earlier be performed by humans alone. These functions include computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, speech recognition, and robotics.
58% of the early adopters of cognitive technologies say that it is vital for digital transformation! (Source: Heckernoon)
Let me run you through what exactly cognitive capabilities are:
Sense and mine unstructured data
We are aware that computers are highly efficient in processing and analyzing structured data that is in the form of spreadsheets, etc. However, today the needs are different! There is a large amount of data available and most of it is unstructured. Today, the need of the hour is to sense and mine that data for providing insights.
Cognitive technology solutions have overcome this shortcoming of the computer. They can not only assimilate and mine unstructured data but also extract relevant information from it.
Cognitive computing enables the synthesis of data from several sources relevant to the context and recommends the best options.
Cognitive technology leverages computer vision to analyze images and videos and speech recognition to extract information from the sound.
The cognitive function goes beyond sensing data, it analyzes the data extracted. Cognitive technologies leverage machine learning and deep learning to analyze the data collected to understand and characterize normal behavior. It can predict future behavior under both, the expected and unexpected conditions, and provides insights and recommend actions.
Cognitive systems are proactive. They are capable of thinking and taking actions! This is what sets them apart from robots. While robots need to be preprogrammed to take actions, cognitive systems, function quite like the human brain! They can apply self-learned context and reusable patterns to perform complex activities with the help of simple skills.
Cognitive systems just like humans, learn from their experience. Machine learning empowers cognitive systems to refine their knowledge and algorithmic models based on the real-life outcomes of their actions.
When we look at the cognitive capabilities, we are bound to ask, how do these systems accomplish these activities?
The cognitive computing “brain” comprises machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.
These technologies empower the system to learn continuously from the data they receive as input during operations.
Their efficiency is further enhanced by pattern recognition, computer vision, natural language processing, and data mining.
The intelligence of these systems is continuously built up enabling them to foresee patterns and make proactive decisions.
They can anticipate problems and offer possible solutions.
With time, these systems learn from experience and become capable of functioning autonomously.
They can function without human intervention.
Through cognitive artificial intelligence, an attempt is being made to create systems that can function as humans. Cognitive computing systems can sense from their environment and process the information and provide insights. These intelligent systems are attentive on reasoning and comprehending at an advanced level.
Many times, people are not able to see the difference between cognitive computing and artificial intelligence. The main difference between the two is that while artificial intelligence analyzes large amounts of data and suggests a course of action based on algorithms, cognitive systems offers a solution based on reasoning rather than calculations.
Cognitive AI is expected to bring simple solutions to complex business issues and deliver engaging, intuitive, and profitable solutions.
Therefore, we see that cognitive systems can assist in decision making based on insights and reasoning. This helps businesses save time and money. Hence, cognitive computing is finding widespread application in diverse areas. It comes as no surprise that global spending on cognitive AI systems will reach a whopping $57.6 billion by 2021! (Source: IDC)
Some popular areas of applications of cognitive computing are:
Investment organizations can analyze market trends using cognitive computing and suggest suitable solutions to clients using the software.
Cognitive computing leverages data such as past patient records and a database of medical information to assist doctors in treatment.
Cognitive systems can offer a customized travel experience. They assimilate data, such as flight information, resort prices, and availability and suggest the optimum combination based on the user’s budget and preference.
Devices such as Fitbits and Apple watch have become popular in recent times. The data available in these devices enables the personal trainers to suggest diet and exercise regimen for the individual.
Cognitive Computing delivers data-based strategic inputs to enable executives to enhance productivity.
Cognitive technology helps in searching for patterns to predict downtimes. It also helps in logistics and context-driven data parts planning.
The retail sector stands to benefit the most from cognitive technologies. Cognitive computing will be able to analyze the fluctuating customer behavior and forecast inventory.
Retailers will be able to delight their customers by providing them what they want when they want and where they want!
We have come a long way since computers were invented. They were initially used only for the tabulation of data. Moving ahead, they were used for writing software programs and coding. And, in the digital era computers are now able to learn, think, decide, and act on their own giving rise to new possibilities.
Cognitive computing is not only revolutionizing how businesses function, but also transforming human lives. It has led to a partnership of man and machine enhancing the accuracy of decision making based on data. The fact that cognitive technology can function independent of human intervention raises doubts if it will replace humans. But the truth remains, that human intelligence and emotions cannot be replaced by any technology.
A partnership between cognitive technology and humans leads to:
Faster decision making leading to enhanced efficiency.
Rapid and consistent scaling of quantum of processes.
Acceleration of performance.