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Cognitive Computing: Delivering Actionable Insights Across All Industries

By Dick Weisinger

Cognitive Computing is an area of computing that attempts to solve problems by simulating the human thought process. The term is used extensively by IBM when describing the Watson computer system, but it is often used by other vendors and researchers as well.

Cognitive computing uses many of the same component technologies used in general artificial intelligence, like neural networks, deep learning, natural language processing, and speech recognition.

Paul Roma, manager at IBM Watson Health, said that “cognitive computing is more encompassing than the traditional, narrow view of AI. AI has been primarily used to describe technologies capable of performing tasks normally requiring human intelligence. We see cognitive computing as being defined by machine intelligence, which is a collection of algorithmic capabilities that can augment employee performance, automate increasingly complex workloads, and develop cognitive agents that simulate both human thinking and engagement.”

Bernard Marr, author and consultant, said that “cognitive computing works especially well in any field where large quantities of complex data need to be processed and analyzed to solve problems, including finance, law, and education. These systems can also be used in other areas of business including consumer behavior analysis, personal shopping bots, customer support bots, travel agents, tutors, security, and diagnostics.”

Allied Market Research estimates that the field of Cognitive Computing will reach a market size of $87.39 billion by 2026.

Bret Greenstein, partner at PwC, said that “any industry where data is gathered and can be used to gain insights will be affected. Cognitive technologies can open new markets, deliver efficiencies, and deliver competitive advantage by delivering real-time insights that are actionable.”

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