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The World of Cognitive Computing

Let’s start the discussion about cognitive computing with its few applications. In retail industry, a cognitive computer can act as your personal sales assistant. It can answer your questions and make recommendations based on previous purchases or current needs. In travel industry, the same computer, can be your travel assistant and give recommendations based on customer reviews, your financial budget and personal preferences. On the health industry front, a cognitive computer can transform overpriced health recommendation to holistic budget friendly health solutions.

There is a lot of buzz about cognitive computing in the technological world but only few know precisely what it is. Cognitive Computing is nothing but a computerized simulation of human thought process where a cognitive computer use techniques of data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing.

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The second era of computing began in 1950’s, where a computer used to answer queries for which information is already available with it. But, Cognitive systems "suggest answers" and refine them based on their interactions with end users. The idea of cognitive computing is intertwined with artificial Intelligence.

Introduction to Cognitive Computing

A cognitive computer addresses complex situations that are regarded as ambiguous and uncertain. The system use complex decision making processes, which is similar to human thinking, and provides the best possible solution. Thus, a cognitive computer gathers information from different contexts, influences and insights, formulating the best possible solution rather than the "Correct" one.

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In simple words, Cognitive systems process information by acquiring data, putting it into action and transmitting knowledge. It completes this task by bringing together things like perception, reasoning, intelligence calculation and conscience; by articulating linguistics, anthropology, psychology, neurosciences, philosophy and artificial intelligence disciples of science and technology.

Cognitive computing is a revolution of our time. Till now we’ve been getting answers to complex problems using advance computation, like finding target markets or effective campaigns for a given product. However, now cogitative computers will be able to assess the need of people and suggest the best possible "product" to design and build. This won’t be an "absolute" answer but the most probable one, which is not written anywhere in its database.

What does a Cognitive System contain? 

Cognitive system has accessibility to large unstructured information sets like blogs, posts, wiki entries, website information etc. So when you input some text inside cognitive computer, say, "Manikarna Damodar Rao"; there is no location inside the computer, containing this paraphrase but lots of texts and blog posts have mentioned about it. Cognitive systems will evaluate the result as "Damodar Rao is Son of Rani Laxmi Bai”. By using advanced natural understanding skills, a cognitive computer will be able to understand that Manikarna was name of Rani Laxmi Bai, whose son was Damodar Rao.

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How Cognitive systems works ?

A Cognitive systems works in the below mentioned way: 
  1. Uses Natural Language processing and understands natural language and human interactions.
  2. Generates and evaluates evidence based hypothesis.
  3. Adapts and learns from user selections and responses.
You can converse like a human with a cognitive computer and get possible recommendations from a cognitive customer relationship management system as stated in the below example.

Ques : Can you tell me what is the best saving scheme that I can have?
Ans : You should apply for a Home-Buyer Saving plan.

Ques : What is that? What is the difference between my current saving plan and this one?
Ans :  Home buyer Saving Plan is ........... It is better than your current plan because of ...........

Ques : How much money can I save monthly with this and how much should I invest?
Ans : Taking your income into consideration I suggest you must invest .................

We might worry about fact that a lot of employment might be at risk with such systems gaining mainstream. However, we must never forget that a machine, no matter how intelligent it is, requires human knowledge to train it and feed data about industry standards.

After all, a man with a machine is always powerful than a machine.