What Is Cognitive Computing?

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Cognitive computing, a subfield of artificial intelligence, simulates human thought processes in machines using self-learning algorithms through data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing. These artificial environments rely on deep learning algorithms and neural networks to process information by comparing it to a teaching set of data. By mimicking human thought processes, computers help people make better and easier decisions. Given these machine-human interactions, cognitive computing can also be described as Augmented Intelligence.

Cognitive Computing Use Cases Include:

  • Delivering actionable sporting tips to athletes during a game or competition.
  • Providing better knowledge about diseases and the course of treatment for patients.
  • Advising investment strategists on leveraging information to make decisions buying or selling in a marketplace.
  • Enabling blind or visually impaired people to navigate around physical space.
  • Responding to the emotional tone from an audience to a change of clothing color.

Other Definitions of Cognitive Computing Include:

  • “A mashup of cognitive science—the study of the human brain and how it functions—and computer science.” (Forbes)
  • “Systems that learn at scale, reason with purpose and interact with humans naturally.” (IBM)
  • “Technology platforms that, broadly speaking, are based on the scientific disciplines of artificial intelligence and signal processing.” (International Conference on Cognitive Computing)

Businesses Use Cognitive Computing To:

  • Do augmented analytics
  • Identify trends and patterns to deliver actionable recommendations
  • Understand human language and interact with customers and workers more naturally
  • Assess risks in real time
  • Produce accurate results (if the data sets are good)

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