Cognitive Computing Is Knocking On The Door
January 27, 2014 Dan Burger
Powerful cognitive computer systems are on the doorstep. You have to decide whether or not to let them in. These are computers modeled on the human brain, so there’s the possibility they will come in whether you invite them or not.
Sorry for the Fright Night introduction. This isn’t a Stanley Kubrick Space Odyssey. It’s IBM‘s annual innovation thriller titled Five in Five. If you’ve not heard of it before, it’s a made for media prediction of what will come to pass during the next five-year span. But before we get to that, let me introduce the star of the show: Watson, the almost human brain capable of inhuman brainpower. Watson is the face of cognitive computing. And, not coincidentally, cognitive computing is the theme of theme of the Five in Five forecast.
IBM’s cognitive computing applied to the medical industry has been on display for several years, but here’s the latest. IBM’s five-year prediction is that doctors will be sequencing patients’ DNA in a day. But that’s just the beginning. It’s the doctors’ access to cloud-based systems that puts the cog in cognitive. Those systems will provide recommendations for improved health based on real-time clinical and research information. If you’ve yet to hear about knowledge conduits known as WatsonPaths, you will before long.
You may have guessed digital education was going to make this list, but you may not have surmised the reason. The cloud-based cognitive systems to collect and analyze student data over an extended period of time lead teachers to the information that will shape personalized learning experiences for their students. The system will also connect the dots between students’ goals and interests with data on their learning styles so teachers can better match content and presentation method with student’ preferred way of learning.
In the future, individual consideration trumps collective averages based on criteria such as age, gender, culture, and socio-economic scorecards.
If you are already thinking about kissing your privacy good-bye, just pat down the hairs that are standing up on the back of your neck and relax. The escape from the law of averages through microscopically close individual scrutiny will also be protected. Say hello to your digital guardian. The DG knows you are a person of many habits. Stay habitual and DG stays at ease. When your patterns of activity look fishy, that’s a sign of fraud. DG calls the cops.
Here’s one you probably did not see coming. The future of shopping is a return to the past. Well, sorta. Local retailers get back on the economic gravy train by knowing all about you as you walk into a store–just like the days when grandma went to the butcher and he knew what meat to wrap up before she said a word. But soon any retailer, anywhere and anytime will know what you want and how you want it. The best thing about this is you don’t have to worry about those Amazon delivery drones (as seen on CBS 60 Minutes) crashing into your windows or delivering your cuff links to the wrong zip code.
The cities where we live are going to get smart, too. They will also be growing. More than half the world’s population will be living in cities by 2030. The benefits of new technologies such as crowdsourcing will provide city officials with immediate feedback on issues such as zoning changes or sales tax increases. IBM says it will increase response times to citizens, but that seems to me to be a personnel issue.
You can read a lot more about the smarter future by visiting this IBM website.