Archive for 2014

Cognitive Computing: A Definition and Some Thoughts

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Computers are one of those artifacts of modern life that we love to hate. They are powerful, pervasive, intrusive and, let’s face it, clumsy to use. Today’s applications require us to break down complex, subtle ideas into simplistic statements. We must learn arcane codes to speak their language. They are incapable of assisting us in an evolving knowledge voyage because their understanding breaks down as our context or intentions change.

Quietly, though, ...

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IBM Offers a Data Tool for the Mainstream, With Watson’s Help

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Developing technology is one thing; democratizing it is another. The latter involves finding the innovation that opens the door to widespread adoption with usefulness and usability.

In the personal computer era, it was the spreadsheet that transformed a hobbyists’ plaything into a must-have machine in corporate America. In mobile computing, it was Apple’s iPhone that brought the smartphone to the masses, establishing a new model for the gadgets as both smart and easy to use. In the era of big data, ...

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Cognitive Computing: Why Now and Why It Matters

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We are arguably in the midst of a profound shift in computing, from programmatic to so-called cognitive, where intelligent workflows are no longer simply encoded into machines, but are rather discovered automatically through observations of best practices. Many would say that smart systems and data mining have been around for a while, so what is so different now? It turns out that it is not so much about new algorithms, but rather about new engineering approaches, invented out of the ...

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IBM’s New Computer Chip Thinks Like a Human

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Advances in computer technology have become the norm. And as more and more data is collected from a myriad of sources, companies have come to realize the value of using all that information in a multitude of ways. Facebook collects reams of data, and has mastered the art of using it, to better target its ads. And much of the tech sector is racing to both collect and use data to interconnect all facets of our lives — cars, homes, ...

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Cognitive Computing: Beyond the Hype

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Disruptions happen when three elements converge: market needs, available technologies, and an environment of experimentation and adventure. Those all exist today, and cognitive computing is one innovation at that crossroads. Some would argue it is the industry’s most important one.

In 2011, when IBM’s Watson soundly defeated the two leading human Jeopardy champions, it also established cognitive computing as a new phenomenon to be watched. Cognitive computing could become an important ...

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