Required reading: Only Humans May Apply

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I’ve been reading Only Humans May Apply, a new book by Tom Davenport and Julia Kirby.  This witty, well-researched and highly readable book makes a case for cognitive computing as augmentation for humans, rather than as a replacement for them through job automation.  Although it cites plenty of scary numbers about jobs that will be lost, that’s just a springboard for presenting five strategies for surviving the evolution to the cognitive computing era.  Each strategy forces you to consider what ...

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AI vs. Cognitive Computing: How do YOU decide?

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Artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing are distinct fields, though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably to refer to the ability of computers to reason. The differences in the fields may seem subtle, but they have distinct approaches and goals. AI advocates are convinced that their machines will provide augmented intelligence that will surpass humans in accuracy and insight or strength and agility. Cognitive computing advocates say that “cognitive assistants” are tools that handle volumes of data and exhaustive rounds ...

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Smart Data Online 2016

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Sue Feldman and Hadley Reynolds will present at Smart Data Onlie 2016 on July 13. Please join us to hear them discuss how cognitive computing is still evolving through a series of vignettes to differentiate cognitive computing technologies and methods from more familiar technologies and concepts such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things. They will also describe the emerging cognitive computing infrastructure, and talk about both the promise of cognitive computing ...

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Financial Times Doubles Down on Robots’ Impacts

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Robotics, like cognitive computing, is a field in full upheaval. Today’s market has left welding, assembling, and spray painting far behind and is now knocking on the door of blue collar and white collar skills alike. Implications are seismic for applications ranging from military weaponry to journalism to customer service to emerging investment niches. The Financial Times collects a large selection of perspectives on robots’ impacts across the business spectrum.

Read more at The Financial Times

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Health at Watson Analyst Day

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It was apparent at the Watson Analyst Day on May 23rd that IBM’s message has been refined over the five years since Jeopardy, and that it has begun to gel. Just as we in the Cognitive Computing Consortium have moved from a vague understanding that we were dealing with a fundamentally new phase in technology, so too has IBM’s understanding of what cognitive computing is, and what it’s good for become much more solid.

A core point of emphasis from IBM ...

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Voice Interfaces Reap New Investment from Tech Giants

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Having a smart digital assistant you send messages to via a keyboard seems like a contradiction in terms. So 20th century. If they’re so smart, why don’t they talk like we do? And there’s the rub: now they don’t, but Amazon, Facebook, and Google, among others, see competitive advantage in bringing the best voice interaction to market. The impact will be similar to the one Google had on internet search, so why not get excited.

ReCode offers a good overview of ...

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Smarter Perspectives Needed to Prepare for Smart Machines

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Tom Davenport and the International Institute for Analytics offer a thoughtful perspective on “how to help humans work better with smart machines.” This is not the first or the last word you will hear on this issue, but it provides an important, business-based perspective on what can be a largely emotional topic.

Read more at International Institute for Analytics

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IBM’s concierge bot serves hotel guests in interesting ways

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I learned three things from IBM’s Connie the concierge robot when I visited her at the Hilton in McClean, Virginia. First, my Southern accent is much stronger than I realized. Second, voice recognition systems still have trouble understanding some of us. Third, the natural language processing capabilities of this Watson-driven robot are impressive, but our brief acquaintance indicates that they fall short of being cognitive.

According to IBM’s March press release about the project, “Connie uses a combination of Watson ...

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IBM Watson Meets Big Bird

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Children are natural explorers. They like to learn. However, their learning styles can vary wildly. How can we allow each child to learn at his or her own pace, teaching them what they need to know, but within the context of what excites each child’s curiosity? Can we deliver knowledge when they are most ready to learn it? Can we deliver those ideas within the context of the world they know to enhance and deepen learning?

On April 27th, IBM Watson ...

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Viv To Demo “New” Virtual Assistant

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Attendees at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference will see the first large public demo of startup Viv Labs’ “Viv” virtual assistant. In gestation for over a decade and in concentrated development since Viv Labs was founded 4 years ago, the new assistant brings an open architecture model to the problem of creating a voice-driven personal service with range and depth.

Created by the team that developed Siri and sold it to Apple, the goal of Viv is literally to replace the current middleman ...

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