Cognitive Technology- Combining Human Creativity with Computing Power

Srinivas Krovvidy, Director and Head of Advanced Analytics Enablement, Fannie Mae
Srinivas Krovvidy, Director and Head of Advanced Analytics Enablement, Fannie Mae

Srinivas Krovvidy, Director and Head of Advanced Analytics Enablement, Fannie Mae

Organizations and leaders struggle to keep up with and adapt their business strategies to emerging technologies. It’s hard to blame them with the onslaught of new technology coming to market every year. Thinking about these new technologies as a combination of connected offerings as opposed to individual tools can clear the clutter and lead to bigger advantages. Consider our smart phones, which comprise many parts and capabilities such as a camera, voice/video recorder, GPS locator, internal storage and applications that allow us to accomplish vast array of tasks. Though the technologies behind these parts evolved separately, when combined in a smart phone they revolutionized the way we live and work.

  No matter the field you’re working in, cognitive technologies can help you augment and amplify your capabilities to help you to be the best you can be 

Just like smart phones, a cognitive computing system is made up of a group of complex technologies. Cognitive Technology (CT), as we call it, combines machine learning, reasoning, natural language processing, computer vision, and human computer interaction to expand human capabilities such as sensory perception, learning, deduction, decision-making etc. As part of a cognitive technology system, each facet is engineered to interact with the other components seamlessly, which provides capabilities that not only offer competitive advantage for businesses, but also improves societal well-being. In this article, I will introduce these concepts and share some of the benefits of using CT.

The basic terms you need to know

Examples of cognitive technology applications:

Cognitive technology systems are increasingly doing tasks that once required humans at the helm. We’ve seen rapid progress in these technologies over the past decade as processing power, machine learning techniques, and data collection combine to produce impressive results. Cognitive technologies have the potential to impact almost every aspect of our lives and become an emerging source of competitive advantage for businesses and the economy. Here are a few examples of such applications:

• In document rich domains such as the legal field, cognitive technology is helping lawyers sift through large document dumps during the discovery phase of cases. These systems can retrieve and process 95% of relevant documents in a fraction of required by humans.

• Many banking, financial and insurance companies are deploying cognitive engagement systems (beyond chatbots) that help their customers make decisions based on their behavioral patterns leveraging language processing, human computer interface, and machine learning technologies to provide personalized information and services.

• In medical field, CT is improving doctor/patient communications and health analysis. Soon patients all over will be able to send updates to their doctors through voice or text, anytime and from anywhere. These messages can be analyzed to find signs of progressing or deteriorating health, and a doctor will be notified if an intervention is required.

• Cognitive computing is expected to bring about many new products and services to the education sector. This will include the advent of the personal cognitive assistant for students, teachers and support teams; the automated compiling and delivery of online learning and assessment materials to students.

• In the context of the automotive industry, our cars will use CT to ‘talk’ to other vehicles, as well as technology in roads, crosswalks, tollways and parking structures.

The advancements in CT will essentially merge the relationships between humans and computers, helping both unravel the vast stores of information through advanced processing speeds. It is important to recognize that cognitive systems are meant to aid humans in completing tasks with more precision and speed, and in more complex ways than ever before. Humans hold the creativity and expertise in their fields while computers have the power to bring about insights from data while also getting smarter as they work. Working together, cognitive systems can help humans do a better job by augmenting and amplifying their capabilities and bring efficiency and productivity.

Cognitive computing is all about helping people do more and work in smarter ways. Today, to the components of CT are already helping businesses respond to changing customer needs, improve customer service, and detect fraud. In the future, we can expect CT to fundamentally change how our systems are built and interact with humans. To get ahead of the curve, organizations need invest time and energy into learning these technologies, leverage existing organizational strengths including data and analytics, train and supplement internal talent, and identify opportunities make CT work for their business.

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