You may have heard a lot of buzz coming out of IBM lately about Cognitive Computing, and you might have also wondered “what the heck are they talking about?” You may have heard of services for data and predictive analytics, services for natural language text processing, services for sentiment analysis, services understand speech and translate languages, but it’s sometimes hard to see the forest through the trees.
I highly recommend taking a moment to watch this video that introduces Cognitive Computing from IBM:
Those services that I mentioned above are all examples of Cognitive Computing systems, and are all available for you to use today.
From IBM Research:
Cognitive computing systems learn and interact naturally with people to extend what either humans or machine could do on their own.
They help human experts make better decisions by penetrating the complexity of Big Data.
Cognitive systems are often based upon massive sets of data and powerful analytics algorithms that detect patterns and concepts that can be turned into actionable information for the end users. It’s not “artificial intelligence” in the sense that the services/machines act upon their own; rather a system that provides the user tools or information that enables them to make better decisions.
The benefits of cognitive systems in a nutshell:
- They augment the user’s experience
- They provide the ability to process information faster
- They make complex information easier to understand
- They enable you to do things you might not otherwise be able to do
Curious where this will lead? Now take a moment and watch this video talking about the industry-transforming opportunities that Cognitive Computing is already beginning to bring to life.”
So, why is the “mobile guy” talking about Cognitive Computing?
First, it’s because Cognitive Computing is big… I mean, really, really big. Cognitive systems are literally transforming industries and providing powerful analytics and insight into the hands of both experts and “normal people.” When I say “into the hands,” I again mean this literally; much of this cognitive ability is being delivered to those end users through their mobile devices.
It’s also because cognitive systems fit nicely with IBM’s MobileFirst product offerings. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the MobileFirst Platform Foundation server on-premise, or leveraging the MobileFirst offerings on IBM Bluemix, in both cases you can easily consume IBM Watson cognitive services to augment and enhance the interactions and data for your mobile applications. Check out the Bluemix catalog to see how you might start adding Watson cognitive or big data abilities to your apps today.
Last, and this is purely just personal opinion, I see the mobile MobileFirst offerings themselves as providing somewhat of cognitive service for developing mobile apps. If you look at it from the operational analytics perspective, you have an immediate insight and a snapshot into the health of your system that you would never have seen otherwise. You can know what types of devices are hitting your system, what services are being used, how long things are taking, and detect issues, all without any additional development efforts on your end. It’s not predictive analytics, but sure is helpful and gets us moving in the right direction.