When IBM Watson made its public debut back in 2011 on the Jeopardy! game show, average viewers were stunned at its ability to quickly decipher and answer questions. Its two human competitors were cleanly defeated, and the world had a glimpse into the future of cognitive computing.
Today, cognitive computing impacts every area of our lives, from travel, sports, and entertainment, to fitness, health and wellness—including the health of our pets. In the following article, you’ll learn about six trailblazing companies showcasing cognitive computing in these various industries. It originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of UBM.
6 Real-Life Examples of Cognitive Computing Products
Entrepreneurs from a wide variety of industries have already created products and services based on cognitive technologies. Their business models provide good examples of some of the ways these applications will enhance and transform our lives in the future.
Challenge: Providing accurate, fact-based investment recommendations to financial managers
Investment managers have a difficult job. They need to absorb and understand huge volumes of information and use that information to make split-second, reliable decisions about where and when to invest client funds in a highly volatile market.
To help with that challenge, Vantage Software provides reporting and analytics capabilities to private equity firms and small hedge funds. The company’s latest product, Coalesce, is powered by IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology. “With Watson, we can examine tens of millions of pages of documents, explore available market intelligence, risk profiles, and financial profile data to provide better information to analysts,” explains Greg Woolf, founder and CEO of Vantage Software.
Challenge: Giving consumers access to reliable, up-to-date health information
It seems as if new — and often conflicting — health research is being published every day. As a result, many people find it difficult to obtain accurate answers to their medical questions.
Welltok offers a cognitive-powered tool called CaféWell Concierge that can process vast volumes of data instantly to answer individuals’ questions and make intelligent, personalized recommendations. Welltok offers CaféWell Concierge to health insurers, providers, and similar organizations as a way to help their subscribers and patients improve their overall health. “We must transform beyond the current ‘sick-care’ system built for patients, to one that optimizes each consumer’s health status,” said Jeff Margolis, chairman and CEO of Welltok. “To do so, the industry needs a practical, but radically different approach to engage the 85% of the nation’s population who are making daily choices that impact their health.”
Industry: Veterinary Care
Challenge: Helping veterinarians diagnose and treat illness in their patients
Cognitive computing isn’t helping only humans; it’s also helping veterinarians take better care of the animals that come into their practices. LifeLearn offers an award-winning veterinary clinical decision-support tool called Sofie that analyzes hundreds of thousands of veterinary medical resources and offers relevant, evidence-based treatment options.
To use Sofie, veterinarians simply ask a question in much the same way they would if another colleague were in the room. Sofie provides resources and recommendations instantly, allowing busy vets to save time and provide their patients with quality care.
Challenge: Simplifying the trip-planning process
When you planned your last trip, how many websites did you visit to set up your flights, book your hotel, and plan your activities? 10? 20? 30 or more? If you’re like most vacationers, you visited 20 or more websites when planning your trip, which has become a very time-consuming and complex task.
WayBlazer helps make that task more manageable and enjoyable with a cognitive-powered personal travel concierge. The tool allows travelers to ask natural language questions about travel and provides customized results based on a wealth of travel data, as well as insights gleaned about individual vacationers’ preferences. Already, travel suppliers are using the tool as a way to increase bookings and improve customer satisfaction.
Edge Up Sports
Industry: Sports & Entertainment
Challenge: Helping fantasy football enthusiasts manage their teams
More than 33 million people play fantasy football, and many of them spend hours poring over the latest stats and news to make their weekly picks. Some fantasy team managers are gaining an advantage on the competition by leveraging the cognitive computing technologies of Edge Up Sports to help them draft their teams.
Edge Up’s mobile app allows users to ask questions such as, “Do the Panthers play better on grass or turf?” or “Are the Cowboys emotionally ready for the game this Sunday?” The app sorts through a wealth of data, news reports, social media comments, weather reports, and more to provide insightful answers that can help fantasy football team managers make better decisions.
Industry: Health and Wellness
Challenge: Developing personalized fitness plans and tracking client progress toward goals
Most personal trainers still rely on pen and paper to track their clients’ progress toward their fitness goals. BrightMinded wants to change that with a cognitive-enabled app called TRAIN ME that learns from clinical research and tracks each user’s individual data to find what works for him or her. It then recommends a personalized exercise and fitness regimen.
Personal trainers working with the app have a wealth of research on their tablets or smartphones, as well as access to their clients’ information from wearable devices or manual entry. The app allows these trainers to provide a much more detailed and customized level of training to their clients.
Get Started Today
Today, many of these apps seem revolutionary, but in a few years, this type of interaction with apps will be quite commonplace. Entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by cognitive computing need to get started right away.
The Watson Developer Cloud enables developers and startups to quickly get started building with cognitive technology. As a result, many have rapidly developed new applications and transformed their business model. To get more information, visit the Watson Developer Cloud website.