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What is Cognitive Technology? Examples Transforming Business

Paul Hager
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When IBM Watson made its public debut more than a decade ago on the Jeopardy! game show, viewers were stunned at its ability to quickly decipher and answer questions. Its two human competitors — Ken Jennings among them — were cleanly defeated, and the world had a glimpse into the future of cognitive technology.

Today, cognitive computing systems impact every area of our lives, from travel, sports and entertainment, to fitness, health and wellness—including the health of our pets.

Cognitive technology is also transforming businesses, whether a major enterprise or small startup.

What is Cognitive Computing?

Everyone is familiar with standard search methodologies like Google and other text-based search engines. They’ll deliver a narrow band of results from a single perspective. In fact, the basic function of a search engine has remained the same since the early 1980’s; a user enters a search term and gets back links to pages that include the word or words found in that search string.

Traditional keyword searching has its limitations and typically doesn’t anticipate variances or provide nuanced results.

A cognitive computing system is trained to learn based on interactions and outcomes rather than simply regurgitating information. It’s a cognitive system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence. It navigates the complexities of natural language, processing and analyzing massive amounts of big data exceptionally quickly. It also sorts through vast quantities of structured and unstructured data to provide specific, personalized recommendations that are backed by solid evidence.

And the system continues to learn and get better over time.

5 Cognitive Computing Product Examples

Without necessarily realizing it, many are familiar with everyday examples of cognitive technology:

  • Netflix might recommend movies based on a user’s past preferences.
  • If you purchase a dog toy on Amazon, you’ll suddenly see a bunch of related products for your pooch.
  • Liked a Facebook post showing a remodeling project? You can expect to see home improvement content showing up in your news feed.

Cognitive technology helps sort out what is relevant and what isn’t, and gives sound, evidence-based advice and recommendations.

Aside from these familiar examples, entrepreneurs and business leaders are leveraging cognitive computing applications in a wide variety of industries. They want to improve upon technologies, products and services that are based on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Their business models show some of the ways these technologies will transform our lives in the future.

1. Vantage Point AI

Industry: Finance

Challenge: Providing accurate, fact-based investment recommendations

Choosing a well-performing stock has traditionally been a guessing game for many investors. With the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence, investors can feel more confident in their investment decisions.

Vantagepoint AI was recognized for its predictive artificial intelligence trading software used by over 29,000 traders around the world and named the Best A.I.-Powered Trade Software Solutions Provider.

Vantagepoint is considered a leader in investment trading software research and development and has been shown to forecast stocks in twelve U.S. sectors including energy, financial, healthcare and technology as well as stocks around the world. This tool can forecast stocks, futures, Forex and ETFs with accuracy of up to 87.4%. According to Vantagepoint’s website, its patented Neural Network processes predict changes in market trend direction up to three days in advance, enabling traders to get in and out of trades at optimal times with confidence.

2. Welltok

Industry: Healthcare

Challenge: Providing access to reliable, up-to-date health and benefits information

If erroneous health information on the internet weren’t prevalent enough, new — and often conflicting — health research is being published every day. The pandemic has only increased the number of bogus health claims and misinformation. These realities make it difficult for many people to find accurate answers to their medical questions.

Welltok offers a cognitive-powered tool called HarmonixTM that can instantly process vast volumes of data to answer questions and make intelligent, personalized recommendations. Welltok offers this service to health insurers, providers and similar organizations as a way to help their subscribers and patients improve their overall health in a truly personalized way.

Welltok was recognized as the 2021 Best IoT Healthcare Platform in part for its ability to predict with up to 90% accuracy people's needs and their likelihood to take action, and engage them with integrated multi-channel outreach to maximize results.

3. LifeLearn

Industry: Veterinary Care

Challenge: Helping veterinarians diagnose and treat illness in their patients

Cognitive technology isn’t just helping humans; it’s also helping veterinarians take better care of the pets and animals that are brought into their practices. While many applications and resources have been made to address human health, there weren’t many effective solutions that helped veterinarians quickly access the latest and best veterinary medical research to help diagnose and treat their patients.

LifeLearn offers a clinical decision-support tool for veterinarians called Sofie that leverages cognitive technologies like IBM Watson’s platform to search a vast knowledge base including 40,000 pages of peer-reviewed, evidence-based reference materials containing the most current, credible and trusted veterinary resources in animal health. This AI-powered assistant allows clinicians to ask questions on desktop and mobile devices anywhere at any time, meaning that even veterinarians in the field can access information, including those who service large animals on rural farms.

4. Spark Cognition

Industry: Multiple Industries

Challenge: Preventing downtime, disasters, data loss and more

Spark Cognition serves multiple industries, helping to unearth insights from their customers’ data to optimize operations, predict future events, protect their assets and accelerate growth. The company features multiple platforms, including:

  • Darwin®
  • DeepArmor®
  • DeepNLPTM
  • EnsembleTM
  • MaanaTM
  • OrcaTM
  • SparkPredict®

These ​​deep learning-based products are agile, helping industries accomplish goals and meet objectives. An example is the oil and gas industry which uses their AI systems to accurately predict impending failures and stop catastrophic disasters before they happen. SparkCognition’s predictive analytics helps operators avoid unexpected downtime, successfully identifying 75% of production-impacting events about a week in advance.

5. Numenta

Industry: Scientific Research

Challenge: AI’s limitations and the laborious work required to get it to learn continuously, and to expand beyond accomplishing narrow, specific goals.

Numenta applies neuroscience principles to machine intelligence research. They’re unique in that their research code is publicly disclosed and open source. The team of scientists and engineers that make up Numenta believe a new approach to machine learning and AI is needed — one that applies neuroscience principles to make systems and AI more “brain-like.”

To do that, they’re seeking to understand the complex circuitry of the human brain’s cortex column. They’re applying their principles to improve existing AI models, but their goal is to create futuristic intelligent systems that truly learn, plan and act like a human.

Get Started Today

Today, many of these apps seem revolutionary, but these types of interactions are becoming commonplace. Entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by cognitive computing need to get started now if they want to stay on the leading edge of their industries and gain a competitive advantage.

At Elevity, we can help you organize your data, leverage cognitive computing technology and provide solutions for all your computing needs. Contact us today for a free consultation. And get our complimentary infographic, The Future of Document Management, to learn about how cognitive computing and other major technology advances can streamline your operations.

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