Preparing for a new era of cognitive computing, IBM is developing computer systems modeled on the human brain that will leverage big data to significantly impact everyday life, especially when combined with the rise of social, mobile, analytic, and cloud (SMAC) technologies.
The age of programmable computing is giving way to the new cognitive computing era, driven by SMAC, machine learning, and the Internet of Things, says IBM research fellow Kerrie Holley, who notes each era lasts about 40 to 50 years. He says innovation and invention will be critical to organizations, for example, with the Internet of things as it enables machine-to-machine communication.
Holley says IBM's cognitive technologies, particularly its Watson computer system, can transform industries such as healthcare by using big data to answer questions asked in natural language. Using Watson's evidence-based learning, hypothesis generation, and natural-language capabilities, medical professionals can make critical diagnosis and treatment decisions.
IBM and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in March announced plans to create a cognitive system enabling Watson to use cancer patient treatment data to enable oncologists to diagnose and treat patients based on the most current available data.
Holley notes cognitive computing also can play a key role in weather forecasting.
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