The next generation of cognitive computers aims to serve as cognitive assistants that will supplement human intelligence. Such machines will offer not only data-crunching capabilities, but also the ability to analyze real-world situations, hypothesize, reach conclusions, and advise on outcomes.
The main benefit of human-machine collaboration is merging machines' productivity and speed with humans' emotional intelligence and ability to handle the unknown, according to Gartner. To move beyond IT and truly collaborate with people, computers need to improve in areas such as natural language question-and-answer capabilities.
"Right now the science of cognitive computing is in the formative stages," says IBM Research's Ton Engbersen. "To become machines that can learn, computers must be able to process sensory as well as transactional input, handle uncertainty, draw inferences from their experience, modify conclusions according to feedback, and interact with people in a natural, human-like way."
Computers will need to think and interface in a way that fits with natural human patterns, rather than humans adapting to the functionality of computers. Already, new smart devices are monitoring and controlling the temperature in living spaces, lifestyle choices, and other aspects of daily life, while smart sensors in neonatal wards are monitoring the vital signs of premature babies. Advances also are occurring in stochastic optimization, predictive analytics, and contextual analytics.
From Information Age (United Kingdom)
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