2017: The Year of Cognitive Computing

Jose Monterrosa

Imagina Comunications

Co-chair MCM, AMA Houston
Board Member of OnlyinHouston.org

2017 is the year when automatization will make significant advancements in business processes. This is due to a technology that has been visualized for over half a century; perhaps since the days of Robby The Robot and B-9 from Lost in Space.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), or computer systems that can replace human intelligence to perform tasks, is making significant strides. Healthcare, retail and other industries are increasingly using AI for visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making IBM is leading this advancement with their technology, Watson, a cognitive computing system capable of processing significant amounts of data much faster than the human brain.

What does cognitive computing mean to businesses? Decision making with greater accuracy at faster rates. In essence, removing the individual from the equation will allow accountants, attorneys, doctors, engineers, architects and many other professionals, to improve decision making, or reduce human error, to complex problems in less time. These professionals will have  a computer system that can process and analyze volumes of information to help them determine the right course of action. This means jobs and situations benefiting from multiple inputs will likely be reduced to just a few individuals. The experts also speculate that AI will reduce the professionals’ need for assistants and consultants.

Other professionals in industries such as architects and civil engineers should see improvements in analyzing constructions codes, to name one example. Meanwhile, attorneys should be able to benefit from the assistance of ROSS, IBM’s cognitive system for attorneys. According to studies, ROSS can examine masses of legal files error-free that previously took legal associates between 31% and 35% of the legal assistant’s time.

Another industry that is going through significant change is retail, more specifically, grocery stores. Although large chains such as Kroger and H-E-B in Texas are moving rapidly to offer home delivery or store pick-up, Amazon is the leader in online purchasing and most likely assembling its robust machine learning system to analyze consumer purchasing behavior. The grocery stores of the near future, according to the experts, will be warehouses where robots assort purchasing orders and package the goods ready to be shipped. The days of the grocery store isles will soon be history.

Moving forward business owners will have to familiarize and adjust with cognitive technology. It is very important how this will impact their businesses as it unfolds in various industries.