January 12, 2016 | Written by: Ashley Hathaway
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AI and machine learning are hot topics lately, and for good reason. As we continue to produce more data at faster and faster speeds, the ability to extract value from that data becomes increasingly important. Not to mention, data sources now pull from amalgamations of unstructured and structured data, which makes the ability to easily work with, manipulate, and ultimately extract value from these sources a key component.
That’s why APIs are so important to cognitive computing. Cognitive APIs (or any tool that deals with self-learning systems, pattern recognition, natural-language processing, or data mining) will provide businesses with the tools needed to transform the way they utilize the power of their big data. Not only will companies be able to synthesize new ideas by combining their information from single or multiple data stores, they will also be able to uncover other patterns not otherwise found.
The idea of unstructured data is particularly important. While cognitive APIs have their place among many different types of use cases–not just involving big data–being able to work with blogs, emails, social media feeds and RSS feeds opens up any source of text as a potential body of content. Combine that with the ability to convert speech-to-text using an API and now conversations, podcasts and even debates are now in play.
The beauty of cognitive APIs is that they allow even novice developers to find sentiment or concepts from natural language, to identify specific objects from images, and to synthesize speech detection and use these functions for any industry and any topic. The most interesting and important part of all of this is that the nature and functionality of deep learning and IBM Watson services can be leveraged for any content. When someone asks, “Does Watson work for X industry?” the answer is yes. It all depends on the type and format of your data and the information you value.
The speed of information change also means a business must be able to work rapidly with those information streams. APIs are now a key component in business success and offer ways to scale new go-to-market strategies. Working with cognitive APIs can help companies find these strategies while also simplifying complex topics and finding new differentiators.
No matter who you are, what your project is or where you are located, one option to begin working with cognitive APIs is with the IBM Watson Developer Cloud. Whether it’s for a hackathon or a large enterprise solution, the APIs scale easily and are the primary tool developers use to simplify, strengthen, and speed up their applications. Because the IBM Watson Developer Cloud has a variety of APIs it’s easy to combine uses in almost any app. As the industry continues to progress, we will likely soon start to see real-time big data processing in the cloud, and cognitive APIs will be key components in the story.
Try out APIs for yourself here or contact us to find out how the power of cognitive can help your specific use case and to provide feedback. I can be reached on Twitter as well.