Cognitive

Augmented Intelligence, NOT Artificial Intelligence!

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As the World Economic Forum unraveled last week in Davos, Switzerland, many leaders highlighted areas of future growth and how to shape the global economy – to promote an economy that will only serve to help improve our lives. Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, was also there discussing how IBM can contribute to this starting with artificial intelligence – or augmented intelligence/cognitive as we say at IBM.

Why does IBM choose to use “augmented intelligence” or “cognitive” over “artificial intelligence”?

We’ve transitioned from an agricultural-dominated society to the industrial revolution – and now to a more data-driven economy. What we’ve witnessed during each of these stages is some form of mechanics or machinery developed to augment our performance, thereby improving our outcome. A few examples would be (and some of these are quite simple but help us understand the role of automation/innovation):

Automotive – The assembly line was created to help workers produce more cars and simultaneously made the car more affordable to the masses.

Communication – telephone / telex / fax – Gives one the ability to transfer information faster rather than having a messenger or a trained bird fly there.

Similarly, augmented intelligence with IBM Watson has allowed us to automate many parts of our jobs and be more productive with less work:

Airline – Let’s say your flight is delayed and you know you’re going to miss your connection. IBM Watson can let the flight attendants know which passengers will miss the connection and send the passengers a message as to where to go upon landing, guiding them towards choices of connections and minimizing both running to the airport check-in desks and the potential loss of luggage … making travel simpler and more enjoyable!

Healthcare – It goes without saying that cancer can be the most harmful and traumatic experience for anyone. Imagine a country like India where the doctor-to-patient ratio is 1:1600! Doctors are overworked and should prioritize cases with IBM Watson – it can decide which ones are the most serious and move them to a higher priority and allow the others to be handled by a nurse. We also don’t realize the pressure many doctors are under in terms of keeping up with the latest research: medical data today DOUBLES every 60 days!

Insurance – A business where premiums are hard to determine, as forecasting is notoriously hard. But with data on the go, a person’s current driving habits can reveal what the likelihood would be for them to get into an accident or a citation. Imagine instead of renewing your insurance every year, you could choose to be quoted on a monthly basis! I know my driving would seriously improve!

The world has a lot of opportunity to gain and make our lives better with augmented intelligence – it’ll make our lives far smoother and more enjoyable. I invite everyone to view Ginni Rometty’s speech at the World Economic Forum:

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