June 10, 2016 | Written by: Michael Dobbs
Categorized: Consumer Experience
Cognitive Computing is the future. Most of the companies that I’m talking to today already see this. Watson is like the ‘Model T’ of Cognitive Systems. It was the first commercially viable Cognitive Computer, and it continues to improve and modernize. Today Watson is so powerful that most of IBMs competitors actually license it and resell it to their clients.
But what is Cognitive computing? Why is it the future? Cognitive Computers can think, learn, listen, and speak. Imagine having the Star Trek Computer at your fingertips! OK, we’re not there yet…yet! A Cognitive System can analyze huge amounts of data in real-time. It can look at and understand images. It can listen to people, understand what they are saying, and answer their questions based on information it has been given. If the answer is wrong, it learns and gives a better answer next time. The uses really are limitless!
Cognitive Computing is the future! But how do we get there?
The cost of standing up a cognitive system and ‘teaching’ it requires a commitment, and many companies, while convinced that this is the future, don’t want to pull the trigger…yet. IBM has launched a number of different ways that companies can start their cognitive journey without committing a major investment.
To date Watson has launched over 30 Cognitive APIs on IBM’s Blue Mix Cloud. You can go there and explore those APIs to create your own Cognitive Solutions…it’s free! And if you want to commercialize it, the cost is really low.
Additionally, IBM has launched over 400 Watson Partnerships with an ever growing ecosystem of small and nimble companies. These Watson Partners have created products that any company can use. They are built on the Watson APIs. Below I’ll outline 3 Watson Partners that have created interesting products built to help you start your own cognitive journey at an affordable price. (Keep in mind that each of these partners do more than I’m outlining…I’m only reviewing one example of what they do).
StatSocial: StatSocial has a database of around 650M Social Personas. Each of these personas has multiple / many social handles such as email addresses and Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social handles. Using this database, companies can turn unorganized lists of social handles into lists of consumers with all of their social handles associated to them. StatSocial can then look at all public social information for each consumer and create a Social Profile based on what those consumers have written and liked. It can also create a Personality Profile using the Watson API “Personality Insights.” To do this, Watson reads all information that consumers publicly publish and creates a detailed and surprisingly accurate Personality Profile on that consumer. Using this, companies can develop personalized marketing programs because they really know their consumers.
Cognitive Scale: Cognitive Scale allows companies to get to know their consumers, even if they are not logged in and are anonymous. When a consumer goes on line or accesses the company thru a mobile app, Cognitive Scale cookies their device. It then interacts with the consumer getting numerous opportunities to improve the company’s understanding of the consumer thru a fun ‘liking game’ or other simple and effective methods. The result is a customized internet / mobile experience. If the consumer does log in, that experience can be transferred to all other devices that the consumer uses. Cognitive Scale also uses a Cognitive Search Field. Consumers can ask questions, and Watson will understand the question and answer it. This is not like a search engine which does not really understand what is being asked. The result is better interaction and stronger answers for each question.
eyeQ: eyeQ drives consumer interaction in store. One recent example of work they have done is with a car dealership. A consumer comes in and enters his/her twitter handle. Watson then engages and does a Personality Profile based on what that person has written socially. Based on this knowledge of the consumer, eyeQ then recommends which car that consumer would be most interested in. I’ve seen a similar tool created for a candy company to be deployed in a grocery store! A fun interaction for the consumer which can lead to purchase, and also gives great information on consumers to the company.
These are just a few ways that companies can start on their Cognitive Journey. Want to learn more and look into how you can get started with cognitive computing? Reach out to me!
The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.
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