If I had said twenty years ago that businesses would use a cognitive system to pick and pack their products and send them directly to customers, you’d have been forgiven for not believing me.
If, ten years ago, I told you that the taxi taking you to the airport would be controlled by a cognitive system, you may well have laughed out loud.
So what if I told you that, in future, surgeons will be supported advised by robots in operating theatres?
In this article, we’ll take a look at how technology is changing the world we live in and how our lives will change as technology evolves.
Where IT started out
Technology has come a long way in the last seventy years. In 1943 Thomas Watson, then Chairman of IBM, famously said ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers’.
He wasn’t talking about computers as we know them today. He was talking about the early machines. The vast ENIGMA cipher-cracking computers that took several rooms to house.
As computers became more widespread and moved into industry, manufacturers realised that they could build things faster, more efficiently, and more reliably.
As a nation we invested heavily in IT and robotics that helped reduce manufacturing costs and increase output and quality.
The brave new world
Just 74 years after Thomas Watson said those famous words, the world is a different place.
Technology quickly became integrated into our lives at home and at work making daily chores easier. And now it isn’t just changing the way we live our everyday lives, it’s teaching us to expect more.
We can communicate faster, and expect information faster as a result.
Business has changed too. The world’s largest retailer doesn’t own a single high street store. We have taxi companies that don’t own any cars. And Facebook, the world’s fastest growing media company, doesn’t produce content of their own. But just as we start to expect the unexpected it seems to be changing again.
Introducing Watson- the supercomputer positively disrupting the Tech world
Watson is the world’s first computer to be able to decipher language, vision, speech and data. Able to consume 800 pages a second and understand speech syntaxes and nuances, Watson can even learn to improve its own knowledge base.
And now entrepreneurs, start-ups and global multi-nationals can use Watson’s capabilities to analyse a situation, interpret relevant data from extensive structured and unstructured sources and evaluate different options, before determining the course of action to take.
How cognitive intelligence is driving new standards
Watson can be used to help us understand more about the world around us. In 2016 a team of Imperial College students arrived at IBM’s Innovation Centre, ready to tweet from space. A senior inventor from The Innovation Centre at IBM Hursley helped the students to, not only create a droid that could tweet from space, but also recognise its surroundings and control the IoT Lab in Hursley to (as far as safety would allow) replicate the conditions it encountered some 25 miles above the Earth.
Watson was used to pull together and analyse information from multiple sources on the droid, using cognitive intelligence to determine what information was required to be sent in the tweet and then tweeting the correct information.
Creative Intelligence can be used to enhance gaming too. An app extension has been created that uses Watson to help fans of the Pokemon Go craze find the rarest of Pokemons around the world.
Cognitive intelligence will also mean huge changes for service industries too. Lawyers will no longer have to sift through years of case law and precedents to find a judgement, and investment decisions can be made in split seconds, based on more information than ever before.
We are always discovering new ways that Watson can add value to our lives and businesses every day. If you have a great idea about how Watson APIs can help you deliver technology that could change the world, or even just change your business, why not enter the Watson Build Challenge?