Today we’re taking a bigger picture look at the umbrella concept of cognitive technology. You probably know more about cognitive technology than you think. Remember that we’ve talked about Artificial Intelligence (AI) being an overall term for “smart” computing?  Well, cognitive technologies are the underlying tools that make AI possible.

What is Cognitive Technology?

First, what do we mean by “smart” computing? The gist, as defined by Deloitte Insights, is that computing tools that can sort information and make decisions in a way normally thought to require human intelligence are smart/cognitive tools.

We’ve looked at some examples here on the blog before. One example: natural language processing tools that are able to read and figure out the sentiment in emails, customer chats, and social media. Another: image classification tools, such as used by Yelp to sort user-uploaded images and tag them as food, menu, indoor or outdoor pictures.

The list is ever growing, and cognitive technology shows up in new tools almost every day. From robotics to scheduling tools, cognitive technology is at the heart of so many new business tools.

Cognitive Services Packages and Business Uses of Cognitive Technology

What does smart computing mean for businesses today? Well, with cognitive services suites like Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive Services or IBM’s Watson adding cognitive technology to your business is possible with a lot less technical startup.

What kinds of tools are available?

  • Natural language tools that can understand and respond to customers. This means sorting and classifying, but it can also go further. Natural language processing can help you quickly understand customer tone and recognize their mood.
  • Deep data tools that can sort through and prioritize your data so that you get insights you were never able to focus on before. Deep dive data tools look for connections and patterns that you may never have predicted.
  • Speech recognition tools to convert spoken words into text or that can be used for identity verification. Or speech tools that go the other direction, making the written text sound like a friendly person.
  • The Bing Search tool, that makes your website search more like Bing’s. Its web, news, image search, and the ever important auto-suggest.

Not sure how these tools would fit into your business? Well, come back as we continue our cognitive services series. We’ll take a look at surprising uses across industries that are making the most of cognitive technology.

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