Cognitive 101: Cognitive Intelligence and the Enterprise

About eight years ago, I remember talking with Fortune 1000 clients about Cognos. You know, the tech that takes data, creates 1 version of the truth for you, and sends you pretty reports via email for you and your team to make optimal business decisions? Well, it was (and continues) to be impressive but…

Have you heard about Celia (AKA the Cognitive Environments Laboratory Intelligent Assistant)? She’s Siri for businesses. Celia is Cognos on steroids — well, she is Watson with human elements. She’s all about learning, processing questions and giving you super cognitive intelligent answers, like a super smart human-being.

You can ask Celia: What businesses should we, as a company, buy or sell? She’ll have an answer for you. You can watch her in action video below (or here).

Celia: The Next Generation of Watson

Basically, what Celia is doing is taking data, extracting insight through analytics, and expressing her answers in natural language — human speak!

Digging deeper in the direction of Celia and cognitive computing for the enterprise, I came by this article. I like how it recaptured cognitive intelligence: cognitive intelligence is when “every product, every service, how you run your company can actually have a piece that learns and thinks as part of it.” Wow.

There is so much upside for the enterprise. Ginni Rometty points out that “80% of all the information in the world to date, until now, has been invisible to your systems and computers.” Cognitive computing will let you tap into that 80% soon (Just take a look at Gartner’s top 10 predictions for 2016 here. Fascinating enablers)! That means more and enhanced cognitive intelligence benefits for the enterprise.

Take it from Ginni. With cognitive intelligence you’ll be able to:

  1. Understand your customers better. Cognitive intelligence can give you insight on how to acquire, retain and grow your customer base. Think Cognitive marketing, as one example.
  2. Turn every employee into an expert. Cognitive intelligence can reduce training costs and serve as a knowledge agent to your employees — making them super smart!
  3. Produce products that automatically adapt to the people that own them. Cognitive intelligence will enable the ability to customize products, services, and their delivery to fit users needs, wants, and likes.
  4. Manage the corporate supply chain. Cognitive intelligence will be able to analyze and provide optimization suggestions — technology will be able to optimize for you.
  5. Discover and innovate. Cognitive intelligence will breed more intelligent uses of technology, with its partner in crime by its side, humans.

It’s possible that at this point you are starting to worry about potential job loss in the enterprise. Fact: it’s going to happen no matter what BUT keep in mind that new jobs will also be created. Those in the job can expect to make cognitive computing their best friend, their mentor and their advisor (or simply their assistant).

Cognitive intelligence will augment humans (truly, it’s all about enhancing human decision). Why will this augment and not replace 100%? Well, sure, computers now can process at human throughput and processing capacity but computers don’t have the creativity, insight, purposefulness, curiosity, (and more) of a human, like you and me.

Listen to IDC’s Gerry Murray here, he knows what he is talking about. Cognitive is already is here. Think Slack chat bots and Netflix / Amazon recommendation agents!

Just think: with it, you’ll be able to enable compelling value to the best customers faster. If you can do it faster than your competitors, then you’ll have the advantage. Bottomline: your enterprise differentiator will be cognitive intelligence.

To you and my Enterprise Cognos chat buddies: Take your business up a notch!

Be inspired by Apple, Amazon, Cloudera, Facebook, IBM, Google, Microsoft, SAS, Twitter, Walmart, Yahoo, HP, Cognitive Scale and the likes. Start experimenting.

Get yourself some cognitive intelligence!

“Cognitive 101” is an introductory series on the world of Cognitive Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Written by Lolita Taub and written for C-suite and Line-of-Business seeking to address business challenges and goals using the smartest tech.

Originally published at on September 19, 2016.

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