AUTOMATION VIA COGNITIVE COMPUTING 15/06/2016 Last year, robotics largely dominated Gartner’s top ten of predictions for 2016. The desire to connect and interact with computers in a more natural, frictionless way is indeed becoming overwhelming. Since ‘The Second Machine Age’, it has hit the public’s consciousness that robots will soon compete with humans. “The big change is speed and the advancement of the technologies we know about”, says Paul Chong, Director EMEA for IBM’s Watson Group. “That’s something we have to be mindful for as corporations.” No less than 2,600 companies are already involved in or testing artificial intelligence and cognitive systems, he says. And they aren’t always in the industry you would expect them to be in. Continental for instance is working on a cognitive and self-learning anticipatory driving system. The idea is that sensor-equipped tires can detect the condition of the road’s surface and help the car to anticipate. “Computers are becoming cognitive and using data to become learning”, says Euan Davis, Senior director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. “It’s within the data that you get the meaning, creating the artificial intelligence that makes businesses run better. Make processes run better, like invoice reconciliation for instance. These processes are changing and they are changing around software. Some people call them robots, some knowledge box or artificial intelligence, but basically it is intelligent process automation.” Euan Davis, Senior director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work: “It’s within the data that you get the meaning, creating the artificial intelligence that makes businesses run better. Make processes run better, like invoice reconciliation for instance.” It started with a game of chess Cognitive computing started in the late 90s, when IBM took on a computing challenge with the world champion of chess. 15 years later, Watson became Jeopardy champion. Paul Chong: “One of the main challenges with regard to Watson, was to get the cognitive computer to understand the idioms, the complexity of a natural language form – English. After the tabulation and the programmatic era, we see this as a next step or the cognitive era. Cognitive systems must deliver value through insight, knowledge and even reasoning that has remained the preserve of humans. This is beyond current data analysis and simplified analytics. The idea is to get the technology to understand natural language and convert it to meaningful information.” We need to be able predict the roles of the futurePaul ChongIBM Watson GroupToday, Watson is already hooked to numerous things. Cognitoys’ Dino we already mentioned last year and the assistive robot ZORA both connect to it via the cloud. Because of its rapidly ageing population, Japan for instance is looking at such humanoid robots to make the life of elderly more comfortable, engaging conversations about weather, films or health. There are use scenarios in seventeen different sectors areas across the globe, first and foremost in healthcare. Making people work better “There are major challenges in healthcare”, Chong explains. “How do we deal with the issue about finding new drugs? How do we identify the right treatment plans for patients? If your cognitive system understands the language, it can start looking for patterns in the big data that is available. In oncology, a radiologist today has a 70% success rate in finding tumours. Watson is able to understand medical imaging and already out-achieves what a radiologist can see. The perspective is not to replace the radiologist but to help him make a better job.” Euan Davis adds: “Watson in hospitals is a no-brainer. Why should a doctor spend twenty years in papers and study when you can concentrate on the emotional intelligence side of healthcare. The European population accounts for 5% of the world’s population, for 25% of its GDP and for 50% of its welfare. That cannot go on, it has to change. That’s why Watson or the new ways of working that we see are vital to solving that paradox.” There will be a blended approach with things the robot can do and things we can but the robot can’t. ‘I, Robot’ will become ‘Robot and I’ And in IT? How can we can apply these automated learning systems in our own IT environments? One example is to optimize contact centre assistance, to deflect similar questions to automated responses. “Robots are starting to take out the drudgery out of work”, Davis explains. “There will be a blended approach with things the robot can do and things we can but the robot can’t. ‘I, Robot’ will become ‘Robot and I’.” TED uses the cognitive computing power to extract meaningful information from its ‘talks’. If you type something in the search box, it will now go through the vast amount of data held within the videos and select the right excerpt of the video related to the question provided. New jobs will emerge “Of course robotics and AI will have an impact on jobs and certainly from an education perspective we need to be able predict the roles of the future. 50% of the future jobs of kids in today’s kindergartens, do not exist today. We’ll see new jobs emerge. It is our responsibility to think about those jobs today already. It is unstoppable”, Chong concludes. “Three years ago digital wasn’t such a big deal, today it does and in twenty years it will have changed every single business. You have the data, from the data you can run the analytics. You cannot keep on cutting cost, you need to start thinking about generating value and using these new tools and techniques or robots”, Davis warns.