Trends Report

Cognitive Engagement: A New Force Of Creative Destruction

Artificial Intelligence Grows From Data To Dialog To Disruption

July 1st, 2014
With contributors:
Diego Lo Giudice , Mike Gualtieri , Leslie Owens , Skip Snow , Holger Kisker, Ph.D. , Nasry Angel , Emily Jedinak , Abigail Komlenic


IBM Watson beat two Jeopardy champions and will soon help oncologists pick treatment options faster. On a smartphone, Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana answer simple questions on an ever-growing variety of topics. Google has launched a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab to construct more efficient and accurate models for everything from speech recognition to web search to protein folding. These are examples of a new wave of computing that we call "cognitive engagement" that augments peoples' capabilities, scales knowledge capacity, and automates repeatable activities. Collectively, these forces will create and destroy jobs, companies, and industries alike over the next 20 years. Cognitive systems are creeping into commercial relevance beginning with high-end customer engagement applications in financial services, healthcare, and retail and will become ubiquitous in mainstream scenarios and the Internet of Things within five years. In this report, we introduce the ideas behind cognitive engagement and initiate our coverage of this important emerging technology.

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