We have now entered the third era of computing — the cognitive era — and it will again fundamentally change the way humans work with machines. This new type of technology allows people to interact with computers using natural language. In the past, users needed to code or format text in a way that the system would understand. For example, if they wanted to conduct a search, they had to input keywords. Natural language processing allows people to ask questions or speak in sentences when interacting with systems, the same way they would talk to another human being. In addition, cognitive computing systems use machine learning to get smarter over time, just the way humans do. Unlike older technology, these new cognitive computing systems can analyze vast quantities of information and generate reasoned arguments and valuable insights.

Cognitive computing offers the opportunity to solve some of the biggest challenges humanity faces today. It’s helping doctors solve health crises across the globe. It’s allowing scientists to synthesize existing research and develop new breakthroughs. It’s assisting governments and nonprofits with planning for and response to disasters. And, it’s enabling businesses in nearly every industry to better serve their customers. Smart entrepreneurs are already finding ways to take advantage of this opportunity. They are embedding cognitive capabilities into their own technology to provide new insights, functionality, and value for their clients.Cognitive technology is in the same vein as machine learning and virtual reality except that it’s a broader concept. For example, the cognitive technology umbrella includes things like natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition. Combined, these different technologies are able to automate and optimize a lot of tasks that were previously done by people, including certain aspects of accounting and analytics.

Both at home and at work, people are looking for technological solutions that can help them deal with their information overload. In some cases, the need is very serious; such as the example of the doctor having trouble keeping up with medical literature. Cognitive computing can help physicians stay up to date on the latest research. Much as a colleague would, it answers their questions about symptoms and possible treatments, and it allows them to spend more time with patients. In other cases, the need is a little more, like automatically recommending a good movie to watch based on a user’s past preferences, assisting with travel plans, or helping with other everyday tasks. But in both types of situations, people need tools that can help them make better decisions. They want technology to sort out what is relevant and what isn’t, and to give them sound, evidence-based advice. Within organizations, workers need tools that can help them generate insights, make better decisions, and develop expertise faster. Cognitive computing meets this need by sorting through vast quantities of structured and unstructured data and providing specific, personalized recommendations that are backed by solid evidence. And the system continues to learn and get better over time.

How it’s affecting industries is; although cognitive technologies have a broad range of applications, Deloitte predicts that the industry sector most affected by this trend initially will be the software sector with 95% of enterprise software companies projected to adopt these technologies by 2020. śWith emerging technologies changing professional industries including banking, eCommerce, healthcare and education, staying up to date on the latest trends will give you a better understanding of your chosen industry and make you a more competitive candidate. Best of all, this knowledge might open up new doors within your field and others. Taking into account the customer experience changes that are occurring around us is important and perhaps can be summarized as uberization. Essentially, Uber and others like it—Airbnb and Alibaba, for example are interfaces to common chores in our lives: calling for a taxi, booking a vacation or making a retail purchase. Now, we finally see these human-like, yet technology-based, interfaces showing up in financial services such as banking, wealth management and insurance.
We can improve customer relationships with cognitive technology. Today’s consumers tend to be continuously connected, digitally savvy, convenience-loving and price sensitive. They tend to be this way in all industries, which is changing the ways banks are doing business. Banks need to find ways to cut through vast stores of data to find actionable information to keep customers, act with perfect timing, cultivate the relationship, discover what’s really going on, drill deep into market segments, earn permission to become part of the customer’s life, identify customers by their behavioral characteristics, make the right offer, renew customer loyalty, seize opportunities as they arise. Data is exploding, 90% of data today was created in the last 2 years and 10% of data is created since the existence of human kind. Humans training machines to think like humans; we’re teaching compters to recognize patterns to get reasonable outcomes.