‘Cognitive’, A Marketing Gimmick or the Soul of AI?

December 28, 2018

‘Cognitive’, A Marketing Gimmick or the Soul of AI?

Cognitive AI

I once had an interesting discussion with a senior IT professional working with a major brand about the importance of the word ‘cognitive’.

Brands like IBM use this phrase quite a bit when they refer to artificial intelligence or AI. Which leads people to wonder what it means exactly, or if it is just a marketing term.

While we at Web Spiders tend to avoid overusing it, I can’t help but feel that considering the current state of the technology, ‘cognitive’ is the most appropriate adjective to define AI. Let me explain.

The Current State of AI

First of all, there is no clear consensus about the definition of AI, other than the fact that it changes with every generation. For example, a mere 30 years ago, something as simple as Spellcheck was considered as AI. It is no longer so and 20 years from now, AI will be quite different from what it is today.

People are excited about AI because it can go beyond labeled data. Let’s have a little discussion on ‘labeled’ and ‘unlabeled’ data.

Labeled Data

Since the emergence of Microsoft SQL and Oracle RDBMS, computing was done on labeled data.

In SQL or RDBMS, data are stored under respective column headers like ‘Emp-id’, ‘Name’, ‘Age’, ‘Address’, ‘Phone_no’ etc. Whereas in NOSQL databases, name-value pairs are loosely connected.

So far this model has served us well but what about unlabeled data?

Unlabeled Data

Today, we have a huge amount of unlabeled data in the form of emails, tweets, Facebook posts etc. In addition, there is vision, smell, sound which belong to another paradigm.

AI can deal with data belonging to this other paradigm.

Why AI is ‘Cognitive’?

The world is going gaga over AI’s ability to process and analyze sights, sounds, touches and even pressure differences. Using unique capabilities of AI, we can develop a whole range of innovative applications.

We can say that the “new RDBMS” is on its way. This will be a completely new way of data processing.

Cognition, Us and AI

Being cognitive is just a single aspect of being human. We are emotional beings. We can love. We can dream and imagine and watch ourselves as we do different activities.

AI is yet to enter into these realms.

At present, AI is cognitive. AI can deal with unlabeled data.

You can check our blogs for latest updates on AI.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


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