To set few things in perspective, “Cognition” is a “noun” and means a mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. A system is said to be “Cognitive” when it continuously learns from inputs and intended to generate outputs that are based off the past and continuous learnings. This process of making systems learn is called “Machine Learning”. When such capabilities are added to enhance the experience with the sensory data from devices, the term “Cognitive IoT” makes absolute sense.

The technologies that went into IBM’s partnership with Local Motors to bring Olli (an autonomous private shuttle) onto the main streets is a classic example of a Cognitive system. Olli rolls out of the production line with a knowledge base that relates to autonomous driving and details about the area it is serving. Once on the road, passengers communicate with Olli via Natural language. One would speak to this vehicle for recommendations on tourism, restaurants, entertainment or command to drive them to an airport or pickup fellow colleagues from surrounding hotels or as simple as tune the radio to Jazz. If you were a frequent user of Olli, IBM cognitive technologies termed as “Watson” could also personalize the shuttle based on your past experiences.

No longer a science fiction but does sound complicated for casual developers to embrace and deploy. At IBM we have simplified the design and deployment of such Cognitive systems and have ensured non-PhDs can easily integrate such technologies into their solutions. Yes, there is effort required for training the system with historical data that relates to your particular solution but we have got the finer details on services, algorithms all nailed down to the last click.

We have put together a series of recipes with detailed instructions that demonstrate the integration of IBM’s cognitive technologies into Internet of things, you can get started here. The industry is just getting primed to leverage cognitive technologies that differentiates and adds value to their processes and operations. You can be lead this transformation by engaging IBM Watson IoT platform.

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