Artificial Intelligence, Blog, Cognitive computing

Cognitive system: definition and curiosities

When discussing cognitive computing and artificial intelligence, we tend to focus primarily on the business advantages. But sometimes it is interesting to step back to look at the situation from a more general (and carefree) perspective.

Cognitive system definition

In the book “Joint Cognitive Systems: Foundations of Cognitive Systems Engineering” (Erik Hollnagel, David D. Woods, CRC Press 2005) we have found this definition for cognitive system: “The revised definition of a cognitive system is a system that can modify its behavior on the basis of experience” but such book is more than 10 years old now and the cognitive system definition was already revised at that time!

As a matter of fact, at present, there is no widely agreed upon definition for cognitive computing. But in general we can say that the term “cognitive system” has been used to define a new solution, software or hardware, that mimics in some ways human intelligence capabilities.

The so called Cognitive Computing Era

During the first era of computer technology (before 1960), we have started adopting mechanical systems to tabulate calculations; in the second era, the programming era, computers became dependent on programming; and if we continue considering the situation from a historical perspective, a cognitive system is the most typical system of the third era: the so called Cognitive Computing Era.

In this new era, computing power is no longer the only and unique key requirement: as we are used to say at Expert System, in order to take the maximum advantage of the extraordinary volumes of business information, organizations need to read, understand and analyze texts in the most intelligent way as possible.

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