The commercialization of cognitive computing holds the promise of transforming organizations through cognitive computing’s ability to ingest, analyze, and summarize massive data sets and to facilitate self-service analytics, intelligent decision support, and smart advisory systems via the application of natural language processing, natural language understanding, machine learning, and other artificial intelligence technologies.
There is a tendency to think mainly of IBM Watson when considering commercial cognitive systems, and IBM is certainly the leader in commercial cognitive computing as well as advertising and marketing its cognitive products. However, several companies now offer products based on cognitive technology and the number is growing. The market for cognitive products currently consists of three main categories:
Cognitive development platforms — cloud-based services and software tools for building cognitive-powered applications and for adding cognitive capabilities to corporate and consumer applications and other products
Domain- and industry-specific cognitive platforms — cloud-based development environments and software tools tailored for building cognitive applications for specific domains and industries
Cognitive-powered solutions — commercial applications that derive a significant amount of their functionality from embedded or built-in cognitive computing techniques
Figure 1 provides an overview of the market for cognitive products, with representative companies given for each category; these categories are not exclusive and tend to overlap. This is attributed to the fast, commercial evolution of the technology: as cognitive providers have gained experience working with companies in various industries and domains, they have captured this experience in the form of frameworks, tailored analytical models, and content, which they now offer in the form of domain- and industry-specific cognitive development platforms and prebuilt commercial cognitive-powered applications (i.e., “solutions”).
For example, IBM offers a number of Watson-based domain– and industry-specific cognitive platforms, including (Watson Health, Watson Internet of Things) and cognitive solutions (Watson Marketing). Expert System offers several solutions targeted at the insurance sector based on its Cogito platform (e.g., Cogito for Claims, Cogito for Underwriting). The same can be said for CognitiveScale (Amplify AI, Engage AI) and other cognitive providers.
[For more from the author on this topic, see “Cognitive Computing, Part II: Commercial Cognitive Platforms and Services.”]