We are entering a new frontier in the evolution of computing: the era of cognitive systems. The victory of IBM’s Watson on the television quiz show Jeopardy! signaled the advent of this new era, revealing how scientists and engineers at IBM and elsewhere are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to create machines that sense, learn, reason, and interact with people in new ways.
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In Smart Machines, John E. Kelly III, director of IBM Research, and Steve Hamm, a writer at IBM and a former business and technology journalist, introduce the fascinating world of cognitive systems” to general audiences and provide a window into the future of computing. Cognitive systems promise to penetrate complexity and assist people and organizations in better decision making. They can help doctors better diagnose and treat patients, augment the ways we see, anticipate major weather events, and contribute to smarter urban planning. Kelly and Hamm’s comprehensive perspective describes this technology inside and out, and their extensive knowledge illuminates the difficulty of harnessing and understanding big data,” one of the major computing challenges facing technicians in the coming decades. Absorbing and impassioned, their book will inspire governments, academics, and the global tech industry to work together to power this exciting wave in innovation.