How Cognitive Computing Works?

What is Cognitive Computing?

Cognitive computing is the use of computerized models to simulate the human thought process in complex situations where the answers may be ambiguous and uncertain. The phrase is closely associated with IBM’s cognitive computer system, Watson. Cognitive computing overlaps with AI and involves many of the same underlying technologies to power cognitive applications, including expert systems, neural networks, robotics, and virtual reality (VR).

Simply put a computer with a brain that thinks and behaves sort of a person. It’s not so hard to believe. Concepts like automation, machine learning, and AI sounded strange before they were invented and applied to modern problems. Today, these technologies improve our lives reception and at work for the higher, powering technologies like handwriting recognition, facial identification, and behavioral pattern determination to any task requiring cognitive skills.

Cognitive computing comes from a mash-up of cognitive sciences — the study of the human brain and the way it functions and cognitive computing. It’s at the intersection of Neuroscience, Supercomputing, Nanotechnology, and Big-Data.

How does Cognitive Computing work?

  • Cognitive systems work depend on deep learning algorithms and neural networks.  A neural network is a complex “tree” of decisions the computer may make to arrive at an answer.
  • First-degree cognitive computing recognizes natural language and human interactions.
  • Second-degree cognitive computing creates and evaluates evidence-based hypotheses.
  • Third-degree cognitive computing familiarizes and learns from users’ selections and responses. Cognitive computing develops information by relating to a teaching set of data.
  • The more data the system is likely to, the more it learns and the more precise it becomes over time. The systems refine the way they look for patterns and as well as they process data so they become capable of anticipating new problems and modeling possible solutions.
  • The goal is IT systems that are capable of solving problems without requiring human assistance.

Cognitive computing allows computers to mimic the way the human brain works. Cognitive computing uses self-learning algorithms supported by data processing and pattern recognition to get solutions to a good sort of problem. However, to realize these achievements, as presented by the Cognitive Computing Consortium, cognitive computing systems must be adaptive, interactive, iterative, stateful, and contextual. Missing any of those attributes prevents a system from achieving cognitive computing.

 How Cognitive Computing Works?

Main Players Implementing Cognitive Technologies

IBM is that the pioneer of this technology: the corporate has invested billion dollars in big data analytics, and now spends on the brink of one-third of its R&D budget in developing cognitive computing technology.

Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have also shown longstanding interest in cognitive computing from the start. These companies invest heavily to develop better products with the assistance of this technology.

Uses of cognitive computing for problem-solving

Watson for Oncology helps physicians quickly identify key disease information during a patient’s medical history, analyze relevant evidence for and against different treatments, and explore treatment options.

The world’s first cognitive cooking application created by IBM’s Watson offers an ingenious recipe for each meal while considering dietary restrictions, personal preferences, and even the sorts of food we’ve got in our refrigerator. An app like this might save tons of our time and energy for the people affected by diabetes, for instance

Project Debater developed by IBM is that the first AI system which will debate humans on complex topics. Its goal is to assist people to build persuasive arguments and make well-informed decisions supported by facts.

Examples can continue as cognitive computing systems have the potential to duplicate or improve human processes for any field where large quantities of complex data got to be processed and analyzed to unravel problems, including finance, law, education, etc.


Cognitive computing has widened concern about machines replacing humans within the workplace given its ability to automate processes and learn like humans. Yet cognitive technology can’t work without the support of human intelligence since we are those feeding intelligence into the system.

Before we begin brooding about machine domination à la The Matrix or Terminator, a Skynet takeover scenario is as unlikely as those movies are fictional. Albeit AI finishes up replacing humans in work environments, we’ll always need human intelligence in decision-making processes.

Mansoor Ahmed

Mansoor Ahmed is Chemical Engineer, web developer, a Tech writer currently living in Pakistan. My interests range from technology to web development. I am also interested in programming, writing, and reading.