Future Friday: Cognitive Computing and the employee experience

by Michael Haberman on April 22, 2016 · 1 comment


With the Internet of Things and Cognitive Computing we will be able to create a unique experience for every employee.

With the Internet of Things and Cognitive Computing we will be able to create a unique experience for every employee.

An age of customization is coming due to the power of cognitive computing. What is cognitive computing you ask? I am sure you have heard the term it is filtering into many discussions today. IBM introduced the concept to me last fall at a conference I was invited to attend. (See Future Friday: Cognitive computing and the value of data) The discussion has proceeded apace and more information is being released on the power of cognitive computing. It is something you live with every day and it will become increasingly an important part of everyday life.

A definition

According to WhatIs.com:

“Cognitive computing involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works…Cognitive computing systems use machine learning algorithms. Such systems continually acquire knowledge from the data fed into them by mining data for information. The systems refine the way they look for patterns and as well as the way they process data so they become capable of anticipating new problems and modeling possible solutions.”

For those of us that purchase things through Amazon (and who doesn’t?) we are familiar with this process. They use our data, and the data of others, to determine what we might be interested in for our next purchase, be it clothing or books or whatever. Google uses it and IBM’s Watson used it to help merchants predict what was going to be hot in the marketplace at Christmas time.

The employee experience

Most companies today are concerned with the employee experience, or at least they should be. Cognitive computing has the power to improve and customize the employee experience. Where will the data come from you might wonder? Devices that are connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) that will be in our offices, homes, workstations, cars and our personal devices will supply the data.

Want to customize a work schedule for an employee? IoT will collect the data and cognitive computing will be able to tell you when they are most productive and alert. The IoT/cognitive computing combo will be able to tell you when their energy is flagging and be able to suggest a break. It will have the power to determine what sort of language and conversations and words the employee responds best to so the manager will have a “tip” sheet to guide how best to communicate with the employee. IoT/CC will be able to determine if someone is working safe and how they could improve their safety. The same thing for driving will exist as well.

The opportunities for customization of the employee experience will only be limited by our imagination and our desire to participate. Some of this technology exists now, much will be here by 2020.

How will you embrace this ability to customize the world of your employees as well as your world?


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