Welcome to Cognificance
Here, we look at and analyze the current state of machine learning (AI), cognition, robotic process automation and their significance for the future of business automation.
Cognificance = Cognition + Significance
Cognition, according to the Oxford dictionary, is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". And while cognition is currently only seen in higher animals (such as, but not limited to, humans), cognitive technologies are being developed at a rapid pace in the field of computational science. The term most associated in computing is "AI", which stands for Artificial Intelligence, though this is only a small part of cognition.
Quite unfortunately, the term "AI" is often abused ad absurdum, much as the term "Multimedia" was in the early 1990's. Computer programs that "make decisions" are not AI, even though windy marketing programs try to portray their products this way. It is a core functionality of any computer programming language to permit decisioning on external input. AI is much more than that. AI always depends on learning something about the input required to make decisions.
While we all envision a future where AI-infused robots empty the dishwasher and mow the lawn for us, the technology has much more important and short-term implications. Humanity is on the verge of another revolution - our lives will be completely disrupted in the near future, in way that at this point we can only point in the general direction of. While intelligent robots that clean the streets and pick up the trash would certainly change the life of many people involved in sanitation engineering (much as ride sharing apps have disrupted taxi drivers), the implications of intelligent process automation will turn the world on its head.
"The world is moving so fast that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it." - Elbert Hubbard (born in 1856!)