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Cognitive computing

Cognitive computing

(also cognitive system, cognitive technology)

Cognitive computing definition

Cognitive computing denotes the design of computer systems that can learn, communicate, and think similarly to humans. Utilizing sophisticated algorithms and machine learning methodologies, these systems handle enormous data volumes, identify patterns, make informed decisions, and enhance their capabilities over time. The primary objective of cognitive computing is to supplement human intellect and provide support in decision-making processes for a range of industries and applications.

See also: artificial intelligence, machine learning

Cognitive computing examples

  • Natural language processing (NLP): Cognitive computing systems can understand and interpret human languages, enabling better communication between humans and machines.
  • Image recognition: Cognitive systems can analyze and recognize images, assisting in tasks like facial recognition, object detection, and medical image analysis.
  • Predictive analytics: By analyzing historical data, cognitive computing systems can make predictions and recommendations, benefiting industries such as finance, marketing, and healthcare.

Comparing cognitive computing to artificial intelligence (AI)

While cognitive computing and AI share similarities, they have different objectives. AI focuses on creating machines that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. Cognitive computing, on the other hand, aims to merely augment human intelligence and decision-making processes.

Pros and cons of cognitive computings


  • Enhances human decision-making capabilities.
  • Automates time-consuming tasks.
  • Improves efficiency and accuracy.
  • Provides personalized user experiences.


  • Requires large amounts of data for effective learning.
  • High implementation costs.
  • Potential job displacement.

Tips for implementing cognitive computing

  • Identify specific use cases and goals.
  • Ensure data quality and quantity.
  • Invest in the right infrastructure and talent.
  • Monitor and evaluate system performance regularly.

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