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Amit Koshal

Machines Cannot Think, Or Can They?

Authors: Amit Koshal and Tanmay Bhanushali

Lately computers seem to be able to do things once considered possible for only humans. This list has far crossed the mark where a computer could just start up with a push button or create a realistic virtual universe. Computers can now automate tasks that require human perceptual skills and cognitive skills, such as recognizing handwriting, identifying faces, planning, reasoning from uncertain information, and learning. In other words, computers became artificially intelligent. The advancements in artificial intelligence led to inception of the ‘Cognitive Technologies’.

What are Cognitive Technologies?

Technologies originating through Artificial Intelligence (AI), mimicking human intelligence by studying behavioral patterns and suggesting humans to take relevant action based on its understanding are known as ‘Cognitive technologies’. The focus behind cognitive technologies is to automate tasks, make decisions and provide inferences which once seemed impossible without human involvement. Cognitive technologies are user-centered and attempt in saving human time and effort. Application areas of these technologies are broad and ever expanding. Since cognitive intelligence works like a human brain, it learns from its mistakes which makes solving open ended problems possible. One of the best examples of cognitive technology that everyone uses daily is a mobile assistant like the Google assistant, Siri, and Alexa. These assistants are programmed to work like human assistants, taking orders, keeping track of your choices, learning your behavior, suggesting something you might like and even responding like a human. Another example could be a content consumption platform like Netflix or a discussion platform like Quora, wherein all these platforms learn from your behavior and present content that suits your taste.

Cognitive technology can bring about entirely new classes of products and services that can create new markets and generate large gains for inventors. The possibility of computers taking over the world shown in multiple movies like WarGames, I Robot, Tron, etc. are not completely realistic but an example of how powerful cognitive intelligence can be. With zettabytes of data available today it is only a matter of time for somebody to identify a manual process that requires automation and to come up with a technology that can revolutionize the digital world more so than it is already. Cognitive technology is a huge step towards evolution in technology.

Cognitive computing is a useful tool when it comes to analyzing data and using that data for further research. It also provides a completely innovative way for computers to look at any type of data and understand it. The computer can now identify if the given data is a set of similar images or sentences about a similar topic. This makes data management much simpler, faster and cost effective than it used to be. Cognitive intelligence has capability to provide insights for a particular organization which may be used to optimize the workflow or investment plans, suggest strategies or decide a solution for a particular problem. With the increasing number of connected devices managing critical data, cognitive systems are under constant threats of data breaches, which pose a challenge towards their security. Developing strategies that can protect data integrity is of utmost importance for companies using these technologies. Security advancements for systems using cognitive intelligence are, necessary and a key to expand the applications of these systems even further.

Humans Vs Machines

With the advent of cognitive technology, one might also think of cognitive systems as the real word terminators relinquishing us humans from our jobs. These systems aim at assisting humans in decision making by computing much larger portions of data than a human and also ensuring that they take in account the human touch while making critical decisions. Humans and machines working together will only help driving value to every business. Thus, companies should start preparing their workforce to adapt to these new changes. Like every machine or software or technology, these are also subject to some errors or bugs which can only be resolved by humans. Therefore, machines completely replacing humans is still unforeseeable.

Advent of Cognitive Technology

Back in 1950, an English mathematician Alan Turing published a paper entitled “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” which opened the doors to the field that is today known as Artificial intelligence. AI has been around since then and has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way companies do business. In today’s world, we everyday come across at least a few articles regarding achieving something new using cognitive systems like a writing assistant that helps with grammar and conciseness or driving unmanned cars over long stretches. Companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Accenture have been developing systems that utilize cognitive intelligence since its inception stage. These companies have more than 10,000 patents published wherein every patent is filed for a unique way to utilize cognitive intelligence and solve a new problem.

With these companies ruling the market, one may think, what chances does any other company have to come up with something new using cognitive intelligence? Well, there are endless ways in which cognitive technology can still be used and countless problems that it can solve. For instance, our esteemed client DIWO LLC, a US based company specializes in providing unique business optimization products. One of DIWO’s patented technology, analyses a user’s business and identifies opportunities to optimize the business to increase profits and efficiency without any human assistance! The technology takes into account every possible factor that could affect a business which would have been impossible for a human to calculate. Not just that, after identifying opportunities, the technology even provides strategies which the user can take optimal advantage of. Most importantly, DIWO’s strategies are specific to each user’s behavior, type of business, competitors, and several other customizable patterns.

Most of the advancement in the field of cognitive technology is through programs and codes but a program using cognitive technology can only be patented if it is embedded with a product or a software such that it is a novel and valuable component of the product. A computer program per se is not patentable under Section 3 (k) of the Indian Patent Act, (Amended). The importance of filing patents in the ever-evolving field of technology cannot be overemphasized upon. We, at Photon Legal can help you maximize your patent portfolio with unmatched IP and technical excellence. Should you require any further details and have some patent worthy ideas, do reach us out at: photon.ip@photonlegal.com .

About: Amit Koshal