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Monday, May 19, 2014

Future of Computers with Conversational Skills

On Building a Smarter Planet: Future of Computers with Conversational Skills By Mike Rhodin

" ... An essential part of the third era of computing—cognitive computing—will be our ability to interact with smart machines in ways that are more natural to us.  Making them conversational is an important part of that effort. ... I’m not talking about just giving the computer a simple command or asking a simple question. That’s yesterday’s technology. I’m talking about more realistic conversations—everything from friendly chitchat to intense debate. As cognitive conversation capabilities advance, we become more than impersonal button pushers. ... In the cognitive era of computing, machines will better understand us and relate to us in more human ways. ... " 

The article goes on to state how Watson plans to provide a library of conversational services and supporting knowledge. Ambitious indeed.  Having both the knowledge and the ability to establish a conversation about the knowledge, taking the possibilities beyond our current simplistic,  imprecise, search-based method for interaction with that knowledge.  We have learned how to store knowledge, cognitive aims to bring it to useful life. Conversation lets us tell them what we want.

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