Cognitive computers predicted in the next five years

Computers in the near future may be able to touch, feel and smell the way humans do.

Computer technology advances continue to inspire and amaze. But the latest expected advancement may simply spark disbelief: computers will have cognitive abilities.  According to IBM, in five years, computers will be able to “smell, taste, hear and feel” through touchscreens.

“Computers will be able to understand what they see, helping a doctor ‘see’ signals of disease through a photo, be able to analyze audio patterns to predict events, help us figure out our perfect meal, and process smells to tell us if we’re getting sick,” PSFK explained.

Tech experts say vibration management systems could be able to translate how a texture feels, PSFK reported. Other analytics systems will be able to break down the smell of a wine, for example, detect visual patterns and hear signals in the earth that a mudslide or flood will happen.

Applications exist already that make these cognitive abilities possible, such as apps that can hear snippets of a song to identify its title and artist. However, IBM is looking at ways computers will be able to analyze and interpret these signals in real time, Digital Trends reported.

“If IBM is right, we could be at the beginning of a new age of computing, where devices move on from being simple calculators and bit-pushers to things that can understand their world — and ours,” Geoff Duncan wrote in the article.

What this means, is that computers will one day be able to do things humans do, recognize pictures, understand and act upon speech or connect disparate pieces of information to make expert conclusions. These computers will also be able to continuously improve themselves without having to be reprogrammed or wait until new versions, Digital Trends reported.

What are some interesting ways your organization is using computer intelligence? Do you agree with IBM that cognitive computing is possible in the next five years?

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.