Machine Learning + Human Insights

Opinion

In 2015, we saw the relationship between man and machine evolve into its most collaborative form yet—or at least pave the way for it. With intuitive technology such as IBM Watson and its ability to “learn” breaking ground on the machine front, and companies including Spare5 discovering ways to scale the power of human intelligence to leverage alongside machines, 2016 is primed to bring cognitive computing applications we’ve only previously imagined.

Based off the innovations of 2015, there are a few developments we can expect to see between man and machine in the New Year.

New Industry Disruption
It won’t just be the tech industry that sees a shake-up in 2016. Thanks to the capabilities of machine learning and human-powered insights, we’ll be seeing new applications across a broad range of industries—including retail, healthcare, sports, finance, and life sciences.

This year, IBM’s Watson was the talk of the town. As the first open cognitive computing technology platform, Watson can be taught to emulate the ways that humans learn—through senses, learning, and experience. This offers a whole new world of possibilities only previously a reality in Hollywood on the big screen.

In 2016 these ideas won’t just be imagination’s brainchild, but fully realized and equipped to enhance, scale, and accelerate human expertise.

New Business Solutions
Along with the overall industry disruptions the partnership between man and machine will bring, also comes a broad range of new solutions for the individual business. First and foremost is the ability to translate and manage big data. Currently, big data threatens to be the great tidal wave that consumes tech companies in 2016. Throughout the last year we have seen it touted as a business’ measurement stick: the more data acquired, the bigger and better the business. The problem with this mindset is there was often no plan put in place to manage all that data. What good is a mass of untranslated figures? You certainly can’t build heightened customer experiences unless you know what it all means.

For those businesses at risk of being data hoarders, the answer comes in the form of smart technology.

Simplicity in the Day-to-Day
It won’t just be on the large scale that we see revolutions from machine learning powered by human insights. Machine technology has already advanced and enriched our lives in many ways outside the business world. In 2015, we discovered the entire Internet through a wristwatch, and the capabilities of a smart thermostat that can learn our daily temperature habits and preferences. And we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Through looking at the future human and machine relationship as a collaborative effort that grows the world’s economy and allows us to help society in ways only previously imagined, it’s hard not to be excited for the New Year ahead.

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