Even Watson Can’t Do This…Yet!

If you were ever wondering about the speed of change taking place in technology today, spend a little time learning about three technological marvels disrupting business, entertainment and recreation in the 21st century; artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality. Experts in all three fields are finding ways to bring these amazing advancements to our everyday life both at work and at play.

Take IBM’s Watson. These days, it’s difficult not to know about Watson. From beating Jeopardy’s stalwart pro Ken Jennings to commercials on prime time television, Watson is everywhere. IBM is capturing the imagination, or should I say interest, of business leaders in a variety of market segments. Capturing our imagination requires a different type of intelligence and Watson isn’t able to do that…yet.

Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s Chief Innovation Officer prefers to think about Watson as cognitive computing or augmented intelligence instead of artificial intelligence. In an article by Sean Captain in Fast Company magazine, Meyerson is quoted as saying Watson is “just the first step on a very, very long road. Watson can be helpful in a lot of industries…but it can’t replace people.”

Which brings me to this point. Capturing, assembling and recognizing huge amounts of data is one thing. Capturing one’s imagination is another. Neuroscience is making huge strides in teaching us about the inner workings of the human brain, but there is still so much we don’t know.

A great deal of real innovation is developed from the imagination, a vision of the future which will be better than our present. This assumption of a better way of life is constantly being evaluated and scrutinized. If I can identify and then make the changes necessary to greatly improve my life or business, I can find new success and happiness. Conversely, if I can’t imagine a positive future, there is a very good chance that I will realize nothing new. In business and in life, change happens to us. Transformation happens because of us.

But being true to your vision is a craft, something you learn to believe in and trust. It doesn’t always reveal itself through big data, statistical analysis, metrics or risk projections. Just ask any entrepreneur or venture capitalist about the likely success of a start-up. Yet, they forge ahead anyway steadfast in their pursuit of a dream come true.

At the end of the day, all decisions are made with assistance from your emotive self. You are either making choices or you are creating choices. The choice is yours after all and my guess is you’ll get emotional about it. Okay maybe not ranting and raving, (two more words which have all new meaning in this century), but your eventual selection will be defined by layer upon layer of research, logic, reasoning and the emotional issues pertaining to you and your beliefs.

As amazing as Watson is, (along with other AI firms like Digital Reasoning, Clarifai, Textio and LexMachina), it still can’t really create or emote. Based upon my personal life history, values, hopes and vision for the future, the only one that can access my imagination, is me. Lucky for me and everyone else, that might be a very good thing after all.

To access your amazing imagination, just visit https://www.mindsharenetwork.com/