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January 25, 2017

In my last post,I explained that cognitive systems mimic human brain by performing four key tasks: sense, think, act and learn. The potential applications for these technologies are exciting and the implications far-reaching.

The self-driving car is a high-profile, mainstream application, but its just the tip of the iceberg. Many industries and areas of our lives will be reimagined. A host of jobs that we currently recognize, and perhaps sometimes struggle to fill, will be transformed. This has implications for the companies that will lead the adoption of cognitive technologies. They will have to change the way they go about recruiting, developing, and retaining staff as more tasks become automated and what have been thought of as skilled jobs are no longer the preserve of humans.Diversity 1

Whatever the numbers, it is clear that the nature of work will change dramatically in the coming decades, as machine learning, voice recognition, natural language processing, robotics, and the other capabilities that we club together under the banner of cognitive systems become more effective and penetrate deeper into many different areas of our lives.

What does this mean for your business? Youll have to think about how the roles and responsibilities of your workforce change with cognitive systems. In many cases, role of people will change from doers of work to creators and curators of knowledge. You will also need to consider how to fill these new roles. How will you recruit the data analysts, machine learning experts, and system integrators you need? How will you respond to the fact that these skills will be in short supply and in high demand? Technology allows you to cast your net wider, trawl deeper into talent pools, and become more predictive about the type of people you need and where and when you need them.

You can read more about both the technology and people challenges posed by cognitive technologies in the latest edition of our consulting journal Perspectives Riding the Cognitive Wave.

Dr. Harrick Vin is the Global Head of Digitate, a Tata Consultancy Services Venture. Prior to this role, he was the Vice President and Chief Scientist of the Tata Research Development and Design Centre (TRDDC) at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He was also the Global Head for Innovation and Transformation for IT Infrastructure Services at TCS. Prior to joining TCS, he was a Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin for 15 years. At UT Austin, he was the founder of the Distributed Multimedia Computing Laboratory and the co-founder of the laboratory for Advanced Systems Research.


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