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on 9 September 2015
An IBM publicity brochure about how much Big Blue is good to do edge research, but nothing about real and technical aspects of this research, only business and social aspects of it. More upsettingly, almost nothing about how Watson works. If you substitute in the text the string 'Cognitive Computing' with 'Artificial Intelligence' the book reads very much as one of those 70's books about AI in which intelligent machines were expected to help and/or substitute humans in many fields - by the end of the nineties.
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on 11 May 2014
This is a good overview of the subject and how IBM is developing the concept into services that will differentiate IBM from the competition. Well worth a read.
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on 4 January 2015
A really interesting read, which was easy to understand even though I am not techie. It gave me a good foundation for my course. The only criticism would be that the book isn't brilliantly written and suffers from some poor proofreading in places.
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on 2 August 2014
Fantastic and fascinating. Great reading for not just techies but for anyone wanting to change the world.
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on 18 August 2014
Easy read to help get you inspired of the next era of computing.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 February 2014
I agree with John E. Kelly III and Steve Hamm: "The new era of computing is not just an opportunity for society; it's also a necessity. Only with the help of smart machines will we be able to deal adequately with the exploding complexity of today's world and successfully address interlocking problems like disease and poverty and stress on natural systems." They go on to add, and I wholly agree: The goal isn't to replicate human brains, though. Recent initiatives in research and development in cognitive computing "aren't about replacing human thinking with machine thinking. Rather, in the era of cognitive systems, humans and machines will collaborate to produce better results, each bringing their own superior skills to the partnership."

This is what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have in mind when sharing these observations in their recently published book, The Second Machine Age: "Digital technologies had been laughably bad at a lot of things for a long time -- then they suddenly got very good. How did this happen? And what were the implications of this progress, which as astonishing and yet came to be considered a matter of course? We decided to team up and see if we could answer these questions...So this is a book about the second machine age unfolding right now -- an inflection point in the history of our economies and societies because of digitization. It's an inflection point in the right direction -- bounty instead of scarcity, freedom instead of constraint -- but one that will bring with it some difficult challenges and choices."

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Kelly and Hamm's coverage.

o The Coming Era of Cognitive Computing (Pages 3-11)
o How Cognitive Systems Will Help Us to Be Smarter (11-16)
o A New Culture of Innovation (19-22)
o Journey of Discovery: The Path of Watson, and The Next Steps for Watson (27-40)
o How to Solve the Big Data Problem (46-57)
o Journey of Discovery: The Ultimate Big Data Challenge (62-67)
o Sensing the Future (70-72)
o Journey of Discovery: A Chip Modeled on the Brain (77-84)
o Journey to Discovery: Rethinking How Computers Are Designed (96-100)
o Journey of Discovery: The New {Physics of Computing (111-116)
o Discovering the Invisible Potential of Cities (125-130)

Kelly and Hamm concur that serious challenges have begun to emerge at the dawn of cognitive systems. "We know that big shifts are coming but it's impossible to fully imagine, now, the impact they will have on computing, business, and society.

"But this we do know: by working in concert, humans and cognitive systems have the potential to dramatically improve and accelerate outcomes that matter to us and to make life on earth more sustainable. This alliances of human and machine offers the promise of progress on a massive scale."

What is the single greatest barrier to fulfilling that promise? In my opinion, it is cultural incompatibility in lethal combination with what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." Unfortunately, Pogo's memorable insight remains true: "We have met the enemy and he is us."
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