IBM’s 5 in 5–Giving Senses To Computers

‘”5 in 5”, does it make any sense? No??. Actually it gives sense. Recently IBM announced the future of cognitive computing, i.e. equipping computers/smart-phones with 5 senses with in 5 years from now. In short 5 in 5. Those 5 senses were obviously

  1. Sight
  2. Touch
  3. Hearing
  4. Smell
  5. Taste

What would happen if the computers can sense the above in future? No this is not the right question we have to ask here. In today’s world, with the plethora of sensors capable of reading ample parameters in almost all areas found by human, sensing things are not an exciting one to hear. So what IBM is going to concentrate here is processing the senses, that is ‘cognition to computers’. Without a brain, all the things sensed through our five sensory organs are utterly a futile chemical reactions over our nerves. It’s equivalent to a person in coma.

So sensing needs ‘cognition’, that paves way to ‘Recognition’. Here recognition for computers is achieved by processing the sensed things, that may be sight or touch or any of the other senses stated above, and yes this includes all probability of combinations. Here is the quote from Bernard Meyerson’s (Chief Innovation Officer, IBM) article, which I feel conveys the goal of “5 in 5” better.

Today, if you put a robotic track inspector in a railroad tunnel and equipped it with a video camera, it would not know what to make of an oncoming train. But what if you enabled it to sense things more like  humans do–not just vision from the video camera but the ability to detect the rumble of the train and the whoosh of air? And what if you enabled it to draw inferences from the evidence that it observes, hears and feels? That would be one smart computer–a machine that would be able to get out of the way before the train smashed into it.

The action of moving away from the track if train comes is triggered by the result of intelligence. Intelligence is the ability of acquiring and applying knowledge. Certainly it is not possible to fill in computer’s memory with billions of lines of code, in order to load the knowledge for all situations and conditions that are not predictable at the time of coding.

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When we talk about giving senses and brain like human to computers, then the same paradigm should be followed for imparting knowledge to computer. That’s ‘Artificial Intelligence’, learning from past, learning from mistakes, learning from success, and it should learn till its obsolescence. Finally and most importantly computer should decide from options of results from its knowledge bank.

What would be the benefits we will be enjoying in few years, after IBM’s dream becomes real? I leave this question for you, fill up the comment form below with your views.

In my perception, the answer for above question is, “Humans are rationally irrational, while these systems are irrationally rational”. IBM believes their dreamt computers can really help in making decision for problems, especially in places where ego and other humanly factors deteriorate the outcomes.

But I personally feel, “As the human thoughts are not bound by logic, it has the extraordinary and naturally inherited capability of innovating and inventing. In history, almost all the big decisions were made by great legends doesn’t solely depend on the logics and knowledge they had, it’s because of something like intuitions/inner voice, gut feelings, faith in God, hope and the list extends and ends with daring to take risk.

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Sakthi Tharan

Alpha Geek | Blogger by interest | Former Web Developer & Designer | Research Scholar | Likes to share what he learned.
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