So what’s a smart machine? As a computing model designed to analyze growing volumes of unstructured data, including video, images, and human language, a smart machine, or cognitive computing system, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to “sense, predict, infer and, in some ways, think,” according to IBM.
In a recent report, “Cool Vendors in Smart Machines, 2014,” Gartner named three well known examples of smart machines, including IBM’s Watson, Google Now, and Apple’s Siri, and predicted the technology will gain wider acceptance this decade. It also spotlighted a few up-and-coming vendors in the genre, including AlchemyAPI, Digital Reasoning, Highspot, Lumiata, and Narrative Science.
Digital Reasoning’s Synthesys platform, for instance, is a machine-learning system designed to quickly analyze massive volumes of digital communications, including email, chat, voice, and social media. It can uncover relationships and facts about people, places, and things, the company claims, and reveal potential security, risk, and compliance issues, among other problems.
Today’s primary users of smart machines are the intelligence and financial services communities, according to Marten den Haring, senior VP of products for Nashville-based Digital Reasoning.
“Much of our history is building an expertise in understanding human language data, and applying that to some really interesting and important problems, starting with the intelligence community and moving into financial services,” said den Haring in a phone interview with InformationWeek.