Intelligent Assistance (IA) refers to the use of intelligent agents that help individuals perform tasks or services. While intelligent agents may seem like any other software application that completes a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities, they can actually do one or many of the following:
Maintain historical data
Perceive and assist
Artificial Intelligence vs. Intelligent Assistance
In simpler terms: AI machines mimic humans while IA machines assist humans. Due to the breadth of the research involving both technologies, it can be easy to confuse the two. Artificial intelligence is the practice or study of intelligent agents and identifying the limits of their intelligence. Intelligent assistance is the use of intelligent agents to serve humans, meaning that such agents exist within predefined parameters. Their intelligence is measured by many factors, including but not limited to:
IBM’s Watson understands unstructured data by relying on Natural Language Processing (NLP).
Watson breaks down the data it receives, determines context, and identifies the intent of the user. To achieve the results, some underlying components are necessary, along with some level of human interaction:
Corpus – Watson’s reference material, consisting of all kinds of unstructured text. Similar to the sources one might use to write a course paper.
Ingestion – Refers to the knowledge consumption process for Watson
Curate – In the ingestion phase, Watson separates the necessary material and leaves bad, incorrect, or dated sources in the Corpus
Reasoning Algorithms – Watson cycles through different algorithms to imagine different scenarios, then weighs them to arrive at the best possible solution
With the use of the above components, IBM Watson incorporates “much more context into [its] evaluation” of language. This type of language processing is called “Deep NLP,” due to the amount of data that is evaluated to reach the solution. To forecast some of the business implications of IBM Watson, consider the wealth of information that businesses accumulate across all industries. With cheaper means to store data, we are storing more than ever before, making tools like IBM Watson indispensable in industries like finance, wealth management
, and education
. IBM Watson can even be used in sensitive matters like oncology diagnosis,
where it assists doctors by matching patients’ symptoms with necessary treatments for the best possible care.
Utilization management seeks to maximize the results of healthcare services provided to patients to avoid waste and reduce cost. IBM Watson assists that goal by using clinical and patient data to assist in the decision-making process, thereby: