Google Cognitive Computing
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the most prominent arena of competition for companies in a range of industries (not just tech!). Google and IBM, for instance, have been investing a lot of money and resources in AI, and share the same enthusiastic (and often hyperbolic) vision towards the enormous potential of artificial intelligence. For example:
We have always believed in the potential for AI to help society discover new knowledge and benefit from it, and AlphaGo has given us an early glimpse that this may indeed be possible… We have been humbled by the Go community’s reaction to AlphaGo, and the way professional and amateur players have embraced its insights about this ancient game. We plan to bring that same excitement and insight to a range of new fields, and try to address some of the most important and urgent scientific challenges of our time.
The Above excerpt comes from the Google blog post AlphaGo Next Move (May 27, 2017). It’s talking about AlphaGo, Google’s (DeepMind) AI computer program that defeated one of the top Go players in the world last year.
The match was cast as the ultimate example of man versus machine. Yet, Kasparov himself is now a self-described proponent of artificial intelligence (AI), recently calling it a boon to humankind, capable of providing us with endless opportunities to extend our capabilities and improve our lives.
This excerpt is from a May 11, 2017 IBM blog post about the story of Deep Blue, the IBM computer program that defeated the world chess champion 20 years ago, and 14 years later where, as Watson, it successfully competed on Jeopardy!
Along with their passion for AI, the two companies also share the same tech approach, machine learning. When it comes to advertising and marketing campaigns, their messages are quite different. IBM prefers to talk about “cognitive computing” and sees machine learning as the tech enabler of the so-called cognitive era.
What about Google and Cognitive Computing: does it exist?
While Cognitive Computing is continuing to be the main subject of massive marketing hype at IBM (We are entering the Cognitive Era… We stand at the dawn of a new era of business… enabled by a new form of digital intelligence. This is what we call cognitive business—it’s what happens as digital business and digital intelligence come together), cognitive computing doesn’t seem to be a core competency for Google. At least in the case of official Google communication channels such as their corporate blog, Google Cognitive Computing is not mentioned.
Both Google and IBM celebrated their AlphaGo and DeepBlue successes as colossal moments for AI. Both companies have put machine learning at the core of their AI vision and investments. However, they have followed completely different marketing strategies, and are using different claims in their marketing campaigns.
This is the most common strategy for companies that compete in the same markets, after all. So, should we think that Google and IBM are rivals after all? Even if today they rarely compete in the same markets, they are certainly rivals from a technological perspective. And, it’s possible that at some point in the future, they will compete more directly for customers. What will the message be then? We’ll be waiting…
Interested in learning more about machine learning? The Truth about Machine Learning (and Deep Learning), Marco Varone, Expert System’s CTO
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