Two years ago, IBM announced a groundbreaking partnership with another colossal tech pioneer – Apple, in order to enhance the mobile enterprise space. In little over 25 months, the two companies have declared a major breakthrough – on October 25th, IBM officially announced that the company will incorporate the famous Watson capabilities into the MobileFirst for iOS ecosystem. The integration will bring deep data analysis, natural language processing and even more features to iOS 10.

The Intelligence Inside

This is just the most recent dramatic outcome of the IMB/Apple partnership. You may recall that just a few weeks ago, IBM’s VP of WaaS, Fletcher Previn said that each Mac deployment will cost the company around $535, in comparison to PCs. Seemingly, this latest move will have a huge impact on a wide range of “real-life” situations and strengthen Apple’s growing position in enterprise IT. In fact, according to the IMB, business apps will now have the ability to understand and even learn on the basis of data analytics.

Profound Change

But the question you might be asking yourself is – how will all of this work in practice? Well, Mahmoud Naghshineh, general manager of the Apple/IBM partnership explains that an average technician would be able to literally ask the F&F app to look up some suggestions on how to solve a specific equipment problem. The app would essentially enable them to pay more attention to the piece of equipment – and as Apple puts it – would provide a “hands-free” solution when a technician needs it most.

What’s more, as numerous experts predicted last year, a technician that is using an app with Apple Watch support will be able to call up some kind of intelligent support system, while keeping their smartphones in their pockets. Basically, cognitive technology coupled with mobile aims to be transformational – its goal is to change how workers interact with enterprise applications in order to assist any company, and eventually, any industry move forward.

The Future Lies in Contextual Awareness

And while IBM’s Watson is smart enough to listen closely, learn from you and make increasingly refined suggestions in reaction to certain situational needs, the system is still not contextually aware. You have to understand that modern voice assistants, like Google Now and Siri, are simply comprised of pattern matching and voice recognition software, tied closely to a number of typical questions and answers. But cognitive computing is a more powerful beast.

Watson delivers a comprehensive set of abilities based on technologies like computer learning, reasoning and decision technologies; language and speech systems are disturbed, high-performance computing. Simply put, Watson always learns from previous interactions with humans and machines, and gains in knowledge over time. The system can learn from past experiences, and consequently learn and create conclusions from different experiences. Once we move into “Cognitive Era", and when this system merges with, for instance, 3pl logistics and other eCommerce software solutions, most companies that leverage the technology will have the highest probability of success.

It is Just a Quest of Ethics

While IBM is still enthusiastic, the company knows that these forms of AI are the peak of our society’s digital transformation, and that they are likely to have a long-lasting effect on our society. Artificial Intelligence systems are augmenting human intelligence in every field imaginable, and will transform our lives on a personal and professional level, in the long run. As a matter of fact, we are likely to see cognitive robots integrated into our society as bartenders, receptionists and even doctors. They could even be useful as carers of our kids and elderly.

AI systems such as IBM’s Watson are indeed powerful, and like with all powerful tools, we have to take great care of their usage. We have to agree that IBM’s job as a part of the global community is to make sure that the cognitive tech they (and others) develop is manufactured the right way and only for the right reasons. The company may be involved in several efforts to advance our overall understanding if problems affecting the ethical development of AI occur.

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Nate Vickery is a business consultant mostly engaged in researching ways of synergizing latest technology trends and SME management. He is editor-in-chief at

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