Smarter Apps using 

Cognitive Computing

Justin Lee - Cloud Technical Evangelist


Justin Lee

Cloud Technical Evangelist

Co-Founder of HackerspaceSG

Co-Organiser of GeekcampSG

Co-Organiser of FOSSASIA

What is Cognitive Computing?

Ex Machina

cog•ni•tive (käg-nə-tiv)

define ("COGNITIVE", 

        "of, relating to, or involving 
         conscious mental activities 
         such as thinking, understanding, 
         learning, and remembering");

Cognitive != Predicting the future

Cognitive != Recommendation Engine

Cognitive > Machine Learning

Cognitive Computing

  • Adapting to the unknown
  • Interacting with "other" humans
  • Understanding the context
  • Reasoning the "best answer"

Adapting to the unknown

  • Handle human kinds of problems
  • Resolve ambiguity
  • Tolerate unpredictability

Interacting with "other" humans

  • Understanding Language and Speech
  • Formulation of proper sentences
  • Conversing naturally

Understanding the context

  • Identify and extract context features
  • Vision and recognising context in images
  • Creating a corpus of understanding

Reasoning the "best answer"

  • Not the "right answer"
  • Using context understanding to reason 
  • Inferring based on objectives 

Have we gotten there yet?


But we are getting there...

What if you can have access to that power?

Welcome to the Cognitive Era

Ginni Rometty at the Gartner Symposium 2015

Natural Language Processing

Vision and Speech

High Level Reasoning and Insights

Watson Services

Natural Language Processing

Object Recognition

Face Detection


Personality Matching

News Explorer

Deciding a home

Jobs Matching

Virtual Agents

How will you change the world?

Basic Knowledge

  • HTTP
  • Calling a REST API
  • JSON

Ask Doctor Watson

Architecture Diagram

Flow Diagram

See Dr Watson in action

Justin Lee

  require_once 'alchemyapi.php';
  $alchemyapi = new AlchemyAPI();

  $demo_url = '';
  $flavour = 'url';
  $response = $alchemyapi->entities($flavour, $demo_url, null);

  foreach ($response['entities'] as $entity) {
      echo 'entity: ', $entity['text'], '<br />';
      echo 'type: ', $entity['type'], PHP_EOL;
      echo '<br /><br />';
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