IBM working toward new kind of computing
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IBM working toward new kind of computing

There have been ideas in the technology world for years about creating intuitive, more human-like computing devices. Machines with artificial intelligence and reasoning capabilities are becoming more of a reality every day, but some entities are not satisfied with only replicating the human logic center – they want the entire human experience replicated in a machine.

IBM is working toward this reality, according to Digital Trends, building devices that assist in providing existing machines with human qualities. Sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing are all in the works with the company's anticipated product lines.

The source wrote that IBM feels the five senses will be available as technology assets within the next five years, Digital Trends reported. The company released a report called The Five in Five, outlining how these capabilities will unfold. IBM has already rolled out its attempt at cognitive reasoning, the Watson supercomputer, but it hopes to add to this development by creating research equipment that can help explore inhospitable terrain on Earth or in space that can give scientists better insight regarding places they can't yet physically reach.

NBC reported that IBM is calling devices associated with this rollout cognitive computing tools, products that can even be compared  to smartphones and tablets for more intuitive consumer feedback while on-the-go. This means that any person, whether in a personal or professional setting, would be able to use these assets to improve performance and directly impact the world in a different, more proactive way, IBM researchers anticipate.

Practical applicationsThe source wrote that IBM scent detectors could be used to isolate the source of odors and alert authorities to an emergency, help people remove problems like mold or dust from their homes, or even find local restaurants or new recipes based on particulate smells in the air.

Other tools already exist on mobile devices that help people figure out the name of a song on the radio just by holding the device near a speaker for a few seconds, but this could become an even more expansive search tool, NBC wrote. Sight is also set to become a better search tool as well, as most every consumer computing device today is outfitted with at least a basic camera. Google began pioneering image-based searches a few years ago, but IBM may be able to perfect the technology.

According to interviews with IBM researchers, building thinking machines will better-serve the consumer and corporate worlds.

"If a cognitive computer can experience its environment, by definition it can act upon it to improve it," said Bernie Meyerson, vice president of innovation at IBM. "That's a unique capability compared to what we have today."

ReadWriteWeb stated that the company's current drive is to outfit mobile devices and personal computers with the ability to more directly interact with and serve the people using them. The variety of impacts include dining, healthcare, emergency response, weather forecasting and a range of applications IBM has yet to uncover. Researchers are convinced that this will be the new direction of computer technology, culminating in a new kind of experience by 2020. Finding new ways to interact with these devices is merely a matter of providing new interfaces and applications that allow for utilizing existing human senses and improving on how these are used.