Are you thinking about cognitive technologies right?

Cognitive technologies are not a threat to IT staff as many believe. Viewing them as a useful tool can help you broaden your career horizons.


As computer systems learn to complete tasks that typically require human intelligence, what will become of us? This is the concern that often punctuates the discourse about cognitive technologies, but Deloitte argues that they should be seen less as a threat and more as an exciting business tool.

There are a variety of possible applications for artificial intelligence within organisations, and professionals in IT jobs that learn to embrace it instead of seeing it as a competition are likely to find themselves with a wider range of career opportunities in the future. How should you be rethinking how you think about cognitive technologies?

Embrace the man-machine symbiosis

The development of cognitive technologies means that our tech will no longer just augment our world, but it will become an extension of it. As such, it’s essential for IT staff to start seeing the collaborative potential of these innovations and how they might transform the way we work, process information and relate to our surroundings. The Director of the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT, Thomas Malone, discussed this partnership in an interview with technology and consulting company IBM.

“I think man-versus-machine is in some ways the traditional way of looking at this question, but I think where we’re really headed towards man-plus-machine,” he said.

“The combination of people and computers will be able to think in a way that neither people nor computers have ever done before. I think that’s the really exciting potential and opportunity for us ahead.”

Understand that it’s a blanket term for a range of innovations

Another thing to note is that cognitive technology does not refer to a single type of system or machine. Deloitte points out that it is actually a term that covers a range of innovations, including:

  • Machine learning
  • Robotics
  • Speech recognition
  • Computer vision
  • Optimisation

While in many ways they are different these technologies all have one thing in common – they are capabilities that enable computers to replicate human abilities.

Forget adaptation, think anticipation

Lastly, while it is common for people to talk about adapting to new technology, the best way for professionals to get ahead in their IT career is to think forward and develop skills that will benefit them in the future, rather than just reacting to the market and staying one step behind.

This way, as cognitive technology continues to evolve, you will be more relevant and able to remain a valuable asset to any company that hires you.