Cognition in Practice       


Jeanette Blomberg photoChristine Wolf photo

Cognition in Practice - overview

Cognition in Practice: Designing cognitive solutions that align people, technology, organizations and society

Cognitive systems are socio-technical systems requiring the integration, alignment, and interaction of people, technology, organizations, and society more broadly. While human intelligence and capabilities have always been augmented by technology beginning with the first technologies created by humans, this project considers if new computational capabilities, enabled by big data, deep learning, predictive analytics and natural language processing, are creating new opportunities to augment human intelligence and capability. Are advances in AI and machine analytics that support both human and machine learning, reasoning, understanding, and interaction introducing the possibility of new symbiotic relations between people and technology? To explore these questions, we are developing a Cognition in Practice framework that recognizes that human cognition is embodied, requiring engagement with the world through everyday practices and that augmented intelligence necessitates integration and alignment of cognitive computing with everyday practices

We start with the proposition that human cognition is embodied and the ability of humans to modify the world around them, to structure activities, and to build tools, maps and other representational artifacts, is as central to human cognition as processes inside the brain. Human cognition makes use of things, representations, and talk in everyday settings. We further argue that augmenting human intelligence with machine capabilities depends on the engagement and interaction of people with cognitive systems through everyday practices. Without such an alignment advances in predictive analytics, machine learning, and deep learning, not to mention sensor technology and conversational interfaces, cannot be realized. Cognition in Practice lays out a framework for the design of cognitive solutions that augment human intelligence. Now more than ever we need to pay attention to how machines and people collaborate to make our combined efforts more productive, and as some would say “smarter”.  This project explores how best to facilitate the artful integration of cognitive computing technologies with people’s everyday practices.