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Q&A: IBM's Watson Leader On 'Dark Data' And The Age Of Reason

Ed Harbour tells CRN the partners he speaks to understand that cognitive computing is a disruptive force – and a huge opportunity. The key is to simplify the science into ways people can consume and innovate around.

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Is that cognitive approach to understanding data and gaining insight the big shift in computing that's happening now?

I think this, coupled with cloud and coupled with Software-as-a-Service, is the big shift. Because that allows everyone access. That allows a much easier and, frankly, lower entry point to access cognitive services. It makes them available virtually everywhere.

So I think it's a combination. The notion of cognitive computing, based on natural language processing, based on machine learning, really based on the ability to learn, to understand and even reason -- that's still a limited ability, but it's going to get better -- is really the shift in itself. Then making those services available so they can be consumed at scale.

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