If you do ONE thing this week: Ascension's @rleecoulter #podcast #cufflinks #standards
— Barbara Hodge (@abrakabarbara) August 17, 2017
We recently launched a new SSON podcast series, and I have to tell you it's the best 30 minutes each week, when I get to listen to the latest upload.
I just finished listening to the interview with Lee Coulter, who has recently taken on the role of SSON's Chief Intelligent Automation Officer, and who also heads the IEEE working group that is setting standards for intelligent automation. In his day job, he is CEO of Ascension's Shared Services, but distinguishes himself through a near fanatic interest in understanding IA's application to modern day enterprise services support.
Two things really stood out to me.
First of all, Lee talks about the notion all "aboutness". And this is important. Traditional software is all about precision and accuracy, and effectively leads to one solution. Machine learning, or cognitive, leads us away from the deterministic approach and towards a probabilistic solution, in which the ideal or preferred outcome is "probably" one of these (whereby there is a high degree of accuracy entailed). This potential to identify the preferred next set of steps incorporates true and significant business value, Lee explains.
The other thing that stood out to me was that Lee quotes the "cognitive load" of an average work day at only 3-11%. Think about it like this: if you are paying a bill, the cognitive load of the activity is represented by the couple of seconds in which you see, recognize, and agree that you owe the amount, based on your consumption. The additional minute to minute-and-a-half is pure transaction; not cognitive at all; the proverbial monkey could do it – or robotic software.
Lee's target is to get the cognitive component of his organization up to 50%, although he concedes he'd be happy with 15% (at least for now). And this may be where artificial, or as he calls it, augmented, intelligence comes in – not as a solver but as an enabler.
It's a great podcast that ranges from the obsession solution vendors have with being a "unique snowflake", to Lee's obsession with cufflinks (he wore precision bearings cufflinks to the interview). Listen to it here: