Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Smart Email and the Path to Digital Immortality
 This article examines the new product developed by IBM called IBM Verse. IBM Verse is a new email service that is highly correlated with your social networking to make emailing easier through computer automation. This email service has the ability to determine the level of importance of each email to make emailing a much easier process. In addition, IBM Verse plans to add, “cognitive computing” to this service to be able to suggest what to write or even respond to emails without the need of user interaction (Rob Enderle pg 1). This computer-automated service could eliminate human error and save valuable time for the user.  Its ability to understand the user through multiple social networking systems allows it to organize emails in the most efficient way for users.
This article could have gone into more depth about how this technology would utilize social networking to create this automated system of organizing and handling emails specific to an individual user. However, this system seems to me to be effective service that makes emailing more efficient and simpler for any user. Its ability to prioritize emails in an orderly fashion can be an extremely valuable tool for many people and businesses. What concerns me about this product is how reliable it can be. It’s hard to believe that a computed automated system can know what emails are of more importance to the user. I do not think that this system could fully acknowledge what the users find important and what they find useless. Furthermore, IBM Verse has future goals on adding more cognitive computing to further the helpfulness of the system without the attention of the user. However, I see this increase in cognitive computing as potentially damaging to human social interaction. Allowing computers to answer emails takes out the human element to conversation. Here we may see technology come at the price of damaging human social interaction.
Cognitive intelligence within email services, if coherent with the user, could however provide numerous benefits to users both in a personal sense and the business world. This service could allow for more productivity as less time is wasted sorting through junk mail. If this service continues to grow into a fully automated self answering email service than that will eliminate the need for certain jobs in the business world including personal assistants. Communication would be faster and error free but may certainly lack human elements of interaction. My biggest concern is that humans will become over reliable of potential technology like the one discussed in this article. If we become completely reliable on this totally self-automated system in the future, we could become very vulnerable if a system like this fails.  Overall, the product as of now seems to be a very convenient and helpful system, but the introduction and expansion of more cognitive intelligence is one that can be potentially damaging in my views.

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