It seems like nearly everyone is ready (or at least willing) to add intelligence to their applications. Despite the enthusiasm, developers building cognitive applications have encountered some real growing pains.

The way we're going about things, it's almost begun to feel like the promise of cognitive computing would collapse like the artificial intelligence hype in the 1980s or the first robotics hype in the 1960s and 70s. Thankfully, instead cognitive breaking down, we're breaking down cognitive.

Intelligent software is being taken down to the the atomic level so that developers can easily embed cognitive capabilities into applications.

Instead of being totally overwhelmed by the breadth of cognitive possibilities, developers can instead use cloud-based API services to pick from among a menu of cognitive services. Services for image recognition, facial recognition, dialog, sentiment analysis, recommendations and more are callable via APIs no fuss no muss - pass the right parameters and the APIs will do the rest.

The market landscape of these services is beginning to burst and bloom, much faster than expected. Developers can now build up cognitive applications with IBM's Watson Developer Cloud, HP is augmenting intelligence with Haven OnDemand, Microsoft has recently introduced Cognitive Services, and Google has begun to build the foundations with CloudML.

Are you building applications using these platforms to add more intelligence to your application experiences? What do you think about their potential to help realize the promise of cognitive computing?

Let us know in the comments, I'm excited to see what the future holds.

(About the author: Rowan Curran is an analyst at Forrester Research. This post orignially appeared on his Forrester blog, which can be viewed here).

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