However, for most of this decade, the industry has not taken advantage of the opportunities that derive from using data and technology in a meaningful way. In fact, according to Accenture and the WEF, about 36 per cent of oil and gas companies are investing in big data and analytics, but only 13 per cent use the insights from this technology to drive their approach towards the market and their competitors. The industry needs to be making a greater effort to embrace emerging technologies to drive value. One such emerging technology with huge potential for the industry is cognitive computing.
Put simply, cognitive computing involves computerised systems that mimic the way the human brain works. They can sense, comprehend and act. These systems are self-learning algorithms that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to create automated technology that can solve problems without human assistance.
The expected benefits include enabling:
- Better, faster and more informed business decisions by leveraging vast stores of historical and real-time data;
- Workforce focus on higher-value activities that require more judgement; and,
- Improved outcomes in terms of higher profit, quality and safer operations.
Cognitive computing represents the next era in computing. In the past, computers have been unable to accomplish simple everyday tasks like understanding natural language or recognising unique objects in an image. Today, cognitive computing can collate vast amounts of information, analyse that information, make predictions, draw conclusions and provide recommendations or assistance.