Cognitive tech is an umbrella term encompassing Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Natural Language Processing (NLP), bots, and the broader domain of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Cognitive technologies help the human race to categorize, analyse, organize, and make sense of the ever-growing depths of volume and complexity of data that regular human analysts cannot begin to fathom. Through the coding of complicated algorithms, machines are constantly learning from every human interaction it processes in the world. Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri get smarter everyday from the interactions they have serving our needs. Interestingly, in recent times, researchers are trying to educate AI to learn exactly how a toddler would in their early years of learning their parents’ language. Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle, Washington recently announced a $125 million effort to develop and test common sense in AI. The goal is to create a machine with the same representational structure as the human brain. In the past few years, AI has proved that it can translate speech, diagnose cancer, and with image recognition, algorithms can now distinguish dog breeds better than you can, yet they sometimes mistake a chihuahua for a blueberry muffin.
AI has consistently beat humans at poker, and in 2016 Google’s DeepMind beat Lee Sedol, 18-time world champion in the game of Go, the oldest continuously played board game in the world. Invented in China 2,500 years ago, widely played in South Korea, and one of the most difficult 1v1 board games challenging a player’s strategy, critical thinking, forward predictive cognizance, and plain human intuition. In the game of Go, there is one type of piece, and one type of move, the goal is to create a linked line surrounding your opponents pieces to overtake a majority of the territory on the board. In chess, there are 20 possible moves, in Go, there is 200, and the number of possible configurations on the board is more than the number of atoms in the universe. The AI, nicknamed AlphaGo won all three out of four games against the Korean world champion, all games won by forfeit. This is unprecedented evidence of AI not only learning from its mistakes, but reading its opponent to predict the next few hundred moves.
In Kuwait’s startup ecosystem, the first AI company has emerged earlier this year as TalentScript. The team of coders, data analysts, and academics aims to transform the way the private sector recruits employees. AIVA, their artificial intelligence virtual assistant, conducts interviews through a chat with the candidate, and from the applicant’s replies, she processes the data, and provides a report detailing how fit the candidate is for the job. Their system does not rely on CV’s or resumes, it immerses the applicant in real-life scenarios and asks them how they would conduct themselves in that situation, or provide the solution to a problem.
With this disruptive technology affecting the Human Resources recruitment process, AIVA paves the way for employment based on skills and the various schools of intelligence It boils down the time it takes to search for talent from a month to a few days. TalentScript could be setting a new standard for employment in Kuwait that will filter out the masses and leave us with the gems that are ready to propel the country into a new future.