50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2017

Augmenting human and process intelligence through self-learning, self-assuring business processes: CognitiveScale

thesiliconreview-akshay-sabhikhi-ceo-co-founder-cognitivescale-2017Recent developments in self-driving cars, voice recognition, and deep learning demonstrate the possibilities of artificial intelligence. However, early AI projects are not producing the dramatic results that technology enthusiasts and enterprise executives expected, so AI is now being thought of in an entirely new way. Rather than replicating or surpassing human intelligence, experts in the field and leading research companies understand that AI is better represented and delivered as “augmented intelligence,” as these systems will extend and augment human capabilities instead. While artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other autonomic technologies are usually in the spotlight, humans and computers can solve many significant problems cooperatively. 

Thus, CognitiveScale was started to bring practical and scalable artificial intelligence (AI) to the enterprise by attacking challenging industry vertical problems in healthcare, financial services and commerce, where current technology approaches are inadequate. CognitiveScale’s founding team, comprised of former IBM Watson executives and lead developers, created the company on the belief that humans have far exceeded the threshold for interpreting all of the data surrounding us, and that machine-augmented intelligence will drive break-through levels of engagement and productivity.

The team developed and patented (pending) the world’s first outcome-driven augmented intelligence platform (Cortex)that applies machine learning and natural language processing to achieve a breakthrough-level of cognitive ability for an AI system that is continually learning and improving. “Instead of focusing purely on technology platforms, tools, or algorithms, CognitiveScale deploys machine intelligence utilities – cognitive business services that can be consumed as a simple API and used to inject cognitive insights, experiences, and processes to drive better business outcomes,” said CEO Akshay Sabhikhi.

Powering industry cognitive clouds

Its first major project roll-out was with MD Anderson Cancer Center, beginning in 2014 and continuing to be very successful. They embarked on a multi-year initiative to apply augmented intelligence to accelerate healthcare decision-making, enhance the patient experience, and further improve employee productivity. 

MD Anderson and CognitiveScale first piloted a patient concierge application to surface personalized and actionable care insights from private, public and social data to help patients navigate their experience at MD Anderson. Built on CognitiveScale’s healthcare cognitive cloud, the patient concierge is being integrated with the free information portal MyMDAnderson. Since that initial engagement, MD Anderson continues to expand its use of AI to drive better medical and business outcomes - bringing new levels of speed and precision to critical decisions.

Presenting unprecedented opportunities for value creation

CognitiveScale emphasizes establishing a repeatable “product,” helping to garner several marquee customers through consistent measurable results and key performance indicators (KPIs). The combination of an experienced management team, leading investors like Intel Capital and Norwest Venture Partners, as well as the company’s ability to elevate AI beyond consumer applications and science projects to industry optimized machine intelligence, has resulted in CognitiveScale’s continued growth and success.

Recently, CognitiveScale announced new customer USAA, which also made a strategic investment in CognitiveScale. Using CognitiveScale’s Financial Services Cloud, USAA will be able to provide its more than 12 million members predictive, data-driven banking and insurance services while learning continuously from user interactions and data. CognitiveScale also announced a partnership with cloud software company PROS, which will use CognitiveScale’s cognitive technologies to enhance the value of PROS solutions across its portfolio. 

Making every customer a cognitive business

With CognitiveScale’s technology, organizations can harness information sources they couldn’t access before, derive contextually relevant insights from those sources, and put those insights into action. Examples of this include: 

  • At a major bank, CognitiveScale improved wealth manager productivity by 10X, enabling them to provide concierge-level service to the much larger middle tier of wealth clients, and the insights generated by the software were preferred by 63 percent of the clients.
  • For a large national retailer, CognitiveScale increased anonymous shopper engagement by more than 300 percent, drove conversion by 13 percent, and increased revenue per session by 15 percent.
  • For a leading healthcare provider, CognitiveScale’s patient concierge application resulted in a 30 percent reduction in service calls, and more than 50 percent increase in patient satisfaction.
  • In a multinational CPG company, CognitiveScale slashed 30 percent of IT support tickets and cut resolution time in half.

Inventing new business models

CognitiveScale believes that for AI’s potential to be fully recognized across industries, technology and business leaders must ensure the technology is ethically developed and used to bring people together. That’s why CognitiveScale is a founding member of AI Austin. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, AI Austin is a growing industry consortium devoted to using the innovative application of AI to address the planet’s biggest social, economic, environmental and political issues.

In addition to evangelizing ethical AI and the complementary relationship between AI and humans to business and technology communities, CognitiveScale’s CEO, Akshay Sabhikhi, strengthens the enterprise comfort level and trust in AI by designing innovative products that are industry-recognized for being transparent, explainable and auditable. 

Future endeavors

CognitiveScale is focused on providing those in Financial Services, Healthcare and Commerce with AI solutions that are tuned to their specific challenges and opportunities. The company is continually enhancing these solutions with ever more intelligent machine learning technology, which makes connections between seemingly disparate data and then takes actions based on those connections. This increasingly intelligent technology allows employees to perform at levels never before possible, creating greater levels of customer satisfaction in banking, delivering preventative care to patients in healthcare settings, and enabling greater profitability in commerce.

Knowing the man who made CognitiveScale possible, CEO Akshay Sabhikhi 

Akshay Sabhikhi is the CEO and co-founder of CognitiveScale, responsible for overall company growth and strategic direction. Akshay has more than 18 years of entrepreneurial leadership, product development and management experience with growth-stage, venture-backed companies and high-growth software divisions within Fortune 50 companies. Previously, Akshay was the global leader for Smarter Care at IBM. He successfully led and managed the acquisition of Curam Software to establish IBM’s leadership at the intersection of Social Programs and Healthcare. He has a BS and MS degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Acton School of Entrepreneurship.

“Our Augmented Intelligence platform and products pair humans and machines so they can achieve something new and exponentially valuable together.”