Towards an Ontology of Cognitive Assistants

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Maier, Torsten; Menold, Jessica; McComb, Christopher
Series: ICED
Institution: The Pennsylvania State University
Section: Knowledge-based engineering
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Cognitive assistants such as IBM Watson and Siri are at the forefront of social and technological innovation and have the potential to solve many unique problems. However, the lack of standardization and classification within the field impedes critical analysis of existing cognitive assistants and may further inhibit their growth into more useful applications. This paper discusses the development of an ontology, its classes, and subclasses that may serve as a foundation for defining and differentiating CAs. Specifically, the four suggested classes include: learning, intelligence, autonomy, and communication. Various assistants are described and categorized using the proposed system. Our novel ontological framework is the first step towards a classification system for this burgeoning field.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, Case study, Ontologies, Cognitive Assistants


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