How to Test a Cognitive System

How to Test a Cognitive System

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With businesses using cognitive systems and significantly more predicted to be implementing these in the future, it is worth doing your research into this tech.

Whether you are already using cognitive technologies to streamline services and drive revenue, or you are planning on introducing it in the future, it’s important to know how cognitive systems are tested. This is because the technology involved is complex and requires a multi-faceted approach. Here is an overview of how testing is done.

Why Test It?

Before you begin testing the cognitive system, it is worth considering the benefits of conducting the tests in the first place. Cognitive computing is an artificially intelligent way of providing results. It is used in everything from robotics to language programmes and it works by simulating the human brain.

By solving problems automatically, it removes the need for humans intercepting and influencing the system. This ultimately means cognitive computers can speed up processes and increase efficiency.

With this in mind, testing is important. It ensures the computing software is being receptive to any changes. The system builds its knowledge so that it can adapt and pick up on things that may be missed by humans. Testing can ensure this continues and ultimately benefits businesses using this technology.

Testing Types

There are various testing techniques that can be used on cognitive systems. Companies like Sogeti offer testing services that cover these techniques across a variety of applications, and the goal is to deliver quality results.

One of the tests you may encounter is the ‘testing triangle’ or ‘testing pyramid’. This comprises three test layers that incorporate a unit, functional, and UI test. By following the triangle layers, testers can drill down into certain sections before running through the whole thing.

Other tests you may come across include the smoke test, which tells you if the system is behaving badly enough for it to figuratively be set alight; the ingestion verification test, regression testing – a way of testing how likely your software is to fail;  and overall accuracy testing. These all break down the individual areas of the cognitive system that are tested in the pyramid test and create individual sets of data.

Automated and Manual Testing

Before the triangle, there was manual software testing for cognitive computing applications. While it does the job, this is a slow and costly process that doesn’t always get the desired results. Some testers will still manually test, however, if they need selective results, but generally this is a last resort.

Automated testing is better than manual testing in that you only need to write one test up and you can leave it to run multiple times. The main drawback with this is if the cognitive software doesn’t marry well with the testing software. This means that the results could be skewed just as you need to be delivering the results.

Testing Takeaway

It is important to note that whatever testing system you run, you need to ensure you stick to the basics. Don’t lose sight of the end goal, which is to make sure your cognitive system is operating at full capacity and delivering the results you need.

Do you have a cognitive system in place for your business? What testing techniques are you using to ensure you are reaping the benefits? Let us know in the comments section below.

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This is blog post post number 467


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Founder of Marketing Fundamentals Ltd, Blogger, Author & Content Creator