The first era of computing was the Tabulating Era, from 1900 to 1940, and consisted of machines which used punch cards to input data and perform extremely simple calculations. The Programming Era took over in the 1950s where complex data trees and feedback loops with a specific outcome became programmable. The limitation of this era is that these programs are only as good as their preprogrammed algorithms and data sets. The Cognitive Era is said to have begun in 2011. It is marked by its ability to adapt, make judgments, and self-learn.
The future of cognitive computing will touch every sector and industry vertical, from education, banking, and fraud detection to autonomous vehicles, conservational efforts, and even makeup recommendations. Wherever there is data and a problem to be solved, cognitive computing can play a role.