Designing Enchanting Experiences in the Cognitive Era

Joanna Peña-Bickley
2 min readMar 4, 2016

From Dick Tracy’s watch to Wonder Woman’s Bracelets to Bat Girls total recall and technopathy, fiction has a intriguing dialog with invention. This dialog and inspiration can serve designers and engineers alike when creating for brands in the cognitive era.

As a kid with reading disabilities, I learned to read, function and play in the real world through fairy tales and comic books. The works of Charles Moulton, Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino fueled my day dreams of living in Gotham as an super inventor. So it’s no surprise that when I use IBM Design Thinking I infuse my design with a mission and intent to give people super human powers to overcome their hurdles in business.

When we design customer and employee experiences for brands, we have an opportunity to supercharge a brand by empowering employees and customers with superhuman powers with IBM Watson. Watson is a self-learning system that uses data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way our human brain works. With Watson in your arsenal of design tools we are able to outthink, outsmart and out do the competition in extraordinary ways.

Human-Centered Design + Data x Machine Learning
As designer at IBM we are charged with solving some of business's largest problems. Dark and unstructured data no longer serve as kryptonite to your ideas or to brands who are looking to discover new methods of making lasting connections with customers. Outfitted with IBM Design Thinking, Data Dexterity and Watson we can artfully supercharge human experiences by empowering human expertise and talents. This approach allows us to fight the forces of chaos with ingenuity.

IBM Watson APIs enables us to design Cognitive Computing features in your apps using Watson’s Language, Vision, Speech and Data APIs.

  • AlchemyAPI is helping pioneer a computer’s ability to understand human language
  • The Dialog, Language Translation, Natural Language Classifier APIs let you Interpret and classify natural language with confidence as well as use natural language to automatically respond to user questions.
  • AlchemyData lets you query the world’s news sources and blogs
  • Visual Recognition allows users to understand the contents of an image or video frame

When writing your hills (Who? What? Wows!) frame up a superpower that will enable a magical business outcome.

each of example above exemplifies how the dialog between fiction and invention can our design and inventions. Lets use our collective ingenuity to come together and design innovations that matter for the world.



Joanna Peña-Bickley

Artist, Activist, Inventor, Designer of intelligent things that are useful, usable and magical. |