Deep Learning in Organizations

Deep Learning in Organizations

The term ‘Deep learning’ has been increasingly used recently to describe how organizations augment their learning by applying machine learning techniques on large volumes of information (big data) to discover patterns. Building on the 2015 article ‘emergence of the corporate brain’, this article applies a systems thinking approach to balance the technology focus on deep learning, with one that focuses on people, how the organization thinks deeply. The focus is on Enterprise search & discovery capability although some concepts may be transferable to other areas.

The fields of information searching (people centric) and information retrieval (technology centric), although porous, have begun to converge. However, there is a dearth in the research and practitioner literature for how these two fields relate to organizational learning as applied to enterprise search & discovery capability.

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Socrates is cited as saying “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing”, “I cannot teach anyone anything, I can only make them think.” He recognized the importance of ‘learning how to learn’, our higher order executive processes of planning, checking and reflection – thinking about thinking. Simplifying, metacognition is both knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition, it is the literacy of self-awareness and has been linked to increased intelligence. Metacognitive capability includes the extent to which we can ‘listen inward’ and monitor what we think (our inner voice) for the tell-tale signs of cognitive biases and closed mindedness, i.e. are the skills being applied likely to lead to a desirable outcome. Metacognition empowers us to learn, can support transformational change and the good news is that we can improve our metacognitive capabilities.


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