Magazine article National Defense

IBM Watson Applied to Intelligence Problems

Magazine article National Defense

IBM Watson Applied to Intelligence Problems

Article excerpt

* IBM's cognitive computer system, Watson, which once beat Jeopardy's top human players, can assist in situations specific to defense and intelligence communities, product officials said.

Watson can aid intelligence experts by creating a faster, more efficient way to sort through open-source data from a variety of areas ranging from research reports to Twitter feeds, said Rick Behrens, associate partner for Watson National Security Systems, at the GEOINT symposium in Washington, D.C.

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"Very frequently we hear from analysts who say, 'I do a keyword search... and I usually have to skip to page five or page six in the results before I find something that's useful to me,'" he said.

"Watson assists the [intelligence] expert by enabling them to get through all that content much more quickly than they would be able to do otherwise," Behrens noted. The system narrows a search down to "specific" answers so analysts don't have to search through multiple pages.

For example, intelligence experts would have benefitted from using Watson while trying to locate Libyan political and military leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, he said.

To operate it, a user would ask the system, "Where is Moammar Gadhafi? …

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