by Byron Connolly

Woodside to tap into IBM’s Watson

May 26, 20153 mins
Big DataCloud Computing

Oil and gas company, Woodside has joined a growing list of Australian organisations tapping into the IBM Watson supercomputer.

The cognitive computing system is part of Woodside’s strategy to use predictive data science to maintain its competitive advantage.

It will be trained by Woodside engineers, enabling users to surface evidence-weighted insights from large volumes of unstructured and historical data contained in project reports.

This information will be available in seconds and will enhance the company’s expertise in designing, fabricating and constructing oil and gas facilities, as well as managing major turnarounds, IBM said.

Woodside’s cognitive advisory service ‘Lessons Learned’ scales the knowledge of engineers, making insights and information quickly accessible to a wide group. This has the potential to lead to faster resolutions, improve process flow and operational outcomes, the company said.

The cloud-based service will enable Woodside’s engineering teams to ask complex questions in natural language.

Woodside’s senior VP strategy, science and technology, Shaun Gregory, said data science is the essential next chapter in knowledge management, enabling the company to unlock collective intelligence.

“We are bringing a new toolkit to the company in the form of evidence-based predictive data science that will bring down costs and increase efficiencies across our organisation,” he said in a statement.

“Data science, underpinned by an exponentially increasing volume and variety of data and the rapidly decreasing cost of computing, is likely to be a major disruptive technology in our industry over the next decade.

“Our plan is to turn all of this data into a predictive tool where every part of our organisation will be able to make decisions based on informed and accurate insights.”

Several other organisations in Australia are using Watson. Last year, Deakin University used the supercomputer to create an intelligent digital guide for students. Watson technology is embedded in DeakinSync, a digital hub that provides information to students from any location at any time of the day.

ANZ Wealth is using Watson to power an investor engagement advisory tool, IP Australia is trialling the machine across different apps to deliver better IP rights and inventor services. The Department of Immigration is using Watson to draw further insights from unstructured data sources such as news feeds and government reports.

The supercomputer is also helping clinicians at the New York Genome Center in the United States search for mutations in patients with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, that may be reference in medical literature and genomic databases.

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