Meet Woodside's newest employee: IBM's Watson

Oil and gas company Woodside has enlisted IBM's supercomputer, Watson, to help improve decision making and enhance efficiencies.

The cognitive computing system, which has already been deployed at several Australian organisations, 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 in seconds. Watson is part of Woodside's strategy to use predictive data science to leverage more than 30 years of collective knowledge and experience as a leading liquefied natural gas operator, to maintain a strong competitive advantage. Allowing a broad population of employees to leverage this knowledge will enhance Woodside's collective expertise in designing, fabricating and constructing major oil and gas facilities as well as managing major turnarounds, according to a company statement. Delivered via the cloud, the cognitive advisory service - 'Lesson Learned' -- scales the knowledge of engineers making insights and information quickly accessible to a wide group.

It has the potential to lead to faster resolutions, improved process flow and operational outcomes.

Lesson Learned will enable Woodside's engineering teams to ask complex questions in natural language. Woodside senior vice president strategy, science and technology, Shaun Gregory, said data science was 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. "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."

IBM A/NZ managing director, Kerry Purcell, said Watson was transforming how Australian banks, universities, government were capitalising on data.

"In any area where knowledge professionals are working with an ever-increasing volume of data, Watson is fundamentally changing how these organisations operate, make decisions, drive growth and gain competitive advantage," he said.

Previous deployment include ANZ Wealth, which is using Watson at the Sydney Grow centre to help more than 400 financial planners with an investor engagement advisory tool.

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The bank's goal is to shorten and improve the process of providing financial advice by a matter of weeks by matching client requirements to market offers.

IP Australia, is also trialling Watson across different applications to deliver better IP rights and inventor services.

Further, Deakin University is using IBM Watson to create an intelligent digital guide for students.

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The Watson technology is embedded in DeakinSync, a digital hub designed to serve students' information needs from any location at any time of the day.

While Immigration and Border Protection uses Watson to help analysts within the Portfolio to draw further insights from unstructured data sources, such as news feeds and government reports.


Brian Karlovsky

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