How Australias Department of Defence is using IBM Watson

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He said Defence decided to just buy this thing and then work out how it was going to fit into the organisation later.

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The first was sorting through a shipping container filled with data from previous deployments.

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The Department of Defences Watson platform is accredited secret, which allows for sensitive information to be stored inside.

Over the course of the five-year period, the three technology heavyweights walked away with AU$4.9 billion in government IT spend, a report from ANAO has revealed.

The lessons that are embedded in there — hopefully — are of real value to when we deploy again, when we do a similar mission in a similar place in a similar environment. Its got real strategic value, he continued.

The cancer care providers oncologists will incorporate IBM Watson for Oncology to help inform patient treatment plans with a focus on those living in rural and regional areas of Australia.

When we practice that stuff we take video of it and say how can we do that better, so what we did was take video and put that into Watson and said instead of spending all of those man hours calculating trajectories and such … this machine will tell you, Smorhun explained.

After a series of workshops, Defence decided to put its horded data to good use, and as Smorhun told ZDNet, the department has about 14 use cases across all services within the organisation.

According to Smorhun, a 16-second return on data that no one was ever going to get a hold of in any way, shape, or form has proven beneficial to the department.

One issue with having an on-premises version of Watson, however, is that Defence doesnt receive updates in line with the cloud version of the platform.

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IBMs Watson Data Platform aims to become data science operating system

The Department of Defence told ZDNet it has highlighted at least 14 use cases for its on-premises version of IBM Watson to use artificial intelligence to gain valuable insights out of its data.

Its a tricky space. Im yet to see this thing actually learn anything yet, apart from some really incredible analytics — really outstanding analytics — and a powerful engine that can search and join dots together, but have you actually given me an insight that wasnt written in a document yet, maybe, Smorhun told ZDNet.

Weve started putting this thing into IBMs Watson machine — which dont let IBM trick you, this thing is a pain in the ass, its annoying — but weve got the capacity to put 52 million documents … were talking about putting 40 million documents into this thing and turning around a response on questions you ask Watson in 16 seconds.

We convinced IBM to give us one, Smorhun said, explaining that Watson sits on P-series servers within its environment.

When we deployed into the Middle East many years ago, we started bringing data back and we call that repatriation of information … and our ability to read it and garner lessons learned from that information is zero unless youre really enthusiastic about going through data in shipping containers, he said.

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In a proof of concept phase were getting from spending seven hours between shooting something and having another crack at it down to two hours and thats just a proof of concept.

The Australian Department of Defence is using what Matt Smorhun, Assistant Secretary for the ICT Strategy Realisation Branch at the Department of Defence, said was only the second on-premises instance of Watson globally.

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IBMs plan is to create a data science operating system that can bring together data scientists, analysts, and business leaders.

Speaking at the CeBIT Australia conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Smorhun said the department decided to invest in a secret, classified version of IBMs Watson platform, instead of spending valuable time working out how to do artificial intelligence, cognitive learning, and advanced analytics on its own.

Youve got to pump the information into this thing, ask it questions, and get it to learn.

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Similarly, he said Defence spends a lot of time working out how weapons systems, sensor systems, and targeting systems all work. Most of these systems are now embedded inside the Watson platform.

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Its ability to drive information quickly is amazing and the brochure says eventually it will learn.

IBMs Watson is impressive technology, even if it cant quite cure cancer. Its time the company positioned it accordingly.

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