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Crisis situations are supposed to be detected earlier with IBM Watson and big data analytics.The advance with artificial intelligence is part of a Bundeswehr “digital offensive.”

The Federal Government’s response to a request from the left-wing parliamentary group shows that the Bundeswehr is currently looking for machine-learning software that can process large amounts of data. The aim is to improve the forecasting and evaluation of potential crises and to make the results of the evaluations available to the politically responsible persons.

The system is supposed to be able to include structured and unstructured data from both public and open documents as well as documents that are classified. The evaluation of the classified information is a particularly high hurdle because the software has to be certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). In addition, an IT security and data protection concept must be designed and the information securely encrypted.

As early as mid-December, the participants in the project had installed the IBM Watson AI system on a study system. It will primarily analyze the source data and support the employees with situation presentations. In addition, several databases on armed conflicts and terrorist attacks as well as media reports have been linked to it, including Armed Conflict Location & Event Data ( ACLED ), the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone ( GDELT ), and the Global Terrorism Database ( GTD ).