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Watson, the computer system that carries the name of IBM's first president, could be described as a pioneer of artificial intelligence. At any rate, it has recently done more than any other system to help numerous companies successfully navigate the route that leads from digital to cognitive business. IBM is currently positioning itself as a cognitive solutions and cloud platform provider across a whole range of fields such as business analytics, cloud computing, mobile enterprise, social business and security. However, it has chosen to dedicate its impressive showcase in Hannover to the cognitive advisory service Lesson Learned.

Based on Watson, the cloud service Lesson Learned pulls together engineering expertise gathered over more than 30 years and puts it at the disposal of workers at Australia's largest independent oil and gas company. Engineering teams can ask even highly complex questions in natural language and, in a matter of seconds, Lesson Learned will scale its accumulated expertise to deliver the required information. As a result, Lesson Learned aims to optimize processes, boost the efficiency of working practices and help speed up decision-making. Lesson Learned draws on input from thousands of retired engineers, which equates to a treasure trove of experience running to some 600,000 pages. Active engineers thus have access to 30 years of expertise and, thanks to Lesson Learned, should also be better placed to protect their plants from disasters, even remotely. What's more, using all this knowledge as predictive data gives companies an opportunity to extend their advantage over competitors.