New and improved capabilities of Watson Discovery

For those who don’t know, Watson Discovery allows organizations to leverage AI-powered search and provides answers to complex business questions, at the right time, in the right context. Discovery was also named by Forrester as one of the leading AI-powered text analytics solution. Discovery has added great features and functionality over the last few months. We want to make sure our community is aware of all of the new and exciting things that Discovery has to offer.

These are a few of the new and improved capabilities of Watson Discovery

  • Smart Document Understanding: Smart Document Understanding (SDU) is a new way to train IBM Watson™ Discovery to extract custom fields in your documents. Customizing how your documents are indexed into Discovery will improve the answers returned by your application. With SDU, you annotate fields within your documents to train custom conversion models. As you annotate, Watson is learning and will start predicting annotations. SDU models can be exported and used on other collections. Check out this blog post or YouTube demo for more information.
  • HIPAA on Premium: Watson Discovery Premium instances in the Washington DC data center are now HIPAA Enabled. Customers using Protected Health Information (PHI) can now use Watson Discovery Premium to explore healthcare related use cases. Check out this site for more information.
  • Cloud Object Storage Connector: Watson Discovery now provides the ability to use the Cloud Object Storage Connector to connect to the IBM Cloud Object Storage and perform various read and write functions. The docs show how to start using the connector.
  • Search Skill (Beta): The newly created Search Skill (Beta) feature ensures that all of your customers’ and employees’ questions are answered. Watson Discovery works with watsonx Assistant to provide answers from external data sources and provide responses to user queries that the dialog is not designed to handle. This YouTube demo shows you exactly how the Search Skill works.
  • Language Support on watsonx Assistant with Discovery Extension on ICP4D: watsonx Assistant with Discovery Extension on ICP4D has extended the languages that are supported. The solution now supports English, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. (Keyword enrichment only available in English.)
  • Multi-Word Synonyms: Multi-Word Synonyms supports the ability to add multi-term synonyms and have them act as a single phrase for expansion within a query, allowing for more accurate results (e.g., IBM = “International Business Machines” vs. IBM = “International OR Business OR Machines.” Check out the documentation on Query Expansion to learn more.
  • Improvements to Crawl Status: Users have more visibility into their crawl status, including current crawl state (running, stopped, paused), last run time, and next run time. This new functionality provides more control over and a clear indication of data source crawl statuses and to confirm things are working as expected.
  • Improvements to Web Crawl Cleaning: Watson Discovery has new and improved web crawl capabilities, removing the noise from advertisements, footers, and unnecessary headers to provide even cleaner answers.
  • Enrichment of Arrays: For customers using JSON arrays, enrichment of arrays allows more flexibility regarding what aspects of the JSON need to be enriched during ingestion. 

Get started with Watson Discovery

Sign into your IBM Cloud account to start exploring these new features and capabilities or check out the Watson Discovery page and get started for free!

Learn more about IBM artificial intelligence solutions.


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