Action Required Service Updates

Watson Discovery Service Updates for News and NLP

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We are updating the Watson Discovery Service, by making a few key changes to our APIs to future-proof our technology and offer more flexibility to users.

What is Watson Discovery?

Watson Discovery is a cloud-native cognitive search and analytics engine that enables you to quickly uncover value from any data. Whether you want to find answers, surface patterns, or monitor trends, Watson Discovery allows you to extract the most relevant information from your own data.  Additionally, Watson Discovery includes the world’s news enriched with natural language processing enabling you to find insights from news and blog content for highly targeted search and trend analysis.Watson Discovery Service

What is changing with Watson Discovery?

Watson Discovery offers an end-to-end cognitive data pipeline to ingest, enrich and query data. The service uses advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) on ingested data to extract meta-data elements such as concepts, entities, keywords, sentiment, emotion, and more. We are updating the underlying NLP micro-service to use enrichments powered by Watson Natural Language Understanding service (NLU) instead of the now-retired AlchemyAPI service. While the actual enrichment capabilities are not significantly different, the schema and configuration change, impacting data that is used with Watson Discovery, including Watson Discovery News.

In addition to the NLP changes, we have updated our news back-end that further improve the quality of the news results from Watson Discovery News. The new and improved news is available as a separate collection that you can query independently. You will find richer news results with better indexing of the most relevant article content with the new collection.

When is it changing?

The new NLP micro-service with NLU is available today, alongside the AlchemyLanguage NLP micro-service. The AlchemyLanguage NLP micro-service within Watson Discovery will be retired on Jan 15, 2018.

The new Watson Discovery News collection is also available today, alongside the original news collection for current users. The legacy news collection will be retired on Jan 15, 2018 as well.

All new Watson Discovery features will be developed with the new NLP micro-service and new News collection going forward. Consequently, we recommend that you update your instance to use the new capabilities as early as possible.

What does this mean for you?

If you have Watson Discovery collections using AlchemyLanguage enrichments, it is recommended that you re-ingest your data using the new NLP enrichments as early as possible. See the documentation for more details on the schema changes. Note that with the recently announced new pricing for Watson Discovery, there is no additional charge for enrichment overages.

If you created a Watson Discovery Service instance prior to Aug 1, 2017, you will have access to two news collections (Original and New). We recommend that you update your news queries using the new NLP schema and take advantage of the new News collection as early as possible. See the documentation for more details.

Since these changes support a single universal NLP schema, you can now use the same queries across both the pre-enriched News collection as well as collections with your own data.

Where can I get more information?

Our documentation/release notes ( provide detailed guidance on the service updates and migration steps. If you have further questions, please reach out to us on our forums (

GTM Lead Offering Manager, Watson Discovery Portfolio

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