The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency provides security and support services to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. military services and government agencies. In her role as research and innovation project manager, Ashley has teamed up with IBM and the Department of the Army to prototype uses of Watson Machine Learning and Watson Natural Language Processing in support of the agency’s mission. 

What makes an AI project successful?
User feedback was critical to ensuring the success of our AI adoption. By establishing consistent engagements, we provided our analysts with the ability to directly see output from machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP). These engagements helped users understand the capabilities and limitations of ML, and gave the data scientists direct feedback on processes and procedures that informed and improved data modeling.

What do you know now about AI that you wish you had known when you started?
Constant reengagement on use case exploration has been critical. Often I thought I had all possible use cases defined. Then I would engage or show capability to a new group, and multiple new opportunities for enhancing and leveraging AI would be identified. Additionally, model accuracy is only one measure of success; there are many more that are just as relevant and important to ensure ethical use of AI.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
Do the hard stuff. Everyone else is likely choosing the easy work, but the hard stuff is worth doing.

She puts Watson Discovery to work

Dive deeper into your journey to AI and learn more about Watson Discovery