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How Watson Assistant and Discovery are Stabilizing the 2020 Election

By Isaiah Brown posted Fri October 16, 2020 01:15 PM


If there's one thing most people would agree 2020 has become synonymous with, it's uncertainty. Uncertainty in the workplace...uncertainty with toilet paper...and even uncertainty in democracy. General fears about individual health, the fate of the USPS in flux, a shortage of poll workers, and the chaos that federalism in the American system inevitably creates has led to many people being confused and worried about the logistics surrounding what many people consider one of the most consequential election cycles in modern American politics. As has been the case with a number of issues during the COVID-19 crisis, local government have been absolutely flooded with inquiries about how they will handle the expected chaos of November, and the Idaho Secretary of State has turned to Watson Assistant and Discovery for help. The tool put together with the help of IBM will use Assistant to produce virtual agents for interact with citizens while Discovery will provide real-time text analytics to expediently produce an answer.

"Early in the pandemic, we mobilized Watson and its natural language processing technology to help organizations quickly deliver critical information and services to citizens, customers, and employees. With success there and the upcoming U.S. election, we are now mobilizing Watson to manage the flood of information requests and questions from citizens regarding voting logistics and resources." - Daniel Hernandez, General Manager, Data and AI, IBM.

"In short turn, our office needed to communicate the registration and absentee ballot procedures to Idaho voters, and we were bracing ourselves for a wave of calls. In just two weeks, two of our people got started with Watson Assistant and trained it to provide important information about how and when to vote. We're now exploring its capabilities throughout the remainder of this election season and beyond to help convey information about the other services and functions we provide for the people of Idaho." - Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck.