BlogFrom AI to IA:

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in scenario planning and early warning systems

by Paul de Ruijter

Preparing for what is to come is the major goal of scenario planning and early warning systems. In the past, these tools relied mostly on human intelligence. But with the exponential growth of information sources, you are almost certain to miss that weak, yet vital signal somewhere in a magazine, newspaper, blog, tweet, scientific journal or patent filing. What if computers would be able to read all the news in the world and at the same time spot that essential piece of information for you? Well, with NewsConsole, built on top of the platform, now they can!

Having worked in scenario planning and intelligence since 1992, I have never seen a tool as powerful as NewsConsole. It is almost scary. A platform that reads all medical journals in the world to spot new edge developments before they are presented to your doctor. It will also spot a new patent application that might revolutionise your industry even before a press release is being written. And more importantly, it will find it without you needing the knowledge where to search for it. NewsConsole, developed by scenario planning expert Daniel Erasmus from the Digital Thinking Network, is not looking for key words, but understands what you are interested in based on your own documents, and will find related articles even if they have different words. This is possible, because the artificial intelligence on which it is based actually understands what has been written.

Disruption is at the Edge

For a large multinational client interested in electric cars in the USA, the platform found that the real market breakthroughs in electric mobility were happening in electric scooters in China and India. It has even found new proven treatments for cancer patients in journals and in places overlooked by the best doctors who use the best-known search engines. Because this platform is built to enable serendipitous epiphanies rather than simple search, it finds the farmer’s wallet in a haystack, when you were looking for a needle.

This has revolutionary consequences for you as a strategist, futurist, scenario planner or member of the intelligence community. Human intelligence has only a limited capability to make associative connections and to absorb information. NewsConsole processes a million articles per day, remembers them and builds associative links that humans just cannot make. What a chess computer is for a Grandmaster is NewsConsole for a strategist. Using the platform in real world applications in business or government: it almost feels like cheating.

Risk Reporting

De Ruijter Strategy was tasked by a large pension fund to build an off-radar risk monitoring system to discover high impact risks as part of the heat maps reporting to the Central Bank. We used the platform to investigate the potential investment consequences of a carbon bubble. This potential bubble has significant investment implications as governments might further restrict CO emissions and thereby change the economics of the energy sector- creating potentially well over U$ 1 Trillion in stranded assets. Not only oil companies, coal mines, but also government bonds will be affected. In minutes, we could see how Australian governmental bonds, with their heavy reliance on a coal exports, could be on the front line as the economy reduces its carbon output. An unusual, deep insight created through the interactive use of the toolset.

With over 20 years of experience in scenario based strategy and early warning systems, De Ruijter Strategy is glad to be a partner of NewsConsole. We are here to help you with the training and integration of NewsConsole in your strategy projects or processes. We offer a monitoring service to provide leadership with the confidence that they will not be surprised by off radar events. We monitor, report and facilitate insights from a tailormade early warning system matched to trends, scenarios and key events.

Flying blind

Although machines can now help us to see and know more than any single human or even team could, you still need to use this competitive edge in your decision making. Your organisation still needs a captain to interpret signals and take decisions. In a connected world, can you afford to fly blind without this radar screen?