IBM’s Watson supercomputer is being employed to help look for gold in northwestern Ontario’s Red Lake mining camp. Goldcorp and the U.S. tech giant have teamed up for an “innovative first” with a new product – IBM Exploration with Watson – that employs artificial intelligence to predict the potential for gold mineralization using exploration data sets from the company’s Red Lake Gold Mines.
A Nov. 26 Goldcorp news release said IBM Exploration with Watson help geologists find key information in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods through the use of spatial analytics, machine learning, and predictive models.
“The potential to radically accelerate exploration target identification combined with significantly improved hit rates on economic mineralization has the potential to drive a step-change in the pace of value growth in the industry,” said Todd White, Goldcorp’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer in a Nov. 26 statement.
Watson is IBM’s multi-faceted supercomputer that’s been developed as an analyst and consultant to various industries. It consumes information from massive web databases to give answers to inputted questions. “Applying the power of IBM Watson to these unique challenges differentiates us in the natural resources industry,” said Mark Fawcett, partner with IBM Canada.
“We are using accelerated computing power for complex geospatial queries that can harmonize geological data from an entire site on a single platform. This is the first time this solution has been ever used, which makes this project all the more significant.”
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