Ask 9W—Watson for oil and gas

Edgar Online founders team with IBM on ‘Siri-like’ artificial intelligence solution.

Susan and Marc Strausberg’s 9W Search start-up claims to provide a ‘Siri-like’ function targeting oil and gas users. Ask 9W answers detailed questions about US oil and gas in what is claimed to be a more informative fashion than Google.

Ask 9W is powered through a partnership with IBM Watson using the cognitive computing technology atop of 9W Search’s Edgar-style structured data of US companies’ financials. A demonstration video is available showing typical use cases. These include queries relating to mergers and acquisitions, companies’ latest cash flow numbers and the like.

In a blog posting Strausberg plugs the tool as providing opportunities for investors and traders who need to ‘pay close attention to current key metrics before they make any purchase of shares in oil companies.’ Often critical information, such as a companies hedged position, is ‘buried in hard-to-find places in filings.’ The 9W/Watson combo answers complex questions like ‘What is the average price of oil in current derivative contracts and other hedging instruments that protect the company’s present and future cash flow.’

The answer may be salutary as small and medium sized companies’ debt burden often have draconian terms which may not be obvious to the casual investor. The Strausbergs co-founded the Edgar Online company information service in 1993. The company was sold to RR Donnely in 2012.

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