How Can Artificial Intelligence and Data Visualization Help Assess Threat?


Until recently, methods to identify global risks with data have been misunderstood and underutilized. Using data visualization and artificial intelligence to provide predictive analytics is now possible because of advances in both technology and new understandings of threat and risk. The resulting product helps NGO’s, businesses and governments create conditions for people to live secure, healthy, and fulfilled lives.


Global risks have become increasingly complex for organizations due to rapid changes in society and technology. These challenges are further complicated by worldwide issues like climate change, mass migration, food and water security. Threats to business and government are now stacked in complex ways. Easy visualizations are needed to help decision-makers cut through the noise.

Complex Global Challenges

Businesses and governments alike are increasingly concerned about issues of disruption and violence. Conditions forglobal conflict are now more volatile, due to complex interactions between society, technology, the environment, and political factors. The immensity of these global challenges affects organizations in many ways. Supply chains are disrupted, global trade becomes distressed, and organizational continuity is challenged.


New Solutions

Although conflict and threat are on the rise, and made worse by complex factors such as climate change and human trafficking, the world has made incredible strides in technology. While the capability wrought by advances computing and artificial intelligence (A.I.) were thought to be vast, it has been un-clear how these faculties could begin assessing such dire challenges. Until now.


To understand how this is possible, it is important to understand how A.I. capabilities have evolved in recent years.

We may think of A.I. machine learning applications such as Siri and Alexa, or the autopilot systems within self-driving cars. These incorporate aspects of A.I., but the meaning of ‘artificial intelligence’ is far more complex. Rather than teaching rules to computers, as humans have done since their invention, A.I. is capable of learning from computation, and adjusting programming accordingly. Algorithms adapt and adjust dynamically based upon changes the human behavior it encounters. Our understanding of conflict has also changed, and quantitative analysis of instability and global conflict is not a new concept. Researchers have sought for years to develop quantitative models combined with qualitative insights to predict security concerns, to little avail. Implementing A.I. within this process  opens innovative doors for global capability. By learning from deviation from standard modeling practices, A.I. systems  begin to learn when and how emergent trends lead to terroristattacks, social unrest, or supply chain disruption. These are just a few examples of the scenarios that can be explored.


Data Sources

Data is quite literally all around us, and is growing in complexity and size due to sensors connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). The problem has always been, and will continue to be, what to do with such a vast amount of information.

“Computer power is growing,

algorithms and A.I. models

are becoming more

sophisticated, and, perhaps

most important of all, the

world is generating once unimaginable

volumes of the

fuel that powers A.I. data.

Billions of gigabytes every

day, collected by networked

devices ranging from web

browsers to turbine sensors.”

-McKinsey Analytics


Selected Risk Types

The following is a sample of the type of risk that can be visualized:

-Political: Policy changes that affect organizational continuity stemming from elections, riots, public unrest and abrupt legislative changes.

-Economics Tariffs and non-tariff barriers, compliance, legal and logistic risks.

-Social: Reputational risk, populism, fake-news.

-Environmental: Climate change, pollution, soil salinity, drought, deforestation.

-Human Life: Food insecurity, water, insecurity, human rights abuses, and human trafficking.

-Security: Terrorism, Counter Violent, Extremism Sentiment Monitoring, threats to people, property and infrastructure.

Data Visualization and A.I. Solutions

Most existing work in A.I. and risk has been done in the context of cyber threats and enterprise security. While this is certainly a useful part of understanding how companies stay safe, it underestimates the capability of combinations of systems to tackle more complex issues.

For example, the widespread use of social media provides an ideal source for gathering context and sentiment. Natural language processing can be used to assimilate and compile the sentiment of social messaging. One can imagine how useful this tool might be to supply chain procurement managers, or chief risk officers. When factors like drought cause social unrest, they in turn disrupt supply chains and put human lives in danger. The complexity of this new landscape for risk managers and analysts requires methods that strengthen human analysis.

A.I. shows promise in solving this issue by learning baseline facts about people, places, and things. Learning by artificial intelligence occurs by combining readily accessible, structured and unstructured data inputs. Subsequently, the A.I. learns the nuances of the sentiment being expressed on social media by observing deviations from the baseline, and new methods of analysis are derived. The insights that result are of high value to those responsible for mitigating risk inside an organization.


Data Source Categories 

  1. Internal Organization Data

2. Open Source Political Risk, Economic, Other External Data

3. Social Media Sentiment and Web Scraping


Sample A.I. Solutions


-Supply Chain Procurement Officers

make decisions based on the rapid

visualization of vast amounts of



-Global Operations Directors see

granular detail around local

sentiment and risk.


-The Intelligence Community

assesses emerging threats by rapidly

compiling and coordinating the

analysis of many hundreds of

thousands of documents at once,

like speeches, newspapers and press



-Humanitarian Organizations quickly

understand the drivers of local

grievances by monitoring social

media sentiment and food and

water conditions.


Lynx Global Intelligence is a risk advisory group and consulting firm engaged in providing

“ground truth” analysis and helping clients mitigate risk. Based on insightful and diverse

analytical models and social media intelligence, Lynx illuminates risk and opportunities. Lynx

provides actionable intelligence that supports projects and organizations around the world, with an emphasis on

promoting human dignity and security.

LYNX Dashboard Visualization on iPhone – Terrorist Attacks (red), Political Violence (yellow), and Health Clinics (Blue) in Tripoli, Libya
Dashboard Streams Live Data to the User and Decision Makers Using a Customized Set of Data Inputs

LYNX Dashboard on iPhone