Research Director, European Software Group
Exactly 60 years after artificial intelligence research began as a scientific discipline (according to Wikipedia) the promise of cognitive computing is suddenly being realized. Announcements of exciting, powerful new AI-driven services, like Amazon Alexa and Google’s Assistant, are coming thick and fast. Breakthroughs like Google/Deepmind’s new London Transport navigator, or its defeat of the Korean Go champion, have captured the popular imagination.
This AI revolution is not restricted to consumer apps. A revolution is now washing over “conventional”, old-school business software, and soon most large e-business suites will include a component of machine intelligence. Recent announcements in this sphere include Oracle’s Adaptive Intelligent Applications and Salesforce’s new “Einstein” cognitive application capabilities: these will underpin its entire application suite. SAP’s Concur unit recently acquired Hipmunk with its AI-powered travel advisor. Microsoft is about to start shipping the latest version of its Dynamic Insights 365 offering, featuring “Customer Insights” and “Relationship Insights” leveraging its Cortana Intelligence Suite. Another company to watch is Sage which has very publicly experimented with Chatbot technology to give a natural language interface and ease of use for small and micro-business users.
IDC calls the application of intelligent technologies to business suites “i-ERP.” This is not just about a better user experience or making processes a bit easier to operate – though it does include those. i-ERP will be a key tool in the digital transformation that is a strategic, board-level imperative for businesses across Europe, indeed the world. It will be an essential counterpart to the vastly growing amounts of information from new, smart connected devices (the IoT). i-ERP will leverage machine learning and predictive analytics, allowing users to discover insights, better predict and plan for outcomes, recommend the best next steps, and automate and optimize processes, using the combined power of the cloud and massive data sets to adapt its behavior and transform the user/customer experience.
Over the next few years, momentum will build for companies to replace their ‘systems of record’ with ‘systems of intelligence.’ AI will be at its heart.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cognitive Computing and Artificial Intelligence, please contact Philip Carnelley.