If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
As more organizations make serious efforts to digitally mature next year -- a surprising 74% are still early or just beginning to mature according to Deloitte's latest digital future's report -- one key question they're asking is what the right technology stack is to use as the basis. Given the breadth and depth required of most transformation efforts -- from the requisite technologies and operating processes to digital talent and business models -- the industry has learned that establishing an effective foundation for the digital future state is vital. In fact, I've found that transforming digitally on top of a strong set of digital fundamentals is a leading best practice that has been validated repeatedly as we look as recent examples of digital transformation, most notably at Nordstrom, General Electric, and TravelEx. So my trip to Barcelona a few weeks ago to SAP's information packed yearly TechEd event afforded me the opportunity to assess the company's latest platform evolution. My goal was to size it up with a lens towards assessing it as a digital transformation-ready platform.
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries innovate through simplification. From the back office to the boardroom, warehouse to storefront, on premise to cloud, desktop to mobile device - SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. Purpose and Objective: SAP Labs, LLC seeks a Software Developer at our Dublin, CA location to be responsible for development focusing on design, coding, testing, quality assurance of complex product features in a development team pertaining to Machine Learning as it relates to streaming data. Resolves complex issues within and around machine learning aspects inside a enterprise level systems kernel that is like a database kernel.
"There has been a dramatic increase in work in the last five or six years, coming from the exponential data explosion and an increase in audit regulation bureaucracy," Neil Kinson, chief of staff at enterprise process automation provider (and long-time SAP partner) Redwood Software, said in ZDNet last week. "The automation is being created to solve that problem, rather than to cut costs, [and] a lot of organizations are applying automation just to cope." And we may have only spotted the tip of this iceberg. "We'll see more innovation in the next two years than we have in the last 10 years, all driven by AI," Rod Drury, CEO and founder of New Zealand's cloud-based accountancy software provider Xero, said in Business Insider on Monday. "We're getting a fantastic hit because the fintech space is a relatively small domain with massive amounts of data, and it's inherently high value."
The world's biggest tech companies are investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI): software that can learn to think and solve problems in a human-like way. Each company takes a slightly different approach to making business processes smarter through the development and deployment of machine learning, or cognitive computing. David Schatsky, head of the trend-sensing program for the US innovation team at Deloitte said at the AI Summit in London earlier this year that the big victories in artificial intelligence over the last couple of decades have all been in games, from IBM's Deep Blue mastering chess in 1997, to Deep Mind's AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol at Go this year. Read next: 10 innovative businesses using IBM Watson: Which companies are using Watson's big data and analytics to power their business?
SAP SE is exploring augmented reality and intelligent assistant software in initiatives intended to boost employee productivity, according to new SAP CIO Thomas Saueressig, who at 31 is the youngest CIOworking for a global 2000 company. More productive employees will ultimately improve the business software maker's ability to serve customers, one of the German company's core tenets. "I fundamentally believe that the new generation and the expectations of our customers and our employees are changing so significantly," says Saueressig, who took over for Helen Arnold on May 1. "And we need to shift our focus purely on the end-user [employees and customers]." Saueressig is something of a rarity among first-time IT leaders. As a millennial, he is a member of a generation HPE CEO Meg Whitman describes as as supremely confident if not entitled.
As SAP continues to makes its own transition into the cloud, the company is also focused on delivering applications that will help customers make that same change simpler. At this year's recently held SAP Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, Florida, a key theme for the company was introducing machine learning to its HANA cloud platform. CEO Bill McDermott predicted that over the next five to 10 years the hype will be around machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality. "I think very strongly that intelligent applications will fundamentally change the way you do work in the enterprise and the way you collaborate with your trading partners outside of the enterprise," McDermott said. He went on to say that machine learning has the capabilities to help businesses make more informed decisions around how they can better serve their end-customer.
Expanded partnerships with big cloud providers Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) were among the announcements at Sapphire Now in Orlando, Fla. SAP said it will deliver broader support for SAP HANA on Microsoft Azure to enable big data apps to run while still being protected by enterprise-level security and compliance. SAP said that Amazon's new instances, called X1, are available for SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, and SAP Business Warehouse on HANA. Dell and SAP are also collaborating on an IoT effort, including an IoT client for SAP HANA and transaction availability for remote suites working in connection with Dell Edge Gateways for industries such as oil and gas, and retail. Finally this week, AtScale, a company that provides a self-service BI platform that works with Hadoop data, has secured a B-round of funding that brings its total funding to date to 20 million.
Expanded partnerships with big cloud providers Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) were among the announcements at Sapphire Now in Orlando, Fla. SAP said it will deliver broader support for SAP HANA on Microsoft Azure to enable big data apps to run while still being protected by enterprise-level security and compliance. SAP said that Amazon's new instances, called X1, are available for SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, and SAP Business Warehouse on HANA. Dell and SAP are also collaborating on an IoT effort, including an IoT client for SAP HANA and transaction availability for remote suites working in connection with Dell Edge Gateways for industries such as oil and gas, and retail. Finally this week, AtScale, a company that provides a self-service BI platform that works with Hadoop data, has secured a B-round of funding bringing its total funding to date to 20 million.
In this context, business application journey has not finished yet. Over this subject, SAP believes on the use of machine learning technology supporting business processes to achieve truly "work liberation". The idea is to have the machine learning from input data and provide a decision on the expected decision to make based on what is happening. SAP has expressed the commitment for supporting customers journey to obtain the best assets for real insight through the pillars of innovation and empathy.
MyPOV: The SAP ecosystem wants APIs largely to gain access to data in SAP systems and external systems in order to create new apps and services, executive board member Bernd Leukert told me during a Q&A session. The two big categories are SAP BusinessObjects Cloud (formerly SAP Cloud for Analytics) and SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise for everything BI/analytics that runs on premises. The recently acquired Roambi mobile analytics app portfolio is now SAP BusinessObjects Roambi, and it's included with BusinessObjects Cloud and offered with BusinessObjects Enterprise as a low-cost option. The SAP Digital Consumer Insight Service announced at SAPPHIRE offers the equivalent of these measures for the physical world.