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) …
SpendEdge, a leading provider of procurement market intelligence solutions, has announced the completion of their latest article on the impact of AI in procurement functions. This press release features multimedia. Artificial intelligence possesses the potential to support key businesses processes and procurement is no exception. It can improve the forecasting accuracy of end-customer demand for finished goods and material requirements by improving the efficiency of procurement organizations. Also, the use of AI in procurement can help optimize resources, develop pricing initiatives, and transform every single business function.
"How do we bring the'Amazon effect' into our organization?" Amazon is changing how consumers view the world; procurement professionals cannot afford to ignore consumers' perceptions of how simple business-to-business (B2B) interactions should now be. In our Procurement As-a-Service Blueprint, we use the term'Amazon-effect' to describe a move to simple, seamless, digital buying experiences, with procurement becoming more user-focused, driven by more technology and changed user expectations. 'Amazonification' is one of the five driving forces in the transformation of procurement: 'Amazonification' driven by the "Triple-A Trifecta" of automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics Cloud-based platforms Partnership ecosystems Sourcing and category management talent Blockchain or distributed ledger technologies (DLT) 'Amazonification' driven by the "Triple-A Trifecta" of automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics Amazon has created a de-facto standard for purchasing experiences: simple, easy and accommodating to the user. Many people wonder why buying at work should be so different from buying as a consumer.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- JAGGAER, the world's largest independent spend management company, announces an upcoming webinar with a deep analysis of the actionable application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the procurement process. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, July 23rd, 11-11:45 AM ET: Register here. This webinar is designed to address AI in companies that have already integrated a program into their digital transformation roadmap, and companies that are in the midst of considering an investment. Through applying Big Data with AI, the procurement function becomes an important provider of insights and guidance for increasingly complex supply chains. The resulting information yields better and more precise decisions with lower costs, however arriving at this state requires procurement departments to initiate new ways of thinking and acting, to support the adoption of new technologies.
For the modern enterprise, services done well often drive growth. For example, quality IT infrastructure services and/or outsourced marketing can accelerate a company's competitive advantage in multiple ways. Although it's sometimes hard to measure the specific outcomes that services yield, they can have a major impact on a company's results, such as with more successful marketing campaigns, digital transformations, legal wins or other organizational efforts. That's why, in recent years, many Fortune 100 companies have significantly increased spend on service providers to meet competitive, productivity and business velocity demands. Companies can't hire and cultivate enough internal expertise as the work gets more sophisticated and specialized and the opportunities more global.
In 2017 Gartner predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) would benefit procurement and sourcing technology. That moment has arrived, according to Mike Quindazzi, managing director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and top financial-tech influencer. "We're now in the golden age of AI, where advancements come from voluminous sets of data, new algorithms being created, computing power and the ability to do this in the cloud at scale," said Quindazzi. Procurement data has exploded because procurement has evolved into something called "intelligent spend management," which oversees all corporate purchasing processes including direct and indirect purchases, travel and external labor. Quindazzi cautions that while AI has many use cases in procurement, such as rating vendors, "there will always be a human at the end of AI processes, so there needs to be a sense of accountability."
During the past two decades, procurement is consistently evolving from a clerical back office function to a strategic business function. Procurement organizations are largely globalized to engage with the global supply base. The source-to-pay process is highly integrated in centralized IT and ERP systems. Mature technologies, like cloud, central master data base, or an integrated IT landscape are widely adapted. Emerging technologies, like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Chatbots or Blockchain are only at a small number of procurement organizations implemented.
Within a highly competitive field of profound technology innovations, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is clearly at the head of the pack. It's frequently recognized as the technological forerunner when it comes to revolutionary levels of enablement. Its potential power and influence is far reaching across verticals and functions. From finance to pharmaceuticals, logistics fleets to CRM – AI is impacting almost every layer of the modern organization. This has not gone unnoticed by lines of business leading from the operations floor right up to the C-suite, which is increasingly acknowledging the magnitude of opportunity surrounding AI, as well as the processes, platforms and risks that underlie it.
Governments around the world are under pressure to operate more efficiently, serve citizens better, and provide more satisfying working environments for their employees. Lessons from the private sector show automation at scale has the potential to serve those purposes, but to get there governments must become more strategic in their approach, embrace new technologies, and be prepared to act at scale. Process automation and technologies based on artificial intelligence can bring benefits across numerous functions of government, including much lower operating costs, more efficient processes, and less wastage and errors. McKinsey estimates that as many as four out of five processes in HR, finance, and application processing are at least partially automatable, with the potential to reduce costs by at least 30 percent. The benefits of automation can be achieved relatively quickly.
The idea of chatbots has been around since the mid 1960s. ELIZA was the first of its kind, created in the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Since then, though, there has been a proliferation of chatbots. When they first began to become more widespread and available to the general public, in the late 1990s, they mainly served in customer service roles. It is for this reason that chatbot hackathons have grown in popularity.
While AI in its most basic form of "assisted intelligence" is readily available in many modern procurement and sourcing platforms, as evidenced in our previous briefings (AI in Procurement and AI in Sourcing), it has not yet creeped into optimization. The most advanced platforms have limited themselves to easy constraint creation, data verification and detection of hard constraints that prevent solutions -- as in the case of Coupa -- or easy data population, wizard-based scenario creation (using standard model templates), and automation -- as in the case of Keelvar. In the former case, the underlying statistical algorithms can be found at the heart of some modern machine learning technologies (but aren't quite there), and in the latter case, the robotic process automation (RPA) is nothing more than an automated, manually defined, workflow.