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AI poised for a business breakthrough by delivering content smarts to workers

Published: January 21st, 2019 By: Cindy Baker

Box

While Canadian CEOs understand the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), many struggle to implement it useful ways. Expert market-watchers say that’s about to change.

The use of AI-driven content management practices can deliver measurable results for companies, according to a Gartner report. Forrester predicts that the combination of enterprise content management and analytics will hit a “cognitive tipping point” by 2021, if not sooner.

AI tools make it easier for teams to find and work with content, speeding up business processes. For example, it can be used to quickly spot specific people or objects in photography files or security footage, saving hours of searching.

“This has the potential to be a fundamentally transformative wave of technology,” said Mike Schwartz, Product Marketing Manager with Box. “Some experts say it will have even more impact than the cloud did on the way businesses work in the digital age.”

Capitalizing on content

Businesses have to manage an ever-increasing amount of data. Gartner anticipates that, by 2021, enterprises will experience an 800 per cent increase in data generated, and 80 per cent of that will be unstructured content, like documents and images.

As the data grows, it’s getting more difficult, time-consuming and expensive to make sense of it all. The average employee spends 136 minutes per week looking for documents, said Schwartz. Sometimes, sensitive information can fall through the cracks.

At the same time, major cloud providers are making big investments in AI to help businesses take advantage of the power of machine learning, Schwartz said.  AI solutions have been used mostly by data scientists, but not shared throughout the organization. Now, with the availability of scalable and inexpensive computing power, the goal is to put rich insights into the hands of the people that would make use of them, said Schwartz.

Real world applications

AI solutions have been developed to solve a wide range of specific business tasks. They can, for example, extract information from customer contracts for legal teams or pull details off of a licence to help onboard new employees or customers faster. They can even turn audio calls or handwriting to written text. The possibilities are endless, but how does it all come together?

Box has developed a framework called “Box Skills” that gives businesses the ability to analyse their content on the Box cloud content management platform using any AI technology they want. Companies could employ anything from IBM Watson to an algorithm they’ve developed themselves to pull greater value from their data, said Schwartz. It’s easy to set up because it applies AI to the existing Box cloud content management system that all employees use every day, he added.

To realize the benefits of AI, it’s important for businesses to select the right use cases when they start out, said Ravneet Uberoi, Product Manager for Box Skills. It should be applied to “repeatable processes” where there is a large repository of information that people use on a regular basis, and where there is a lot manual entry or verification. “Start with the most manual processes,” said Uberoi. “That’s where machine learning is very powerful, allowing employees to focus on higher value tasks.”

To learn more about how AI can help you get more value from your content, see Box Skills