The beginning of AI in the enterprise

By the “end of 2016 more than 80 of the world’s 100 largest enterprise software companies by revenues will have integrated cognitive technologies into their products”, said Deloitte.

On Monday Microsoft announced it had purchased Genee, a smart scheduling app startup. Genee’s artificial intelligence technology will be integrated into Microsoft’s Office 365.

Microsoft has been actively acquiring similar businesses this year in order to make sure it is well placed for the digital revolution, which will see AI at its core.

It has already purchased app development platform Xamarin, intelligent smartphone keyboard SwiftKey, and LinkedIn for more than $26 billion.

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These acquisitions reflect a growing trend of AI adoption in businesses, and for Microsoft it represents an ambition to build intelligent productivity software and services using AI.

“Today’s announcement that Microsoft has acquired AI technology company Genee signals the starting whistle for AI in the enterprise,” comments Michael Hack, SVP of EMEA operations at Ipswitch.

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AI integration is certainly an increasing theme within the workplace.

Research carried out by Ipswitch highlighted that 42% of IT professionals use autonomous tools, while 25% expected fully autonomous self-learning robots to be functioning independently within a business setting in less than three years.

Cognitive systems were identified by the International Data Corporation (IDC) as one of the main accelerators that will drive digital transformation by opening new revenue streams, creating information-based organisations, and changing the way work is performed.

It has predicted that by 2019 global spending on cognitive systems will reach nearly $31.3 billion, and recognised cognitive applications (solutions) as the fastest growing category – set to reach $13.4 billion by 2019 – of these cognitive systems.

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“Unstructured and semi-structured data is fueling a renaissance in the handling and analysis of information, resulting in a new generation of tools and capabilities that promise to offer intelligent assistance, advice, and recommendations to consumers and knowledge workers around the world,” said David Schubmehl, research director, Cognitive Systems and Content Analytics at IDC.

Fundamentally, the aim of enterprise AI adoption is to develop intelligent, human-thinking, capabilities and solutions, in order to drive digital transformation, but also survive in it.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...