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The theme of the Infosys Confluence 2017 event, taking place this week in San Francisco, is "Unlimit," which executives at the IT services and consulting firm acknowledge is technically not a word, at least not one that can be found in a dictionary or be used to score points in Scrabble.
The made-up term represents how artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies can be used unlock the potential of enterprises, their workforces, and to an extent, society at large. A new Lewis Research study commissioned by Infosys reveals that AI is already beginning to "unlimit" some businesses.
The vast majority of organizations (91 percent) said the implementation of AI technologies enables businesses processes to flow more efficiently and occur in real time.
The research group quizzed 1,070 IT and business decision makers at U.S. organizations with more than $500 million in revenue and 1,000 employees. And the firm's findings also reveal that AI's benefits extend into other areas.
Eighty-five percent of respondents reported that their AI technology deployments had the biggest impact on improving productivity. AI is also and helping business leaders fill up gaps in "tribal knowledge" (84 percent) and free up time, allowing them to focus their attention on more creative endeavors (88 percent).
Of those who reported significant progress in their AI-enabled digital transformation journey, nearly all (98 percent) said they were able to increase sales. More than half (56 percent) of all organizations that have embraced AI can trace more than $10 million in revenue back to their AI applications.
AI's potential to disrupt and transform the modern enterprise has pushed the once-enigmatic branch of computer science into the mainstream, admitted Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys.
"We hear a lot about AI today," Sikka said on stage during his keynote address. Setting aside the deafening buzz surrounding the technology nowadays, he said one of his hopes during the conference was to "get some more of substantive of a discussion of what AI can mean for us" and its effects on IT industry and the world at large.
For businesses, at least, Infosys is focused on improving access to AI technologies. The company's efforts on that front hinge on Nia, the company's AI platform that builds on its earlier Mana effort and AssistEdge, a robotic process automation solution.
Launched last month, Nia is an "AI platform that brings together all the work that we were doing before as well as many new capabilities," said Sikka. Nia includes AssistEdge's functionality with Mana's cognitive automation and scalable machine learning technologies from Skytree (also acquired by Infosys), along with big data analytics, natural language processing and infrastructure management and other functionality.
Combined, Nia's capabilities can be used to automate complex business processes, solve vexing problems and help organizations more nimbly react to market forces. Use cases include predicting the variability material and manufacturing costs while shortening product development cycles or create "a customer genome" that brands can use to more targeted and effective marketing, among several others.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.