The moment you read this, another spectacular SAP TechEd keynote by Chief Technology Officer Bjoern Goerke is in the books. I like SAP TechEd for several reasons: Developers from all over the world come together to get insights into SAP’s product roadmaps, to discuss with and learn from experts.
In my role as head of Machine Learning (ML) at SAP, I am personally excited to see and experience the fantastic things customers and partners are doing with our solutions, such as Daimler leveraging ML to increase its customers car purchasing experience or Interprint, together with our partner T.CON, using ML image services to offer appropriate decors to furniture designers.
SAP TechEd is also the best way to exchange with the people for whom we are aiming to create simple and effective software. So before you enter the show floor to immerse yourself into the conference, I’d like to start the discussion and tell you the four most important things you need to know about machine learning at SAP TechEd in 2018.
1. We Provide Intelligent Foundations to Mount ML into Every Application
Implementing machine learning in the enterprise is now as simple as ever before. SAP Leonardo Machine Learning offers intelligent solutions for developers, which they can use to consume, design, and scale machine learning according to their individual needs. The pre-trained and customizable service APIs available on these foundations can be used by any developer, regardless of his or her machine learning experience, as enterprise-grade toolboxes to augment business processes with ML-enhanced applications.
At SAP TechEd, we announced five new service APIs, like scene text recognition, customizable image segmentation, and Google Cloud Text-to-Speech, as well as the train-your-own-model capability that uses our cloud-based environment with latest GPUs to simplify and accelerate training of your own models. Going forward, we will enhance the existing solutions and continue to work on our roadmap toward one single ML solution.
It is our goal to deliver a unified experience across all SAP technologies, simplifying the deployment of machine learning models into production, and easing the burden on IT organizations that have to manage the life cycle and integration of machine learning into their corporate environments. Stay tuned for updates in 2019!
2. We Pave the Way for Smooth Chatbot Building Processes
With a bot-building community of more than 40,000 developers worldwide, SAP Conversational AI offers all tools to integrate conversational agents to revolutionize customer service. At SAP TechEd, we kick off the enterprise grade offer of SAP Conversational AI. Five major modules, such as enterprise bot management, Q&A bot generator, and versioning, will make bot building even easier for any corporation wishing to automate customer support with chatbots. Now, our entire bot building tool is major corporation-compliant and allows you to build performing bots faster, more easily, and with a higher degree of performance and security.
3. We Make Robotic Process Automation Intelligent
Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to software that can be easily programmed to do basic tasks across multiple applications, just as human workers do. The robot can be built to click through a workflow, such as filing a form or updating a spreadsheet. Today, we announced intelligent robotic process automation, the combination of RPA, machine learning, and conversational AI into one end-to-end automation stack. Within intelligent robotic process automation, machine learning acts as the brain that is managing exceptions and guides the bot to execute on desired processes. Machine learning also enables the bot to interact with systems and make decisions as you would expect a person to. Chatbots serve as a natural and intuitive interface to the human workforce. First products are planned to be available in in the first quarter of 2019, starting with a robot infrastructure for cloud and on-premise editions of SAP S/4HANA.
4. We Take Responsibility with the Guiding Principles for AI
In late September, we launched the guiding principles for AI, a catalogue of directives to steer the development and deployment of our AI software. With the guiding principles, we commit to addressing the ethical and societal implications of the latest advances in technology and contribute to the public debate about this subject. It is our objective to carry on creating software that augments humanity to use their intellectual potential.
Markus Noga is head of Machine Learning at SAP.