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AI Is the Ultimate Enabler, and It’s within Your Organization’s Reach

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When an innovation like artificial intelligence becomes widely available, leaders ask: What will it let me do? Mostly everything.


We live in the AI Age. Just as in prior eras defined by technological innovation, the value of the central technology itself is inextricably bound to the further innovation it allows. The Bronze Age had bronze, yes. But what truly catapulted humanity into the future was the innovations in irrigation and agriculture that the bronze plow made possible. So too, today. It’s tempting to focus our attention primarily on the incredible pace of progress within the field of AI itself. But the real global transformation is happening in the cross-domain reinvention AI is enabling among innovators in all industries.

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The advent of affordable, intuitive, and accessible AI analytics has made it possible for professionals of all stripes to see and navigate their landscape of data in incredible new ways, revealing multidimensional paths forward that would have been entirely obscured or impassable without this technology. Sometimes, this route may not even lead to a new destination, but it may represent a much quicker or more efficient way to get there. This process innovation cannot be underestimated as a driver of success.

SAS Predictions_Kimberly Nava

When research creates too much data to handle

When the University of Alberta set out to increase its research capacity, they were faced with an intractably immense (and growing) volume of unstructured data. A jungle no conventional system could blaze a trail through. By implementing a modern AI-driven data management and analysis system, the university was able to set the stage for an ongoing cascade of new innovations, including an algorithm — currently in development by researchers — to reduce the number of CT scans required for children with neurological symptoms by at least 30 per cent, streamlining diagnosis and lowering exposure to radiation.

And because the university’s solution was built on SAS Viya, the system was easy to deploy and simple to train on, growing from existing skills in established technologies. “My advice to other universities considering a research platform is to consider the types of tools that their students will be using in the real world,” says Dr. Lawrence Richer, Vice-Dean of Research at the University of Alberta. “Also, the flexibility of tools, like SAS Viya, to meet the needs of people with varied skill levels is crucial.”

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Distributing AI solutions through the cloud

Systems like SAS Viya take advantage of another key innovation of the AI Age, cloud computing. Through integration with ubiquitous cloud technologies like Microsoft Azure, these solutions make the innovative power of AI available to organizations of all sizes without the need to bring complicated machine learning architecture in-house, where it will require continual maintenance and improvement. In health-care settings particularly, this has allowed once stagnant processes to leapfrog to the cutting edge painlessly, securely, and affordably.

“As your data grows, your solution should too,” said DJ Penix, President and CEO of SAS partner Pinnacle Solutions. And as your solution grows, navigating legislation that protects people’s privacy becomes crucial as well. “SAS, which invests a lot in R&D in its analytic tools, is thoroughly tested and meets regulatory requirements.”

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As your data grows, your solution should too.

At this moment, leaders across all sectors can be at the forefront of the AI-enabled innovation shaping the future. And companies like SAS are ensuring that seizing that opportunity is as easy as possible. As SAS Chief Technology Officer Bryan Harris puts it: “We want to make sure that those customers have a path of least resistance to accelerate the adoption of AI and move to the cloud.”

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