Categories
AI

Google Cloud CEO predicts boom in business-process-as-a-service

Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.


Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian is focusing on automation and business process improvement as the company seeks to gain ground on cloud computing competitors.

Speaking at the virtual Automation Anywhere Imagine Digital conference, Kurian said a shift in focus to business processes as a service will define enterprises’ future cloud migrations.

The traditional on-ramp to the cloud was about technical integration. That meant migration of enterprise apps to virtual machines, data to cloud databases, and refactoring apps to scale more efficiently with microservices, Kurian said. Now, business executives’ traditional focus on practical business problems — the search for new opportunities, improving customer experiences, and reducing the costs — will come more into play.

“By abstracting the underlying technology, and making it easier and more efficient to get the business process, you can accelerate time to value,” Kurian said. “People really want to find places where they can unlock value. And the places where they unlock value are in every touchpoint with the customer.”

At the conference, Kurian weighed in on how ongoing efforts will strategically shift the on-ramp to the cloud. He said enterprises will work to streamline the way that they can define, execute, and operate a core business process, whether that is a loan origination process in a financial institution, an accounts receivable process in a traditional company, or an order to cash process in a manufacturing institution.

One of the daunting things about moving to the cloud is that businesses discover they are putting an “internal mess” on display for the world to see, Kurian said. Companies capable of cleaning up a business process mess will improve their time to market, predictability, and customer experiences.

Migrating processes to the cloud

Kurian expanded on the three-step processes involved in migrating business processes to the cloud.

The first step is to use data to understand what the most valuable processes might be to automate. This may be driven by cost reduction or seeking competitive advantage by speeding up, for example, the process of originating a loan compared to competitors.

The second step lies in finding the best way to automate the business process. Process mining and process discovery can find ways to reduce certain steps from the process. These can be implemented with RPA and low-code tools.

The third step lies in using analytics on the processes that have been automated to understand how the company could get even better, said Kurian. Process analytics tools can assess the value of automations, prioritize them, and calibrate the estimates with actual results.

He said the combination of better process automation and analytics tools using Google’s AI will allow executives to track the efficiency of the processes they have instrumented for constant improvement.

Expanding the territory of AI

Kurian argued the combination of better process tools with AI will support the next level of abstraction for natural language processing (NLP), one of Google’s strong suits.

Google started off by enabling NLP to understand and translate words, Kurian told the conference attendees. Then the company’s engineers saw there was more value in translating sentences. When they started applying these tools to customer service, they realized it was important to be able to interpret the ongoing conversation people were having about an issue, so that customers did not have to repeat themselves each time.

Kurian said that bringing business processes into NLP will extend the boundary of what AI can do even further. For example, an expert involved in approving loans may have focused on understanding and comparing certain fields in the application in making the loan. Once this process is digitized, the company can scale that particular person by capturing their process and decisions into an RPA bot. Kurian positioned this as “the core to streamlining how organizations function, and how organizations can improve the efficiency and speed of their core processes.”

Working together toward RPA advancement

For now, Google appears intent on pursuing alliances and partnerships in such key technology areas as RPA. That has occurred as players including Microsoft, IBM, and ServiceNow have acquired RPA-oriented startups.

Both Google Cloud and Automation Anywhere have made significant pivots recently to meld business services with cloud infrastructure. Just this year, these pivots aligned around a new partnership between the two to accelerate the adoption of RPA on a global scale. This included technology integration, joint solution development, and aligning sales and marketing efforts.

Google hired Kurian, a seasoned Oracle exec, to infuse a pragmatic business focus into its technology-centric commercial cloud undertaking. Meanwhile, Automation Anywhere took an extended pause on product development to migrate its core robotic process automation (RPA) platform to a native cloud architecture.

“Digitization requires complete front-to-back automation, not just for efficiency, but for competitive advantage, and that’s the vision that both our companies share,” Kurian said.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

Apple analyst predicts an 8-inch folding iPhone will arrive in 2023

Ming-Chi Kuo, the usually-reliable Apple analyst, is at it again with another prediction years in advance. According to Kuo, Apple may be planning to release its foldable iPhone in 2023.

As reported by MacRumors, Kuo claims that the foldable iPhone might sport an “8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display.” Kuo estimates that the company expects to sell 15-20 million folding units in 2023 “based on Apple’s requested capacity plan.”

Interestingly, Kuo notes that he expects Apple will adopt a fancier “silver nanowire” touchscreen because existing capacitive technology does not support more than one fold or rollable designs (Apple actually already used this technology in the HomePod).

This suggests Apple might be working on a phone with a flexible display that doesn’t just fold at the middle like the majority of existing folding devices. But then, that isn’t terribly surprising, since Apple tends to like to do things differently.

If the rumors pan out, we’d be curious to see how Apple could entice users to buy foldable phones. Folding phones have so far only really captured the enthusiast market; durability concerns and astronomical price tags are likely to blame.

Then again, people will buy anything with an Apple logo on it. And folding phones do feel like they will be the norm in the future, even if the technology isn’t totally there yet. Here’s hoping the next couple of years lead to enough advances in material science that we don’t have to worry about scratching an expensive folding phone with a fingernail.

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In –
and you can subscribe to it right here.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Taiwan predicts its chip industry will weather global shortage

Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.


(Reuters) — Taiwan’s key semiconductor industry has years of growth ahead of it with no worries about oversupply despite a massive capital investment program and only a few competitors in the next decade or so, a senior government minister said on Friday.

Kung Ming-hsin, the head of Taiwan’s economic planning agency, the National Development Council, told Reuters the business opportunities presented by the global transformation to a digital economy were “very, very enormous”.

Kung also sits on the board of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co as a representative of the largest shareholder, the government’s National Development Fund, which holds around 6% of the stock of the world’s most valuable semiconductor company.

He said between now and 2025, Taiwan companies have planned more than T$3 trillion ($107 billion) in investment in the semiconductor sector, citing expansion plans from chip giants including TSMC and Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing.

“Once they are built, Taiwan’s competitors in semiconductors in the next decade will be very few,” Kung said in an interview in his office building, which overlooks the presidential office.

Taiwan’s semiconductor firms are ramping up production to tackle a global chip shortage, which has affected everything from carmakers to consumer products, and meet booming demand following the work-from-home trend during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Soaring demand is set to continue, driven by 5G, artificial intelligence and electric vehicles, Kung said.

“In the next decade or even longer there won’t be oversupply for semiconductors,” he added, when asked if the massive investment plans could have a downside.

Taiwan is currently in the grip of its worst drought in more than half a century, but Kung said the impact on chip firms was limited at present, citing the amount of water they are able to recycle and the location of their main factories in Hsinchu in northern Taiwan, and in the island’s south.

“These two places are okay at the moment. So the impact on semiconductors is not bad.”

Still, Taiwan does face other challenges, not least from China where President Xi Jinping has made semiconductors a strategic priority.

Kung named Samsung Electronics as Taiwan’s most serious competitor and also able to match TSMC’s advanced chipmaking, but said U.S. tech restrictions had for now blunted the Chinese threat.

Intel — both a TSMC client and competitor — last month announced a $20 billion plan to expand its advanced chip making capacity.

Kung said there was perhaps room for TSMC to cooperate with Intel, but “what’s important is really how you upgrade yourself”.

To that end, the government is helping the industry develop the next generation of semiconductor manufacturing technology like 1 nanometre and beyond with funding support and talent recruitment programmes in the works, he added.

($1 = 28.1070 Taiwan dollars)

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

AI predicts numerous animals could host new coronaviruses

A new AI study has identified many more potential host species for new coronaviruses than are currently known.

Scientists from the University of Liverpool used machine learning to predict which mammals could be sources for new strains of the virus.

They detected a number of species implicated in previous outbreaks, including horseshoe bats, and pangolins — as well as some new candidates.

[Read: How Polestar is using blockchain to increase transparency]

The study also predicted that hedgehogs, rabbits, and domestic cats could host SARS-CoV-2, as well as numerous other coronaviruses:

Our results demonstrate the large underappreciation of the potential scale of novel coronavirus generation in wild and domesticated animals.

Finding the sources

The researchers used machine learning to predict the relations between 411 coronavirus strains and 876 potential mammal host species. 

This helped them identify animals that were most likely to be co-infected with different strains of the virus — which could cause a new one to emerge.

The researchers found at least 11 times more associations between mammal species and coronavirus strains than were previously known.

They also estimate that there are over 40 times more species that can be infected with four or more coronaviruses than have been observed to date.

“Given that coronaviruses frequently undergo recombination when they co-infect a host, and that SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious to humans, the most immediate threat to public health is recombination of other coronaviruses with SARS-CoV-2,” said study co-lead Dr Marcus Blagrove.

The research suggests there could be 30 times more host species for SARS-CoV-2 recombination than currently recognized. They include the dromedary camel, African green monkey, and the lesser Asiatic yellow bat.

Credit: University of Liverpoo.