How is the office of ServiceNow Hyderabads
Shaping the future of work today -Display-
What do broadband coverage and artificial intelligence have in common? Answer: The "last mile". Both technologies have a hard time getting to where they are needed most. With broadband, it is households, especially those in rural areas. In the case of artificial intelligence, it is the applications, especially those that are directly linked to human work.
The Canadian startup Element AI has been committed to exploring and shaping this interface between artificial intelligence and human work since it was founded. "Our mission is to reinvent the intelligent collaboration between people and machines. We make progress probable, further developments feasible and breakthroughs credible," is the company motto.
Element AI will be allowed to pursue this mission on a much larger scale from next year. The startup was taken over by ServiceNow last month and is intended to help within the group "to build the most intelligent workflow platform in the world". With the help of the Now Platform, users should be able to "work smarter and faster, optimize business decisions and open up new levels of productivity."
Not the first AI takeover
Element AI is in good company. In the last 12 months alone, another three AI startups - Loom Systems, Passage AI and Sweagle - were taken over - and they, too, had not found a "green AI field" at ServiceNow. Before them, seven more AI specialists joined ServiceNow: Appsee, Attivio, Parlo, SkyGiraffe, FriendlyData, Qlue and DxContinuum.
ServiceNow's AI activities have been coordinated since last March under the leadership of Chief AI Officer Vijay Narayanan. The seasoned AI expert was previously Head of Content and Discovery Engineering at Pinterest and before that Head of Algorithms and Data Science Solutions at Microsoft. His big challenge at ServiceNow is to make AI part of the workflow.
"Machine learning has made tremendous advances on the research side," says Narayanan. “But when it comes to applying and using machine learning to make a real business contribution, I don't think it has been as effective. Machine learning leverages data and trains models to make a series of recommendations and communicate them to you, the user what to do next - it gives you little pointers or a series of recommendations. But most organizations have a hard time translating those decisions and recommendations into real action. "
Turn insights into action
This is exactly what Narayanan calls "the last mile problem" because the AI platforms are usually outside of the area where the real work takes place. Integrating these two parts with each other and setting up fully automated systems that train models and execute actions is still very difficult for most companies. But this is exactly what would provide companies with the relevant business results.
"If you are able to bring high-quality AI functions into the workflow platform, you are sort of closing the last mile," explains Narayanan. This would provide great opportunities not only to formulate specific recommendations on the basis of analyzes and predictions, but also to activate and control actual measures.
But that's exactly why Narayanan finds his job at ServiceNow so appealing. "Can we leverage these AI capabilities for high-level, complete use cases and bring them natively into the workflow platform? If you are able to do all of this on a single platform with a unified data model and architecture, I think you can increase very, very much after the contribution of AI to the company. "
The music doesn't just play in Canada
For this reason, Element AI should also play a special role in ServiceNow's AI network and not just because it has an AI luminary in its own ranks in Yoshua Bengio - Bengio had won the prestigious Turing Award for AI research in 2018. Rather, because Element AI's work relates to the area of workflows and thus to the core competence of ServiceNow. That's why the company will set up an AI Innovation Hub in Canada to accelerate customer-centric AI innovations in the Now Platform.
The concentrated AI competence in Canada, but also in Chicago, Kirkland, San Diego, Hyderabad and in the Service Now headquarters in Santa Clara, will also be necessary, because the challenge is great, even if the task is easy to formulate: "We have to make AI very easy to use without a lot of data scientists or machine learning engineers," says Naranayan.
If you want to know how ServiceNow is already making artificial intelligence part of the Now Platform, you should take a look at AIOps, the AI-supported IT service management from ServiceNow.
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