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SAS Announces $1 Billion Investment in Artificial Intelligence

By Ken Briodagh
April 03, 2019

According to a recent announcement, SAS is investing $1 billion in AI over the next three years through software innovation, education, expert services and more. The commitment reportedly builds on SAS’ foundation in AI, which includes advanced analytics, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision. Educational programs and expert services will equip business leaders and data scientists for the future of AI, with the technology, skills and support they need to transform their organizations.

“At SAS, we remain dedicated to our customers and their success, and this investment is another example of that commitment,” said Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS. “With our innovative capabilities in AI, SAS helps businesses deter damaging fraud, fight deadly disease, better manage risk, provide exemplary service to customers and citizens, and much more.”

The $1 billion investment in AI will focus on three main areas: Research and Development (R&D) innovation where SAS continues to build on the success of its global AI efforts; education initiatives addressing customer needs to better understand and benefit from AI; and expert services to optimize customer return on AI projects.

R&D Innovation
SAS is investing in R&D innovation in all core areas of AI, with a special focus on making it easy for users with different skill levels to benefit. SAS is embedding AI capabilities into the SAS Platform and solutions for data management, customer intelligence, fraud & security intelligence and risk management, in addition to applications for industries including financial services, government, health care, manufacturing and retail.

SAS continues to partner with innovative companies and leading technology providers like Accenture, Cisco, Deloitte, Intel and NVIDIA.

SciSports, an innovative Dutch sports-analytics startup, is applying computer vision from SAS to data streaming from soccer, or football, matches. SAS AI technology running on NVIDIA GPUs delivers in-game insights to coaches and managers. By capturing and analyzing this and other data, football clubs can improve many aspects of “the beautiful game,” including in-game strategy, player recruitment and the fan experience.

“The reason SAS tops the revenue list for advanced analytics for the last five years is that SAS solutions are built on a foundation of machine learning and deep knowledge of analytics. These are part of SAS’ DNA,” said Dave Schubmehl, Research Director for Artificial Intelligence, IDC. “Combining SAS’ knowledge and technology with its continued push to innovate in computer vison, NLP and deep learning will drive further adoption of AI across multiple industries. And it will help companies interested in AI – whether early in their AI and analytics life cycle or more mature.”

Customer Education and Development Initiatives
Customer education and development initiatives such as the new SAS AI Accelerator Program will focus on helping organizations and professionals get AI-ready at any level. SAS will offer:

  • Tailored curricula to help organizations improve AI skills through the SAS Academy for Data Science and in-person training in AI technologies, best practices and more
  • Certification programs that help analytics professionals and data scientists earn the credential of SAS Certified Professional in AI and Machine Learning.
  • The SAS Analytics Center of Excellence, a group of PhDs and advanced experts in AI, machine learning, NLP, computer vision, optimization, simulation and related data science skills.
  • SAS will augment its AI expertise through additional resources in Professional Services, Centers of Excellence, Education and R&D

AI and Analytics in Action
As the latest addition to the SAS smart campus project, SAS’ newest headquarters building, a 420,000 sq. ft. tower which hosts the new Global Education Center, uses the latest innovations in AI and machine learning to connect performance with business results. The new building features thousands of IoT connected sensors – embedded in chillers, boilers and air handlers – that monitor water and energy use. Through neural networks using SAS Event Stream Processing, the SAS facilities team will track sensors and systems performance in real time to enhance predictive maintenance (identifying equipment problems before they become major) and optimize energy and water usage. Underscoring SAS’ commitment to sustainability, nearly half of the new building’s power is supplied by the adjacent SAS Solar Farm.

Among the many customers using AI and machine learning from SAS are:

  • Connexions Loyalty – works with top brands on customer-loyalty programs serving more than 200 million people worldwide. The company relies on a SAS AI-powered personalization engine to better market to and improve the loyalty of its clients’ customers.
  • Daiwa Securities – created a SAS AI-powered recommendation system for its sales representatives. The system analyzes and predicts changes for each customer, recommending the most suitable product or appropriate follow-up messages to engage customers and reduce churn.
  • Volvo and Mack Trucks – uses AI solutions from SAS to analyze IoT data streaming from big rigs, and then offer predictive maintenance insights that help fleets to keep on trucking.



Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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