Analytics platform SAS is planning to invest $1 billion in AI over the next three years through software innovation, education and expert services.

The company already has a foundation in AI by means of advanced analytics, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision.

The investment will focus on three core areas, research and development 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 optimise customer return on AI projects.

Jim Goodnight, CEO at SAS said, “At SAS, we remain dedicated to our customers and their success, and this investment is another example of that commitment.

“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.”

With its R&D innovation, SAS said it is embedding AI capabilities into the SAS Platform and solutions for data management, customer intelligence, fraud and security intelligence and risk management, as well as applications for industries including financial services, government, health care, manufacturing and retail.

The company will continue to partner with companies like Accenture, Cisco, Deloitte, Intel and NVIDIA.

This work brings the latest advances and practices in AI and machine learning to customers, and ensures SAS AI technologies perform optimally in customers’ hardware and cloud environments.

Dave Schubmehl, research director for artificial intelligence at IDC said, “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.

“Combining SAS’ knowledge and technology with its continued push to innovate in computer vision, 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.”

SAS said its customer education and development initiatives such as the new SAS AI accelerator program will focus on helping organisations and professionals get AI-ready at any level.

Resources and talent are also part of the investment. SAS will augment its AI expertise through additional resources in professional services, centers of excellence, education and R&D.

SAS’ newest headquarters building in Cary, North Carolina hosts its new global education center, which according to the company 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 optimise energy and water usage.

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