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Infosys Nia™ – Making deliberate artificial intelligence a reality

April 26, 2017 - Puneet Suppal

I recently joined Infosys. Coming in from the outside I thought I had a fairly decent idea about what the Infosys AI platform might be about. I knew that in 2016 Infosys had announced an AI platform that was going to employ machine learning to amplify the deep knowledge of an organization to drive automation and innovation. With this platform, automation was being combined with knowledge and understanding of the business, and the IT landscape to solve customer challenges.

My first few days have revealed to me that what this platform, Infosys Nia™, is about is far more than what I had imagined it to be. If you are someone who is also wondering about how far the reach of this platform is, then hopefully you’ll find this post useful as I attempt to uncover what might not be completely obvious to all.

First, let’s consider what Infosys Nia is meant for and what it can do.

An imperative

According to Gartner, by 2018 six billion connected things will be requesting support, smart machines will distribute 10% of human work, and 50% of the fastest-growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines and algorithms. All of this activity is a sure recipe for tremendous volumes of data. In a world impacted by a deluge of data, there is an urgent need to be able to make sense of the most granular piece of data as well as from broad trends in ways that, when understood together the resultant meaning can lead to a purposeful change. And, as the ferocity of data generation and voracity of our data consumption grows unabated, we will need to move through this cycle of understanding, amplifying and then quickly impacting the appropriate areas without missing a beat or a moment. Sounds overwhelming? It is.

Except, if you have a truly intelligent platform at your disposal that discovers, learns, senses and acts to address problems, often before they arise. So whether it is a matter of improving DSO (Days Sales Outstanding), employing an automated resolution of payment exceptions, understanding voluminous and complex contracts, finding a better way to treat cancer, enabling a smarter harnessing of nature for better crops, or simply personalized customer service – all these can be continuously improved upon and renewed with the aid of an AI platform, that can tap into that deep seated knowledge in a manner that makes an optimal use of resources.

The cognitive underpinning

Machine Learning and knowledge management form essential building blocks of how Infosys Nia has been conceived. This enables discovery and capture of knowledge from sources of truth from both inside and outside the organization. Infosys Nia employs machine learning capabilities that extract patterns from datasets, or identifies one that was previously unknown. Knowledge management connects a set of disparate, unrelated things and captures the relationship between them, giving organizations much greater visibility and richer context. This makes for better decisions, improved productivity and higher levels of customer satisfaction. For example, while a software system can ingest system logs and records and use machine learning to identify that order validation is a step in the order-to-cash business process, a knowledge management system will not only identify it as a step in the order-to-cash process but also infer that order validation occurs after order entry and has a dependency on customer credit verifi¬cation. This knowledge base is at the core of Infosys Nia and enables a wide variety of powerful use cases.

What are the key features and aspects of Infosys Nia that enable such outcomes?

Key features and aspects

Open Source & Innovations – Infosys Nia benefits from a relentless focus on leveraging innovations in the open source ecosystem and innovating beyond, and evolving rapidly. Partnerships with academia, industry and relevant investments made by Infosys ensure that Infosys Nia remains accessible to anyone who is committed to working with it.

Integrated Knowledge based AI Platform – It is a unified platform with machine learning, natural language processing, knowledge modeling and automation capabilities including virtual agent technologies. This enables it to deliver a unified view of organizational knowledge and its seamless flow which in turn enables timely use.

Platform & Solutions approach – It co-exists and integrates seamlessly with an existing landscape. This is significant because while Infosys Nia is all about helping organizations disrupt their market, it is important that this be done with minimal or no disruption to their own business. An Infosys Nia customer also benefits from pre-packaged solutions (adapters, automatic co-relations and insights, ontologies, scripts, workflows). Out-of-box capabilities provide the tools necessary to build custom experiences.

Flexible & Modular – It is a modular platform, with options to add components over time. It comes with the ease of flexible deployment options including on-premise and public/private/hybrid cloud.

What sets Infosys Nia apart

Unlike some other AI offerings (platform-like or toolsets), Infosys Nia is a distinct offering.

First, it provides a unified view into knowledge assets and fosters knowledge sharing across all layers of the organization. It also opens up opportunities of simplification, optimization, and renovation of aging processes and landscapes. Second, it provides incomparable depth and breadth of support. What that means is that automation capabilities also span across all layers of support (L1, L2, & L3) for business processes and landscapes, and this means superior support, maintenance, automation, and amplification for digital & physical assets. Third, it enjoys the benefit of domain expertise like no other market offering that might claim similar capabilities. 35 years’ experience managing and operating systems and business process landscapes, globally, across industry segments has gone into building a platform that deeply understands varied business processes and how best their renewal can be effected.

So how does this net out?

Infosys Nia: Your platform for Purposeful AI™

Data analytics. Automation. Knowledge Management. Machine Learning.

As far as these features go, none of these are unique to Infosys Nia; many will claim to have one or more of these capabilities. What makes Infosys Nia unique is that it is an integrated platform with all of these capabilities designed to function harmoniously with each other. This means that one or more of these capabilities can be called upon individually or in any reasonable combination to address the issues at hand. In turn, this means that the possibilities for detecting opportunities for renewal and actually effecting the necessary changes are potentially unlimited. If we just look at Infosys Nia’s automation capabilities, you will find you have at your disposal the ability to employ automation in different ways ranging from the old-fashioned approach of automating fully defined routine tasks to cognitive automation (employing deep learning), and many flavors in between!

Get ready for an exciting ride, as the fun has only just begun.

If you are interested in checking out the blog posts on AI that have appeared on Infosysblogs.com in recent months, then here is the link to those posts:
http://www.infosysblogs.com/apps/mt-search.cgi IncludeBlogs=50&tag=artificial%20intelligence&limit=20.

If you are intending to attend Confluence 2017, then that will be an excellent opportunity to learn and experience more. In the meantime, join the conversation at: @PurposefulAI. Of course, I am happy to engage as well – connect with me at @puneetsuppal.

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