SAP Unveils Machine Learning and Analytics Updates

SAP has announced an expansion of its Machine Learning capabilities that will enable users to build increasingly sophisticated corporate chat bots easily. SAP also announced an investment in intelligent robotic process automation (RPA) that is intended to help automate repetitive processes.

"With intelligent robotic process automation, our customers will be able to achieve the high automation level necessary to become an intelligent enterprise," said Juergen Mueller , chief innovation officer at SAP.

"Machine learning acts here as the brain that is managing exceptions and guides the RPA bot to execute on desired processes. With our enterprise-grade offer for SAP Conversational AI, we have taken a step further than our previously announced industry-specific packaged bots. The expansion allows customers to automate their customer support with chat bots. These updates, together with new smart analytics capabilities, are the next big milestone to bring intelligence to our customers."

Five new new Machine Learning services are planned for the remainder of the year:

  • Scene text recognition extracts text from arbitrary image contents and scenes, which is useful for reading product labels or brand names with different text colours, sizes and styles.
  • Customizable image segmentation is a trainable service to perform pixel-wise classification allowing the detection and recognition of objects in pictures and their shapes. This can be used, for example, to detect packaging used in retail stores such as bottles or cans, or fashion-related items such as apparel.
  • Customizable text feature extraction is a trainable service to detect fine-grained patterns in text and enable matching of similar documents.
  • Cloud text-to-speech by Google converts written text to speech to power conversational applications.
  • Cloud speech-to-text by Google converts speech to written text with DeepMind WaveNet technology to power conversational applications.

As part of SAP's partnership with Google, SAP's machine learning offering is planned for availability on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in November 2018 .

SAP is also planning to expand its ML portfolio with intelligent robotic process automation — the combination of robotic process automation, machine learning and conversational AI -  in early 2019, starting with a robot infrastructure for SAP S/4HANA designed to automatically click through a workflow with multiple steps and applications while learning from and dealing with exceptions.