Less than a year after most CIOs and business leaders even heard the expression “generative artificial intelligence,” for the first time, this technology has set off a wave of innovation that will dramatically change how businesses are run.
However, we at SAP are not entering this race as newcomers. In fact, we have been at the forefront of embedding AI into our solutions for years. And as part of this, we recently launched SAP Joule, a generative AI assistant that will be embedded throughout the SAP cloud portfolio.
Joule will help our customers achieve business results faster by enabling them to access insights that are relevant for their business through natural conversation. Simply by asking a question in plain language, our customers will get smart answers drawn from a pool of data from across the SAP portfolio and third-party sources. Joule will continuously deliver new insights that get even more intelligent over time.
Imagine how generative AI (GenAI) can ease and improve work in procurement, for example, asking Joule to prioritize suppliers based on their average margins and carbon footprint. In human resource management, Joule will help write job descriptions that are unbiased and compliant, develop relevant interview questions and more.
Make no mistake, as was noted in the SAP Business AI White Paper published a few weeks ago, “AI and above all, GenAI, mark a paradigm shift in how computer systems learn from data, solve complex problems, and even provide creativity when it’s needed.”
To compete effectively, become more innovative, and stay ahead of existing and emerging rivals, companies are already allocating substantial resources to understanding the potential of business AI. In today’s highly competitive environment, sorting through the GenAI hype and noise and finding the right partner to help capture the real benefits of business AI is crucial.
At SAP, our access to business data, our understanding of the context of complex business processes, as well as our deep domain and industry expertise are all unique differentiators.
We believe that business AI must be relevant, reliable, and responsible by design.
The arrival of powerful technology like AI, particularly GenAI, comes with great responsibility and the need for highest ethical standards. Customers need to trust in a vendor’s ability to build, deploy, and use AI in a responsible and ethical way.
We were the first European technology company to establish AI guiding principles back in 2018. Then, we created our AI Ethics Policy that defines a company-wide ethical minimum standard for the development, deployment, use, and sale of SAP’s AI-powered systems. Since 2018 we have also had an AI Ethics Steering Committee and AI Ethics Advisory Panel that includes external experts and senior leaders from various disciplines. This governance structure helps us administer guiding principles, provides guidance for high-risk use cases, and aligns us with the upcoming AI Act, the proposed European law on AI.
Business AI must also be relevant and reliable. SAP Business AI is already deeply embedded into applications and process flows that draw on decades of relevant business data curated from huge customer data sets. We have agreements with more than 25,000 customers to use their data in an anonymized way to train our own models.
Using this data to contextualize generative AI models results in very task-specific relevant outcomes for business users. Without it, GenAI users get unspecific results that lack the business-altering insights and responses that embedded AI tools like Joule can deliver. The data we use for context for our tenants are protected and used only for that tenant — they are not reused elsewhere.
Of course, the real value of business AI comes from knowing how to apply AI to solve specific business problems. By identifying, connecting, understanding, and processing relevant information, GenAI tools trained on contextual data can produce the intelligent and reliable recommendations that decision makers and managers need in mere seconds.
AI-optimized business processes can also help companies continuously optimize and improve efficiency. Instead of going through each time-consuming step to analyze, monitor, modify, and automate their processes, process owners can simply describe the type of improvements they want in natural language, removing any need to write code or understand a domain-specific language, and get immediate and ready-to-configure results.
Agility is at the heart of reinventing business processes and successful innovation is the prize. For a wide range of companies, now is the time to capitalize on the business benefits and unique value that business AI, and Gen AI in particular, offer.