Less than a year after most CIOs and business leaders even heard the phrase “generative artificial intelligence,” this technology has ushered in a wave of innovation that will dramatically change the way business is 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 that, we recently launched SAP Joule, a generative AI assistant that will be built into SAP’s cloud portfolio.
Joule will help our customers achieve business results faster by enabling them to access insights that are relevant to their business through natural conversation. By simply asking a question in plain language, our customers will receive intelligent answers drawn from a dataset from across the SAP portfolio and third-party sources. Joule will continuously deliver new insights that get even smarter over time.
Imagine how generative AI (GenAI) can make sourcing easier and better, for example by asking Joule to prioritize suppliers based on their average margins and carbon footprint. In HR, Joule will help write job descriptions that are fair and compliant, develop appropriate interview questions, and more.
Make no mistake, as noted in the SAP Business AI White Paper released a few weeks ago, “AI, and above all GenAI, is marking a paradigm shift in the way computer systems learn from data, solve complex problems, and even deliver creativity , when necessary.”
To compete effectively, become more innovative and stay ahead of existing and emerging competitors, companies are already devoting significant resources to understanding the potential of business AI. In today’s highly competitive environment, cutting through the noise and hype of GenAI and finding the right partner to help capture the real benefits of business AI is critical.
At SAP, our access to business data, our understanding of the context of complex business processes, and our deep domain and industry expertise are unique distinguishing features.
We believe that business AI should be relevant, reliable and responsible by design.
The emergence of a powerful technology like AI, especially GenAI, comes with great responsibility and the need for the highest ethical standards. Customers must trust the vendor’s ability to build, implement, and use AI in a responsible and ethical manner.
We were the first European technology company to establish guiding principles for AI in 2018. We then created our AI Ethics Policy, which sets a company-wide ethical minimum standard for the development, implementation, use and sale of SAP’s AI-powered systems . As of 2018, we also have an AI Ethics Steering Committee and an 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 AI law.
Business AI must also be relevant and reliable. SAP Business AI is now deeply embedded in applications and process flows that draw on decades of relevant business data culled from vast customer data sets. We have agreements with more than 25,000 customers to use their data in an anonymous way to train our own models.
Using this data to contextualize generative AI models leads to very task-specific, relevant results for business users. Without it, GenAI users get unspecific results that lack the business-changing insights and answers that built-in AI tools like Joule can provide. The data we use for context for our tenants is protected and used only for that tenant — it is not reused elsewhere.
Of course, the real value of AI to business 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 seconds.
AI-optimized business processes can also help companies continuously optimize and improve efficiency. Instead of going through every 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, eliminating any need to write code or understand a domain-specific language , and get immediate and ready-to-configure results.
Flexibility is at the heart of business process reinvention and successful innovation is the reward. For a wide range of companies, now is the time to take advantage of the business benefits and unique value that business AI, and Gen AI in particular, offers.