While the complexity of the searching and result-ranking technology behind Apple's Siri would likely elude most of its users, the value of a context-sensitive personal assistant certainly has not. Yet while Siri spawned a new generation of anthropomorphic digital assistants, researchers in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are taking the concept much further to help enterprises catch up to the growth of data.
Industrial products distributor Coventry Group is among the latest companies to jump onto the trend. The company, whose fasteners, fluid systems, gasket and hardware divisions collectively employ around 650 people, is working with Adelaide-based data-analytics specialist Complexica to apply that company's AI technology – personified as Larry, the Digital Analyst – to guide decisions around sales and pricing strategies.
Introducing Larry – a collection of algorithms delivered on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis via Amazon’s cloud – to Coventry's business is a two to four month process that will see the technology finetuned to the company's operating parameters. Once it starts going, however, Larry will begin a process of ‘learning’ that Complexica CEO Matthew Michalewicz says will help deliver real-time insights and decisions for the company.
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