|Principal Components and Neural Networks: Maximizing the Use of Information
Brian M. O'Rourke uses principal components to develop a better neural
|Strategices for Intelligent System Development Lance Sherry describes
a statistical model that measures the performance of a development team.
|Automatic Data Analysis Tools Will Dwinnell reviews tools that
help business users automate the data analysis process.
|The Internet, ActiveX, and Business Solutions - Jane Van Buskirk
and John B. Durkee II examine how ActiveX makes access to corporate knowledge
easier using a scenario from the engineering sector.
|AI@Work - IBM, Knowledge Technologies International, Decisioneering,
AcknoSoft, and Nuance share customer success stories in the retail, manufacturing,
financial, customer service, and transportation fields.
|Secret Agent Man - Take Aim with BullsEye -- A Complete
Solution to Information Overload
|by Don Barker
|Intelligence Files - Making the World a Smarter Place
|by David Blanchard
|AI and the Net - Help! I Need an Answer Now!
|by Mary Kroening
|Product Updates -------------------------->
|18 late breaking product announcements from
around the world in the fields of:
|Announcement/Call for Papers
|Product Service Guide - Provides access to information
on an entire category of products
|PC AI Blackboard - AI advertisers bulletin board
AI Means Business
|Recently I came across a news brief about a robotic pet called Tama built
by researchers at Omron. This cat is capable of reacting to touch and sound
with emotions such as surprise, anger, or affection. Tama's personality
is formed by multiple experiences -- if it is well treated it becomes a
loving and affectionate robot. In the future, this fuzzy-logic based algorithm
could conceivably be added to business software. Imagine the personality
of your stock market software after the wild ride the market has taken this
year! Tax software would probably require a computerized psychiatrist.
|So much for one possibility of future intelligence-based business software.
Let's look at some praiseworthy software available today as Artificial Intelligence
(AI) becomes part of the corporate tool set. Even traditionally conservative
companies use this technology to leverage their resources. Recently I had
the pleasure of talking to two long time friends and colleagues on the subject
of intelligent solutions for corporate business: Nobby Akiha, VP of Marketing
for Inference Corporation, and Karl Seiler, CEO of Affinity Logic Corporation
(ALC). We discussed companies such as America Online, Inc, Barclays Technology
Service, and America Century Investments who use Inference's CBR and web
technology to improve their customer service. ALC has used their knowledge
engineering skills to bring HR Investment Consultants' published materials
and databases of 401(k) fees to the Internet, offering employers a better
way to calculate and compare their 401(k) plan costs.
|A number of AI-based technologies can be implemented to reduce costs for
businesses and corporations. These include web-based applications such as
advanced search and retrieval techniques, financial services and retail,
customer support, e-commerce, the Internet, and Intranet-based knowledge
management systems to name a few. Don Barker's column "Take Aim with BullsEye
-- A Complete Solution to Information Overload" describes an intelligent
agent that manages to find and keep track of information on the ever-changing
Internet. Mary Kroening's column "Help! I Need an Answer Now!" demonstrates
how companies use this technology to put call center information on the
web. Jane Van Buskirk and John Durkee in "The Internet, ActiveX, and Business
Solutions" illustrate how ActiveX enables access to corporate knowledge
bases and tools (such as support information, financial and manufacturing
modeling and simulations, maintenance information, customized tools, schedules,
etc.) by executing internal corporate programs across the Internet/Intranet.
|Intelligent business applications can also be used for business performance
analysis and modeling, database and system management tools, data mining,
executive decision and support tools, documentation categorization, expertise
retention, and more. We include articles that highlight some of these technologies
and how they help businesses compete in today's cost conscience environment.
See how a neural network model can be developed to forecast prices for futures
on U.S. Treasury securities in Brian O'Rourke's "Principal Components and
Neural Networks." Will Dwinnell in "Automatic Data Analysis Tools" reviews
three data analysis tools that use modeling to provide a degree of automation
to the analysis process. In his article, "Strategies for Intelligent System
Development," Lance Sherry describes a form of statistical model that measures
the performance of a development team and identifies rules-of-thumb to manage
and control development of intelligent systems
|To round out the issue we have Dave Blanchard's latest Intelligence Files
installment, "Making the World a Smarter Place," an appropriate goal for
AI afficionados. Our AI @ Work feature includes stories from across the
globe and in different industries. For example, Trico, a window-wiper developer,
acquired knowledge and experience from designers and engineers to improve
its customer relations with clients like General Motors, Ford, Chrysler,
and Toyota. UPS improved customer support by enabling callers to track their
packages using a fully automated speech recognition and natural language
understanding system. Banker's Trust uses large models and simulation to
build customer financial and strategic models as part of their risk management
advisory group. IBM allows clients to stress test the scalability and reliability
of their knowledge base and data warehouse systems in IBM's new $47 million
facility before they are deployed. Finally, we see how Ansaldo Transporti
used AcknoSoft's case-based reasoning product to develop a maintenance diagnostic
system to keep the trains running in Naples.
|As you will discover while reading this solid lineup of stories, even
though business software hasn't developed the emotional skills of Tama,
the users are delighted with the results.