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Volume 12, Issue 6
Nov/Dec 1998
Theme: Business Applications

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Principal Components and Neural Networks: Maximizing the Use of Information Brian M. O'Rourke uses principal components to develop a better neural network model.
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 Case-Based Reasoning
  Client/Server Data Mining
  Internet Languages
  Neural Networks Tools
Product Service Guide - Provides access to information on an entire category of products    
PC AI Blackboard - AI advertisers bulletin board    

Advertiser List for 12.6
AAAI  IBM  QMC (Recruiting Ad) 
Affinity Logic Corporation  Intelligent Systems Report  Rule Machines Corporation 
Amzi! Inc.  KnowledgeBroker Inc  Salford Systems 
ANGOSS Software Corporaiton  Logic Programming Assoc Ltd  Soft Warehouse 
Applied Logic Systems  Megaputer Intelligence USA  Sonalysts Inc
ATTAR Software USA  Morgan Kaufmann  System Dynamics Intl
BioComp Systems Inc  NeuroDimension  The Haley Enterprise
BotSpot  Numan Intelligence Inc  The MathWorks
California Scientific Software  PAEXPO99  Ultrexx Corporation
COMDEX/Enterprise  PC AI Back Issues  Ward Sys. Group Inc.
DCI  PC AI Back Issues  WizSoft Inc
Franz (Recruiting Ad)  Production Sys Tech   
Frontier GlobalCenter .  Prolog Devt Ctr   
Harlequin Inc  Quality Monitoring & Control   


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.
  Terry Hengl 

Volume 12-------------------> Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 1998)   Volume 15 Index (2001)
  Issue 2 (Mar/Apr 1998)   Volume 14 Index (2000)
Issue 3 (May/Jun 1998)   Volume 13 Index (1999)
Issue 4 (Jul/Aug 1998)   Volume 12 Index (1998)
Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 1998)   Volume 11 Index (1997)
Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 1998)   Volume 10 Index (1996)
      Volume 9 Index (1995)
      Volume 8 Index (1994)

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