Box and IBM Partner on AI

    Box and IBM today announced they are extending an existing partnership into the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Both companies have developed their own AI frameworks. In the case of Box, that framework comes in the form of a Box Skills framework that makes it simpler to apply AI to content management.

    IBM, meanwhile, has announced it will extend its Watson AI platform to include integration with Box Skills Kit. Box Skills write the outputs of AI processing to files in Box to create metadata. Box uses that metadata to provide functions such as file preview and search. The Box Skills Kit is a set of APIs, SDKs, guides and sample code to help developers build Box Skills of their own as an extension. Specifically, IBM is leveraging Box Skills Set to provide insights into documents, images and audio files using Watson Natural Language Understanding, Watson Visual Recognition and Watson Speech-to-Text services.

    Rashida Hodge, vice president of Watson AI at IBM, says Box provides an ideal point for aggregating a wide variety of content because Box makes it simpler to search a wide variety of documents and file types. In fact, one of the biggest challenges with advancing AI is simply providing access to enough content to efficiently train the algorithms on which AI models depend.

    “Content is king when it comes to AI,” says Hodge.

    Box also serves to significantly reduce resistance to adopting AI because it provides a way to get started that doesn’t necessarily require end users to do anything they are not already doing in terms of existing processes.

    Of course, it still requires a fair amount of expertise to create AI models leveraging content in Box to, for example, improve a customer support process. But it is clear that the long march to embracing AI pervasively across the enterprise is going to start with the aggregation of massive amounts of content. As luck would have it, turns out Box has a significant head start on completing that part of a much larger AI equation.

    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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