Artificial Intelligence: the era of Digital Transformation

It is common thought of the main market analysts that Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents the main driver of change and innovation that the world of IT and society will experience in the next decade.

The transversality of technologies, processes, markets and services impacted by the AI is the indicator that best provides the idea of the pervasiveness and potential of this movement.

The trend of investments in AI, tripled in the three-year period 2013-2016 up to 40B $, confirms the moment of growth of the sector led by the Digital Giants (Google, Apple, Baidu) and more generally by those who made the Digital Tansformation the the driving force behind its business (see McKinsey Global Institute – Artificial Intelligence, The Next Digital Frontier).

During the last 3 years in Lutech we have dealt with the theme of artificial intelligence aware of the context and in particular of:

  • Variety and dynamism of the available technological resources and the interlocutors with which to collaborate (universities, research teams, SW Open Source, start-ups, incubators, Solutions Providers).
  • Multiplicity of the “classic” IT sectors and Business Processes that can benefit from the introduction of a “cognitive” engine and transversality of the impacted commodity sectors.
  • Peculiarity and uniqueness of the individual project initiatives, even when similar Use Houses are faced.
  • Relative youth of the use of AI solutions at the Enterprise level and consequent need to sensitize the user to the correct contextualization, method of approach and the definition of the expectations of a project in this field

We responded to this complexity by creating a practice dedicated to artificial intelligence, guided by the belief that an open and “interdisciplinary” approach was the only one possible to grow and establish itself as a reference player in the market.

 

Development and enhancement of knowledge: our AI practice aims to develop and enhance resources and knowledge through collaboration with research institutes, market analysts, companies, Enterprise solution providers, and through a process monitoring the market and collaborating with the most promising start-ups on the European scene. The continuous growth of the work team – which today has about 20 resources – is achieved through the integration of research profiles, the training of new graduates with a background in Machine Learning / AI on Open Source technologies, participation in thematic university masters, the official training programs of the most successful international Solution Vendors on the AI scene.

In the process of constructing offerings in the field of Cognitive and Big Data & Analytics, we completed the acquisition of a start-up in 2016,  Teia Technologies, which contributed to enriching the company’s experience and know-how in this sector. On the basis of this positive experience we are continuing to analyze and evaluate the growth opportunities that the market offers us.

 

We act as promoters and disseminators of knowledge within AI through the organization of events aimed at top companies in the Italian market, such as the  Cognitech event in collaboration with The Innovation Group, participation in national and international thematic events, such as the Campus Party Italia or the Young Leadership Forum in London, as sponsors, members of the jury or contributor.

The opening to the exchange of know-how and collaboration in various forms with all the interlocutors of this sector is the basis on which today is based the creation of value and knowledge of our AI group.

 

Value producers: the AI world requires a new design approach and a re-examination of the role of providing consulting services and System Integration to customers.

We have created a “cross-cutting” AI practice not only with respect to the markets but also with respect to the Business Platforms (Customer Engagement, Cyber Security, etc.) on which it operates in order to make its contribution to all the guidelines that bring value to the customer.

In the process of analysis and development of a solution we place ourselves towards the client as contributors to the creation of value. Value that is no longer based on a “standard” platform to be customized but arises from the intersection of different skills and the – often unique – design of an application strongly linked and conditioned to the quality and quantity of the data on which it works.

The value of the solutions we offer to our customers comes primarily from the internal comparison with our company, with those of the market who are familiar with the dynamics, regulations, processes and constraints. In collaboration with our Industry Leaders, we have developed an offer portfolio dedicated to the various markets, defining for each of them a set of specific Use Houses, supported by a broad ecosystem of technological solutions, and on the basis of which we compare ourselves with the customer in the initial stages of the start of the collaboration. To this portfolio we support our technical skills, our Technological Assets and the skills of System Integrator to simplify and make effective the introduction of new solutions.

 

Areas of intervention, from Big Data to Machine Learning: we have understood the potential of “big data” architectures capable of handling large amounts of unstructured data and in binary formats, architectures that can represent the ideal support for various machine algorithms and techniques. learning, so-called data-cruncher. These algorithms need a huge and varied database to be able to train, work better and provide precise answers that are really useful to the end user.

This is the first consequence of the birth and specialization of very strong figures like Big Data Architect and Data Scientist, which through a close and structured collaboration with other professionals, are able to innovate applications and systems in which AI becomes the protagonist, sometimes improving the final use of solutions.

In light of these considerations, Lutech has focused investments both on people and on partnerships with the leading suppliers of the market and we have already seen the first results including, first of all, the passion and dedication that the teams turn into concrete works and products of value for customers.

 

The partners and the technologies with which Lutech works are the result of a continuous research and evaluation of how much the dynamic market of AI makes available.

Our collaboration ranges from the best known solution providers and vendors (eg Google) to emerging solutions in which we see innovation and potential for growth. This last category includes, for example, the American start-up Loop AI Labs, which through a proprietary deep-learning algorithm has made Unsupervised Learning on unstructured texts, its cutting edge, minimizing human intervention in the configuration activities.

To all this are added the stimuli and ideas coming from the open source world which represents an important resource for comparison and a continuous drive towards innovation.

Our solutions and success cases: we have faced the opportunities presented on the market by focusing the activities on areas of strategic value identified together with customers and Lutech market and technology experts. Among the most important assets born from this process we can mention solutions based on Natural Language Processing, such as the various versions of virtual assistants. From the development of solutions based on Neural Networks, different assets have originated, focusing on analysis and classification of texts and images for various purposes.

Lutech solutions were of interest to various clients in the media, telco, banking / insurance sectors, consumer electronics that have seen valuable results for the improvement of the quality of internal processes management and towards consumers. .

Efforts have also gone in the direction of evolving pre-existing business assets (eg proprietary Threat Management System) integrating advanced derivative analysis functionalities into them from artificial intelligence algorithms.

 

The next steps: the evolution of knowledge, research and improvement of Lutech solutions will be at the center of the next activities, with the aim of confirming Lutech as an ideal partner to support customers in the process of adopting the AI.

Rocco Corridoni – Head of Customer Engagement and Cognitive Business Platforms
Vincenzo Russo