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October 12, 2017

IBM Watson, Google Cloud & Microsoft Azure AI systems put in one Box

There are plenty of announcements coming out of BoxWorks 2017.

By James Nunns

Artificial Intelligence, the new Swiss Army knife of the tech world, is now being added to the Box platform for content collaboration.

This may sound like a now well-trodden path where a vendor decides to chuck in some AI algorithms that don’t really add in any value but make the company appear innovative and with their ‘finger on the pulse’, but the cloud company is going for a different approach by allowing customers to use the AI tools that they want.

The Box Skills framework will give customers the ability to apply AI tech from Microsoft Azure, IBM Watson, and Google Cloud to their content.

The idea is to “bring intelligent to cloud content management” by giving customers the ability to uncover insights that previously wouldn’t have been available.

“We are in the midst of a revolution in enterprise software driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning, and we are making Box the most intelligent cloud content management platform in the world,” said Aaron Levie, cofounder and CEO of Box. “As businesses continue to drive digital transformation, they need to realize more value and intelligence from their content. Box Skills is a first-of-its-kind framework that will make it possible to digitize almost any business process on Box.”

The announcement was made at BoxWorks 2017, the company’s annual conference, where three initial Skills that are in development were previewed.

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The use cases include: Audio Intelligence, Video Intelligence, and Image Intelligence.

“IBM has shown how data-intensive industries are being transformed through the use of Watson,” said David Kenny, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, IBM. “Now we’re enabling enterprises across the globe to combine the rich content in Box with the AI power of Watson to reimagine critical business processes and how they get work done. Box Skills is an extension of our strategic partnership with Box aimed at helping businesses work more efficiently, solve challenges and seize opportunities for innovation.”

In addition to the AI addition, a set of developer resources for building custom Skills was released in the form of the company’s Skills Kit. These resources are said to include Custom Skills such as chaining together multiple skills to enable intelligent business processes and using third-party machine learning solutions for a specific workflow.

Box Graph is another addition to the company’s portfolio that uses machine learning to build an intelligent network of content, relationships, and activities that the company says it will use to “power new experiences and services for both individual Box users and enterprises.”

Box Skills framework, Skills Kit of Developers, and skills for Audio and Video are still in development with a beta not expected till next year. The Image Recognition skill using Google Cloud is now available in beta.

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