Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:00

SAS, NVIDIA collaborate on AI initiative

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Analytics provider SAS and graphics processing hardware vendor NVIDIA are partnering on an initiative designed to help businesses bring artificial intelligence into their organisations.

The two companies are collaborating across machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing, with NVIDIA GPUs and CUDA-X AI acceleration libraries, to support the core elements of SAS’ AI offerings, which they say will lead to faster, more accurate insights.

“AI is transforming business across industries,” said Gavin Day, SAS senior vice-president of Technology.

“At the heart of AI-based transformation is advanced analytics. Powerful GPUs help speed the analysis and impact of AI by processing millions of mathematical operations very quickly. By partnering with NVIDIA, we combine our strengths to augment human intelligence and realise the true potential of AI.”

Day said that for industries such as health care, life sciences, manufacturing and financial services, artificial intelligence delivers significant value.

Some examples of how SAS and NVIDIA say they are helping customers accelerate their AI efforts:

  • Healthcare providers using object recognition to identify malignant versus benign cancer cells.
  • Manufacturers using computer vision to find defects before products leave production lines.
  • Financial institutions saving trillions of dollars with fraud detection.

“Our collaboration with SAS will help enterprise customers extract the true value of AI for their company,” said Ian Buck, vice-president and general manager of Accelerated Computing at NVIDIA.

“With NVIDIA technology, businesses will be able to accelerate their entire data science workflow to innovate, add new services and increase profitability.”

Buck said that with expanded NVIDIA GPU support across SAS Viya including products such as SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning and SAS Event Stream Processing – customers can take advantage of high-performance AI capabilities including image classification, object detection, speech-to-text, image recognition and sentiment detection.

The companies are also pushing deep learning and decision-making capabilities to edge devices, which will drive greater IoT opportunities.

For example, they say that equipping an edge device like a commercial drone with AI technology will give it the ability to handle everything from infrastructure monitoring to predictive maintenance for industrial plants. With the GPU and analytics built into the drone, analysis can be performed where the data resides, and analysing data in real-time results in faster and more accurate decisions.

SAS says the partnership with NVIDIA is one strategic element of its commitment to AI and machine learning.

SAS also announced it would invest US$1 billion on AI software innovation, education programs and other resources over the next three years.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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