Industry Insights

Alfresco Adds AI and Machine Learning Module

Alfresco recently announced the release of their new Intelligence Services module for their content management system (CMS) Software. The new module, leveraging Amazon Web Service (AWS), uses artificial intelligence and machine learning while intelligently extracting relevant content that is often locked away in multiple documents, scanned images, videos, and photographs.

By allowing more specific organization and use of the data that is stored across multiple documents and devices, users can now specify parameters to automate important information such as names, birth dates, or license plate numbers from people, places, and locations. Alfresco’s CMS collects and stores all artificial intelligence (AI) data so that users can reuse the data at any time and also enables the use of complex metadata structures along with building more effective user interfaces.

I reached out to Tony Grout, Chief Product Officer at Alfresco to discuss this recent announcement in more detail and to find out how their new module works with AWS, why it is the best solution for real-world problems, and what the advantages and disadvantage are to this technology.

Leverages Amazon Web Service

Could you please explain how the Intelligence Services Module seamlessly leverages Amazon Web Service solutions through the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning)?

"Alfresco Intelligence Services provides native integration with the following three Amazon AI/ML services: Comprehend, Rekognition, and Textract. Once the module is deployed, users can start using this native integration right away by creating simple rules and actions in Alfresco. Once the simple rules are set up, all content that is dropped within a folder will instantly be processed by Comprehend, Rekognition, Textract, and enriched with AI-driven metadata. Alfresco Intelligence Services is simply a better way for users to consume the benefits of complex AI/ML technologies without any technical expertise and provides a better experience for users.”

Fixing Real-World Problems

You mention that “companies are faced with growing business information nowadays, and they have to organize that content at scale, extract insights and drive automation.” Why is the Alfresco’s Intelligence Services the best solution to fix those real-world problems?

“Alfresco understands the importance of scale as more and more of our customers continue to have growing repositories. Our customers need an easy way to first understand the type of content being uploaded, then determine the most useful context from that content so that information can be routed to the right people at the right time. Alfresco Intelligence Services enables our customers to do exactly that. Alfresco Intelligence Services is highly-scalable to support large ingestion of content going to Amazon for processing. Our module extracts relevant meta-data that can easily be used to automatically classify content to ensure it’s managed effectively without user intervention and automate processes to reduce costs and allow optimization. All this allows our customers to make faster more informed decisions.”

The Advantages and Disadvantages

In your press release, it was mentioned that "Alfresco is seeing significant demand for the Intelligence Services module for two use-cases; Claims Service Automation and Citizen Services." Where else do you see this type of technology being used? What do you see as some of the advantages and disadvantages?

"There are a number of use-cases, in addition to Claims Processing and Citizen Services that we see benefiting from Artificial Intelligence technologies. We are seeing a large growing interest within the Manufacturing, Health Care, and Financial Services verticals. There are a breadth of use-cases around digital operations within these verticals, things like employee engagement (onboarding, discovery), business operations (ERP, CRM), and customer engagement (marketing, collaborative proposal). Disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence can help power such digital operation services. The advantages are really all around efficiencies gained from the automation of previously manual tasks. The disadvantages that we need to be careful about is around general accuracy from AI/ML technologies. If we are for example flagging content as confidential or inappropriate, the information used to flag the items need to be extremely accurate.”

What is your opinion on the future need for AI as it becomes more common in the workplace?

“Our vision is to make Artificial Intelligence technologies simple to apply to enterprise business problems to help drive efficiencies and growth through seamless automation. There is absolutely a need to minimize inefficiencies and maximize growth opportunities, and AI can really drive these changes.“

Alfresco with Amazon Textract

The combination of Alfresco’s open architecture and Amazon Textract’s intelligent information processing means that we can now take a mass ingestion of information and classify its data faster than ever before.”

Alfresco & Amazon Textract from Alfresco Demos on Vimeo.

Ending Notes

AI and machine learning have become more affordable and accessible for many CMS companies while their use has become common practice. With this technology, machines can intelligently understand human content and generate data that can be used in the present and the future. This progression is fascinating to see. With machine learning and AI, CMSs can handle complex data and content (such as legal contracts or a doctor's handwritten medical notes), and also extract, tag, and store that data and content within its correct context. CMS systems that use AI and machine learning can help drive a positive user-experience, thus enabling the material to become more practical for a user's needs.

With Alfresco Intelligence Services, users can analyze their content to gain greater insights and can perform opinion based analysis on entities, such as people, places, locations. Through the use of deep learning technology, users can extract textual context from images and videos, as well as identify people, text, scenes, and objects. This textual information can now be stored as document properties in Alfresco’s Digital Business Platform. With the use of these technologies, Alfresco’s Intelligent Services module will only get better over time. It will be interesting to observe the unfolding process of how the data that is collected, and even more interestingly, how it will be us.

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans has over 16-years in the tech industry and currently works as the event coordinator and tech reporter for CMS-Connected, keeping up-to-date on what's happening in and around the Content Management industry.

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