May 14, 2019

Appian tackles AI integration concerns with “free and easy” plug-ins

By Luke Christou

Low-code enterprise application development platform Appian has announced Appian AI, which will allow customers to implement artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to any application built on the Appian platform, helping to reduce the costs and complexity of AI implementation.

Appian provides a simple, drag-and-drop platform for the creation of enterprise apps. Appian customers will now have access to a suite of AI services powered by the Google Cloud Platform which they can plug in to their developments using Appian’s no-code Connected System integration.

“We want to give everyone a free and easy way to use AI in all of their enterprise applications,” Medhat Galal, Vice President of Software Development at Appian, said. “We set up their link to Google’s AI services and our customers are off to the races.

“We subsidise the entire cost of the free tier of Appian AI, so all the customer has to think about is which services to use for their business problem.”

Appian AI will provide access to a number of Google applications and services. This includes the Google Translate API, which will enable use of language detection and translation capabilities; The Google Vision API which will enable label detection and optical character recognition (the conversion of text in an image into plain text), and Google Natural Language, which will provide entity recognition capabilities, sentiment analysis, syntax analysis and content classification.

Appian AI will begin offering Google services, but plans to increase the number of plugins available to its customers once deals are agreed with additional providers.

Eliminating AI entry barriers

A recent report published by Deloitte, How countries are pursuing an AI advantage, detailed many of the issues holding enterprises back from implementing AI.

Some 30% to 40% of business leaders placed implementation struggles and the cost of implementation among their three biggest concerns holding them back.

Likewise, Appian’s recent Future of Work Survey Report found that 50% of new business application developments end in failure as a result of technical debt, which costs developers two-fifths of their development time due to the slow pace of coding or need to rework old code.

However, Appian’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Beckley believes that Appian AI will help businesses to overcome these implementation challenges by providing easy implementation without the need for additional coding or negotiation.

The crux of Appian AI, Beckley told Verdict, is “to make no code and no lawyer integration possible for developers”. Appian AI removed the complexity of contracting with Google as a third-party provider, helping to reduce cost and development time.

“Our clients, some of them have been really successful, but some of them have really struggled because the developers don’t have control over the negotiations with Google,” Beckley explained.

“We have made it simple – we have included the best Cloud AI services directly in Appian. You can turn it on, and you can use it.”

Read more: What do investors look for in an AI company?