AI and Machine Learning at Work

Jan 13, 2020 | Corporate Member News


For a lot of people, the words “artificial intelligence” (AI) fit neatly into a futuristic, sci-fi narrative that goes something like this: human beings create AI; AI helps at first, but soon begins to think for itself; advanced technology decides its human creators are no longer necessary; calamity and chaos ensue.

Fortunately, it’s still early days for AI and its subset technology, machine learning (ML). And because this advanced technology is very much in the controllable, powerful tech tool phase of its existence, businesses around the world are adopting AI and ML to simplify work process and run more intelligently.

In our third article with Forbes, three scenarios are laid out in which businesses can benefit from AI and ML. From standardizing policies to eliminating paper receipts, projecting travel budgets, and giving employees the freedom and ability to make cost-conscious travel choices — AI and ML can be valuable office assistants that help organizations of all sizes to grow, scale, and improve employee satisfaction.

SAP Concur solutions are already helping customers stay ahead of the tech curve with products that use AI and ML to simplify travel, expense, and invoice management. Employees can use their smartphones to take photos of receipts, and then easily upload these to expense reports. Travel information can be pulled into reports from travel booking sites, emails, and corporate credit cards. Accounts payable professionals are saying goodbye to paper receipts and can complete tasks more quickly and accurately.

Here are a few SAP Concur products that currently use AI and ML to assist at work:

  • Within the SAP Concur mobile app, ExpenseIt uses traditional optical character recognition (OCR) to extract information from receipt photos. Where our technology goes further than others is by using ML to add context to receipt information. By identifying and understanding data like currencies, dates, and expense types, receipt photos can be easily and automatically converted into completed expense reports.
  • For expense auditing, Concur Detect by AppZen uses AI and ML to quickly cross check expenses against hundreds of external data sources before reimbursements occur. Because Concur Detect integrates with Concur Expense, expense reports that may contain errors or incidents of employee fraud are flagged for immediate review.
  • On the employee safety side, Concur Locate uses ML to analyze credit cards, itineraries, and other data to determine where traveling employees may be in the world. This allows organizations to reach all of its employees in an emergency and fulfill Duty of Care obligations.

Again, AI and ML are still in their infancy. And SAP Concur solutions will continue to emerge, modernize the workplace, and give companies better visibility into spend. As AI and ML learns from human behaviors and evolves over time, the algorithms will get sharper, the tech will get smarter, and office processes will get simpler.

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