SAS adds automated machine learning to make AI-powered decisions even easier

UK insurer Admiral, Italian insurtech Yolo are among organizations making faster, data-driven decisions

SAS, the leader in analytics, is enhancing its easy-to-use artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to help organizations improve efficiency and quickly realize value with automation. The updated SAS® Platform delivers new functionality including automated data management, automated machine learning and cutting-edge interpretability features, underscoring SAS’ commitment to making AI more transparent and accessible for all.

Available in the fourth quarter of 2019, the newest release of SAS® Viya® on the SAS Platform offers the latest AI and advanced analytics techniques, accessible to both data scientists and business users. The enhancements provide an intelligent process to automate many of the manual and complex steps required for data transformations and to build machine learning models. SAS automates the analytics life cycle – from data wrangling to feature engineering and algorithm selection – in a single click.

To add a layer of transparency, the software will dynamically produce a visual pipeline to eliminate the black box that can accompany automation. And through natural language generation, results are presented in easily understood business terms. Once a model is finalized, it can be deployed with a single click.

To further democratize AI solutions, the automated modeling process uses a REST API. This helps developers customize business applications while using SAS Analytics. Additionally, users can easily embed open source code and augment their analysis with SAS, providing a truly open experience. Machine learning is also used to recommend data transformations to reduce data preparation time.

UK Insurance provider Admiral fights fraud with AI

Fraudulent claims and applications are a major problem for the UK insurance industry, with both insurers and genuine customers paying the price through increased premiums. According to Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud-prevention service, false insurance claims rose by 27% in 2018 from the previous year, with auto/motor seeing a 45% increase.

Admiral, a UK-based insurance company, has developed fraud portals that eliminate the need for manual referrals, saving significant time and resources while detecting more fraud than ever before. Fraud investigators and analysts now work from a single centralized hub, sharing data across the organization and applying sophisticated analytics to detect and prevent fraud. This approach has delivered more than £31 million of benefit in the last 12 months alone, including £6 million in savings for claims fraud.

“We used an insurance fraud analytical engine from SAS to apply multiple techniques – including automated business rules, machine learning, artificial intelligence, text mining, database searches, anomaly detection and network-link analysis – to automatically score claims, associated entities and any corresponding social networks,” explained Sarah Lang, Head of Business Analytics at Admiral. “This process has allowed us to build a strong relationship between analytics and claims fraud. A continuous feedback loop ensures we continue to update the process, identifying fraud in more cases in a faster way, whilst improving our customers’ experience.”

Industry disruption powered by AI

Italian startup Yolo is disrupting the insurance industry with help from SAS AI solutions. The company’s digital insurance platform provides on-demand access to policies for travel, products, health and pets. Fueled by SAS machine learning, Yolo’s Platform can customize a temporary insurance policy offer to a customer without lag time.

“As a digitally native company, our customer’s experience is paramount,” said Gianluca De Cobelli, co-founder and CEO of Yolo Group. “With SAS, our Platform is able to process a customer’s request to insure their vacation or their smartphone using all available data in real time, allowing our financial institution and corporate partners to provide their clients with a customized and dynamic mobile experience."

A continued partnership with IBM

For the first time, the November release of SAS Viya will run on the IBM POWER9 chip architecture. This will support all SAS Viya functionalities including GPU acceleration for machine learning, deep learning, and AI training and inferencing. In addition, this expands the flexibility to run SAS workloads in any cloud platform.

SAS and IBM have collaborated for more than 40 years. We’ve solved some of the most complex algorithmic challenges together. IBM Power Systems offer value to mutual customers whose business challenges demand not only SAS analytics, but also high data throughput,” said Ken Gahagan, Senior Director of Compute Services for Research & Development at SAS.

The future in AI: Growth and opportunity

“SAS continues to innovate in AI, building on the $1 billion investment in AI we announced earlier this year,” said Saurabh Gupta, Director of Advanced Analytics & Artificial Intelligence at SAS. “SAS delivers AI that helps users manage, understand and analyze the data they have and make better, faster decisions with it. The latest enhancements to our AI offerings focus on automating the many manual and complex steps required to build machine learning models.”

The investment will focus on current and future R&D and expert services to build on successful AI efforts like that of Admiral and Yolo over three years. It will also include SAS education initiatives that address customer and partner needs to better understand and benefit from AI.

In 2018, SAS experienced 105% growth in AI revenue – a rate three times faster than the overall market – according to a recent IDC report on AI software platform market share.

Today's announcement was made at the Analytics Experience conference in Milan, Italy, a business technology conference presented by SAS that brings together thousands of attendees on-site and online to share ideas on critical business issues.

About SAS

SAS is a global leader in data and AI. With SAS software and industry-specific solutions, organizations transform data into trusted decisions. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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