• April 17, 2024

SAS Updates Its Portfolio with Additional Generative AI Capabilities

SAS, a data and artificial intelligence solutions provider, at its SAS Innovate user conference in Las Vegas this week introduced genAI capabilities infused into its marketing solution, SAS Customer Intelligence 360. SAS Customer Intelligence 360 already offers genAI assistance for streamlining marketing planning, journey design, and content and creative development, and new capabilities in SAS Customer Intelligence 360 allow marketers to use genAI to build recommended audiences based on natural language prompts, a chat experience to interpret audience data, and a genAI suggestion service for email subject lines.??

SAS also introduced several enhancements to its flagship Viya product, including the release of SAS Viya Workbench, a self-service, on-demand compute environment for data preparation, exploratory data analysis, and developing analytical and machine learning models.

Viya Workbench allows developers and modelers to work in SAS or Python and offers two development environment options: Jupyter Notebook/JupyterLab and Visual Studio Code.

Tapping into SAS analytical procedures and native Python APIs within Viya Workbench accelerates development of AI models while custom Python libraries can significantly improve speed and performance, the company said.

"The many challenges developers face aren't just minor annoyances. They are obstacles that prevent questions from being answered and work from getting done," said Jared Peterson, senior vice president of engineering at SAS. "Viya Workbench provides maximum flexibility and results by allowing developers to use their language and [integrated development environment] of choice, tailor compute power up or down to meet the needs of the project, and ultimately boost their productivity and efficiency. They can work faster, be more creative, and take more risks, which, let's be honest, is not only what's expected but it makes the job more fun."

SAS also used the conference to introduce an expanded Viya portfolio with generative AI. The product is already infused with large language model (LLM) orchestration, and now SAS is broadening its genAI footprint with the introduction of its own synthetic data generator, called SAS Data Maker, and industry-specific genAI assistants.

Other genAI innovations included genAI orchestration in SAS Viya, integrating external genAI models with existing business processes and systems; Viya Copilot, a personal assistant that accelerates analytical, business, and industry tasks like code generation, data cleaning, data exploration, marketing planning, journey design, and knowledge gap analysis; and SAS Data Maker for generating synthetic tabular data without compromising sensitive information.

SAS is also making it possible for companies to integrate genAI models into decisioning workflows, AI applications, and business processes by using decisioning flow tools like SAS Intelligent Decisioning; support user privacy and security with robust data quality measures, including synthetic data generation, data minimization, anonymization, and encryption; apply natural language processing to preprocess data and explain the generated output; use built-in tools to create workflows that validate the life cycle of LLMs, including model risk management; and leverage quantitative decisioning capabilities.

Also at the conference, SAS announced an expansion of its hosted managed services to Amazon Web Services (AWS), giving customers more options for how they deploy and manage their investments in SAS technology.

"We designed SAS Managed Services to provide our customers with the best of SAS: our software, services, support, and expertise," said Jay Upchurch, executive vice president and chief information officer of SAS. "The growth we've seen over the last few years is proof it's working, and we're thrilled to bring the full SAS managed experience to our AWS customers. That means that we're enabling even more of our customers to get the best SAS has to offer in the way that works best for them in their cloud of choice."

And finally, the company introduced lightweight, industry-specific AI models for use cases such as fraud detection, supply chain optimization, entity management, document conversation, health care payment integrity, and more.

"Models are the perfect complement to our existing solutions and SAS Viya platform offerings and cater to diverse business needs across various audiences, ensuring that innovation reaches every corner of our ecosystem," said Udo Sglavo, vice president for AI and analytics at SAS. "By tailoring our approach to understanding specific industry needs, our frameworks empower businesses to flourish in their distinctive environments."

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