More data was created in 2017 than in the last 5,000 years combined. Gartner estimates there will be an 800% growth in the amount of data in the enterprise by 2021, with more than 80% of that data living in unstructured formats like PDFs, images, and videos. There is so much value trapped inside unstructured data that businesses aren't able to realize and, as the amount of data continues to grow, it becomes more difficult, time-consuming and expensive to make sense of it all.
At Box, we believe that artificial intelligence and machine learning is the only way to solve for this challenge at scale. While the pace of innovation in the AI/ML industry is staggering (with more than $50 billion of R&D investment in 2017 from the major AI/ML providers alone), many of these technologies aren't available in a way that businesses can easily access. These AI/ML technologies are often available as services targeted at developers and require complicated integrations and custom development projects to utilize.
That's why at BoxWorks 2017, we introduced Box Skills, a framework to bring the world's best AI/ML technologies from leading providers to where your work already lives in Box, creating structure and extracting insights from your business content at scale.
With Box Skills, you can apply AI/ML technologies from third-party providers, like image recognition, speech-to-text transcription, natural language understanding and more, to extract untapped value from your content in Box. For example, you could use AI/ML to tag objects that appear in photos or transcribe an audio file into text. The added information can make it easier for employees to find and work with their content in Box, automate and accelerate outdated business processes, and reduce security and compliance risk.
Here's how it works: whenever a file is uploaded to a folder in Box that has a Box Skill turned on, the skill is automatically triggered and applies an AI/ML algorithm to it. The skill then writes the information that was extracted from the file as metadata in Box.
This rich metadata can be displayed to end users when they preview files in Box and also powers other Box functionality like search. With Box Skills, individual pieces of content become agents to accelerate your business processes, with automatic, intelligent metadata that can trigger workflows, security and retention policies, and more.
To help you apply powerful AI/ML services to your content in Box, the Box Skills Kit, recently available in public beta, is a developer toolkit that allows enterprise customers, systems integrators, and third-party developers to create skills. Using the Box Skills Kit, you can create skills that apply AI/ML in unique ways in your business. You can use any applicable third-party AI/ML service - or even your own internally-built service. With the Box Skills Kit, you can automatically and securely process content in Box using AI/ML technologies and even visualize the outputs of your skill directly in the Box application. You can learn more about the Box Skills Kit and sign up for the beta program here.