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Box Brings AI to Content Management

Box is bringing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to its enterprise content management platform, helping enterprises glean business insights from various kinds of data.

The company today (Dec. 18) announced the general availability of Box Skills, which leverage third-party AI and machine learning services to process and extract information from files once they're uploaded to the ECM and collaboration platform. Information extracted from files by these AI/ML services can then be stored in the file's metadata for further processing and use cases, such as file preview, search, automation and more.

Developers can use the Box Skills Kit and developer portal to build a skill, which is the application that performs the custom processing on uploaded files. These skills apply the third-party algorithms from established AI service providers such as IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services or others.

The idea, Box indicated, is to bring the best AI capabilities to the data where it resides, on the Box ECM platform.

"You can analyze files using any AI technology you want, even an algorithm you've cooked up internally," Box said in a blog post today. "A Skill adds any information it extracts from a file as metadata, which users can see and interact with right within the Box user experience. Metadata written by a Skill can also power other Box functionality, like enhancing search or triggering retention policies."

Specific use case examples include:

  • Label objects or people in images and videos, like company executives or products, to help marketing teams find specific photos faster
  • Extract information from customer contracts, like term, renewal, and pricing, so legal teams don't have to review contracts manually
  • Pull details off of a license or passport, like name, address, and birth date, to help onboard new employees, vendors, or customers faster
  • Detect when customer call recordings contain sensitive data, like credit card numbers or social security numbers, so those recordings don't fall into the wrong hands

While enterprise developers can use third-party AI algorithms out of the box or customize their own, Box has also partnered with IBM to provide such tailored projects -- called Custom Skills with IBM Watson -- to Box users.

"Custom Skills with IBM Watson is a service offering to build custom Box Skills that utilize AI technologies from IBM Watson AI technologies to enhance content in Box and drive digital business initiatives," the company said in yet another blog post today. "These highly-customizable solutions, built by the IBM Watson team using the Box Skills Kit, enable businesses to apply IBM's enterprise-strength Watson AI to enterprise content managed in Box."

IBM's Box Skills solutions include:

  • Custom document insights with Watson Natural Language Understanding
  • Custom image insights with Watson Visual Recognition
  • Custom audio analysis with Watson Speech-to-Text

Along with today's general availability of Box Skills and the IBM Box Skills partnership, Box also announced new consulting services to help enterprises with their AI strategies and, for one example, identify AI use cases as part of an overall content management strategy.

"The new offering, available now as part of an engagement from Box Consulting, includes a range of services from use case ideation workshops to proof-of-concept development and solution architecture reviews," the company said. "Box Consulting has already completed several AI engagements, assisting customers in ideating and implementing AI solutions in their business."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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