AI and Document Storage: Uncharted Territory that Could be Your Next Frontier…

Nov 29, 2019 | Blog, Document Storage

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way since the HAL 9000 computer from  the 1968 movie 2001—A Space Odyssey, said, “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” As a branch of computer science, AI has grown into a subset of enormous potential. That subset is machine learning.

The idea is to allow computer processors to access a huge amount of data and let the computer learn for itself. Of course, there is no limit to the data available. The challenge is to harness all that information for useful purposes.

Document Management Is More than Storage and Retrieval

Likewise, document management has come a long way from clunky microfiche readers requiring hours to find some obscure document. Modern document management systems employ OCR scanning and sophisticated text recognition. Digital storage means that important documents cannot be lost or misfiled. The warehouse that used to be full of file cabinets and hanging file folders is now a rack of network hardware. The files are safeguarded through backups, access controls, and offsite duplicates.

Ease of storage and retrieval are benefits, but digitizing documents should meet the organization’s higher needs to keep the business competitive. Absorbing, correlating, and applying all that corporate memory and experience can overload human efforts. Those efforts can potentially be partnered with AI. Automated document management systems without AI are like flat-file databases. They can be useless unless a correlation and connectivity process occurs.

How AI and ML Can Revolutionize a DMS

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential and are already revolutionizing document management systems. Their presence is already being felt in new ways to extract, process, archive, and store information. For example:

  1. Thanks to machine learning, AI-powered systems can read a document, analyze its content and classify it accordingly. This intake processing can be done instantly, as well as save time and avoid human error.
  2. OCR technology has advanced significantly. Based on small samples of training materials, AI-powered OCR systems can recognize large volumes of documents without human intervention.
  3. AI-powered document management systems can be trained to extract information without extra human effort. That capability allows for grouping similar documents without human sorting and classification.
  4. AI-powered document management systems enable the powerful business intelligence analytics for real-time assessments as well as business analytics. An organization can instantly access and analyze historical information and make reliable predictions and fact-based business decisions.
  5. An AI-powered document management system can learn to recognize and protect sensitive customer data. Those documents can be tagged for special handling and access controls. Likewise, the system can enforce user access through advanced features like facial recognition.

What Is on the Horizon

Today’s AI avatar is Siri. We can ask Siri a question like this: “What is the future of AI and how can my company harvest all that big data lying dormant in my digital files?” The best answer you’ll get is a marginally more useful reply than HAL 9000 gave Dave.

Fortunately, however, if AI follows the trend of most automated innovations—i.e., exponential growth and improvement—we can look forward to a document management capability that could soon do the following:

  • Allow researchers and managers to speak to the AI-powered computer as if it were a person. Imagine a legal researcher querying Siri: “I need to find some case law that covers the current litigation we’re handling with Mary Jones and her injured spouse.”
  • Train AI-powered research tools to contact, consult with, and talk to other AIs. Imagine the possibilities of hooking up isolated lakes of data into a vast pool for new scientific study or improved working relationships between clients and customers.

Are We There Yet?

Yes, we have indeed come a long way from when Dave the Astronaut disabled HAL 9000. We would love to enable and empower your organization with the best-automated services. When you’re ready for the next step in automating your management throughout its lifecycle, contact us.

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