AI/Watson

Base22: A blueprint for finding the value in information

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The most exciting thing about my job is being able to work with a variety of companies across the world. I’ve worked in the automotive industry, in the logistics business, with pharmaceutical companies and with oil companies. And the one thing they all have in common is information overload.

Extracting maximum value from information

Large companies generate an incredible amount of information every day and it’s often unclear how to use or even categorize it. At Base22, we help them change that. Over the last 15 years, we’ve devised a blueprint that organizes all that information.

Basically, our blueprint matches the principles and patterns that exist in the intranet or web-content author’s mind with the patterns and ideas of users seeking information. If everyone shares the same blueprint, it’s much easier for a business to publish information, and for both internal users and external customers to find what they’re searching for.

Once clients have a good content foundation, we can layer on additional value, such as helping users quickly find information in an employee handbook that was previously a PDF and is now web content. Today, we’ve begun applying AI technology to let users actually converse in natural language with that handbook. For example, they can ask, “Am I allowed to wear open-toed shoes to the Plano office?” With AI, they receive a conversational response, rather than being told to look up the answer on page 95 of the handbook. As we layer social and AI solutions on top of what we call cornerstone content, the entire enterprise gets smarter.

AI technology: the smartest employee in the workforce

I believe that AI technology can permeate the entire web ecosystem. Harnessed properly, it can become the smartest employee in the workforce.

For example, imagine posting a question and receiving an answer that says, “I’m not an engineer, but I have read every engineering document on our intranet and here’s my opinion.” An AI bot can do that. You still need experts to refine the answer, build on the answer and correct where it’s wrong.

The great thing is that AI technologies like IBM Watson can learn from mistakes and become smarter. If you are using Watson, your experts can collaborate with it to make the whole enterprise smarter, using information more efficiently and making it easier to find.

People + information = a smarter organization

Our main concern is connecting people with value. For example, Watson Workspace helps users find and use the valuable information they need to excel at their jobs. We ask how they can become heroes within their organization. If a tool like Watson Workspace empowers them, we’re all for it. For this reason, we’re looking for opportunities to integrate Watson with our products as tightly as possible.

The best advice I can give to my clients is to remember that, whatever their line of business, they are managing information to create happy, satisfied customers, both within the organization and outside it. After they’ve realized that they are an information company, making decisions should become easier because every decision will be grounded in the user. Once we’ve helped our clients identify their core, user-focused principles, we can look for opportunities to weave in AI technology to help them become a smarter business at every level of the organization.

  

Learn more about how Base22 is using IBM Watson to transform its clients’ web and intranet strategies by watching the video interview below with Ben Shoemate:

 

Information Architect and User Experience Designer

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