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2025 AND BEYOND PART 6: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Y Soft Corporation, YSoft SafeQ
Ondřej “Ondra” Krajíček
Chief Technology Strategist
In this, the final article in a series, we look at artificial intelligence (AI) and why 33% of the research respondents considered this to be an area of focus and change for the future of print industry.
 
Over the series of seven articles (part seven published previously), we have taken a closer look at the key drivers of digital transformation within the print industry. Using Quocirca’s  Global Print 2025 report, published in March 2018, we looked at how the adoption of digital transformation is impacting the print industry.  
 
In the Quocirca study, respondents identified seven core areas of Digital Transformation which captures their attention. Y Soft has anticipated these trends and developed solutions that meet customer’s digital transformation lifecycle needs, both today and in the future.

What do we mean by Artificial Intelligence?

The term artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad umbrella term referring to a machine or program where its behavior is driven by training rather than its original implementation. The machine behavior can change / improve over time depending on existence of any learning feedback loop. This feedback loop is the single most important reason why many data-focused companies are hoarding data, even though it is not yet clear how they will be processed. Because in the future, new data processing techniques may be found, and the data may used to provide additional feedback. With AI, quantity is as much important as quality of the data you have.
 
While some of the technology is new, the concept of AI is not. The Turing Test was established in the 1950’s and slowly led to the development of machines and programs which could be trained. Recent technological advances, especially in the field of hardware miniaturization, performance optimization and parallel computing, are bringing AI to the mainstream. One of the bottlenecks of AI adoption, the availability and cost of processing power, has been overcome in the last decade.
 
Using a blend of technology, the use of AI is present in examples such as chatbots, virtual assistants, recommender systems, behavior monitoring, predictions and digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana or Apple Siri. There is much more depth to the world of AI, and we are still at the beginning. While AI is vastly different and far from human intelligence, it has important advantages.
 

Artificial Intelligence in the print industry

Through digital transformation, organizations are looking for solutions to support productivity, efficiency and cost savings, and the benefits of AI are visible throughout. The focus on the use of AI to support collaboration and connectivity will also impact workplaces of the future. With many organizations wanting to stay ahead of the curve, it is no wonder that the Global Print 2025 respondents felt that AI is important to the print industry.
 
The first AI application in the print industry has quietly penetrated the industry years ago. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies have been AI driven for years, as more and more complex models have been developed to improve character recognition accuracy, enable handwriting recognition, layout recognition, zoning and more.
 
The potential of AI in the print industry is significant and not limited to OCR though. The use of AI in predictive maintenance as well as paper to digital workflows is commonplace, and there is scope to develop these further as well as enhancing existing products and services. The increase of analytics and the internet of things (IOT) will drive yet further innovation and disruption using automation and robotics. On top of that, AI has numerous applications in security, discovery and optimization of business processes and workflows and streamlining of user experience.
 
We do not see AI as a disruptive technology. It brings improvements and enables significant productivity gains through automation, but printers are not getting self-aware any time soon and will not rise to attacks their users. As with any technology, excitement brings inflated expectations which may not be fulfilled any time soon. This is often described as an AI Winter, a period where we will not see significant new breakthroughs in the field of AI that bring true disruption into the field. If that will happen or not is one of the hot topics in the industry. Whether it happens or not, significant technology advances have already happened, and we have not exhausted their potential in applications.
 

Our focus is on increasing productivity…

YSoft Labs incubates new technologies and products before mainstream adoption. Leveraging our HW and SW capabilities, along with AI technologies for data processing and image recognition, Y Soft is building a Robotic Quality Assurance system which replaces manual testing, with real, reliable and comprehensive automation. Products, such as embedded systems are being tested in real usage scenarios and operating conditions with reliable measurements of their performance. This enables much broader coverage of product quality and added value and QA Engineers can refocus from manual testing to evolving and designing tests, making their jobs more productive and creative.

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…and security

One of the benefits and drivers toward the adoption of AI, is the enhanced security measures of defending against security threats. By using AI to support security measures, the decision-making process becomes streamlined and improved as the automated system can detect and stop attacks quickly, while learning and adapting by using data.
 
Through our Y Soft Ventures portfolio company, GreyCortex – who uses AI to detect anomalies in computer networks, we can provide an additional layer of security in customer infrastructure and printer fleets. Are attackers bypassing your print management solution and printing directly to printers? Are your printers being spoofed or hacked? A combined solution can provide answers to these questions and more in the future.

Innovation at the core

AI has the potential to disrupt the print industry, but Y Soft has the drive to help the industry adopt the technology for positive change. With innovation at its core, Y Soft is well placed to support organizations and the print industry to embrace AI by having the resources to explore its potential in print, document capture and 3D printing.

Download a free copy of the a YSoft executive summary of the Quocirca Print 2025 report to learn more. To purchase the full Quocirca report, visit www.print2025.com.
 
This is part six of a seven-part series exploring the Digital Transformation technologies identified by enterprise organizations in the Global Print 2025 report by Quocirca.
Part 1 – Private, public or hybrid cloud
Part 2 – Mobile
Part 3 – Security
Part 4 – Paper-to-digital workflow
Part 5 – Software as a service
Part 7 – Predictive Analysis

Ondřej “Ondra” Krajíček
Ondřej “Ondra” Krajíček
Ondra is Y Soft’s go-to guy when it comes to Information Technology and its potential in Y Soft products and services. He has passion for matching state-of-the-art technology with customer needs, especially when we are speaking about complex qualities: reliability, scalability and availability. Besides that, Ondra loves teaching and tries to spend some of his time as a guest lecturer at his alma mater, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. He is currently relocating from the Czech Republic to the Dallas, Texas area.
View all posts by Ondřej “Ondra” Krajíček

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