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Accenture creates Applied Artificial Intelligence business unit in Chile

InvestChile - March,24,2020

This year, it will focus on the natural resources sector, principally the mining, forestry and fuel industries, where there are opportunities to develop solutions for the use of data analytics in decision-making.

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In order to promote the use of technologies in the processes of Chilean industries, global consulting firm Accenture has created an Applied Artificial Intelligence business unit which, through data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), will develop solutions for different sectors and companies.

The new line of business - which is at the creation stage - will be led by economist and business administrator Francisco Rojas. With 30 professionals based in Chile, it will develop predictive models and personalized software to solve problems.

This unit already exists in other South American countries where the company has operations, such as Argentina, Peru and Brazil. The aim of its launch in Chile is to reinforce the use of AI and analytics in local industries, where there is room for growth.

Rojas says that the use of these tools for commercial and operational decision-making is low, particularly in the area of ​​natural resources such as mining, forestry and fuel companies.

“These industries are becoming ever more competitive and need to use data, either for their clients or in operational and market processes, to make better decisions (…). Through applied intelligence, we want to help clients move the needle of their businesses,” explains Rojas, Head of Applied Intelligence in Chile.

He indicates that, this year, the unit will focus on the natural resources sector where it is already in talks with the main companies.

“This year, we will focus on the natural resources industry, where the issue is already installed and there is room to operationalize the use of data and explore in what parts of the value chain analytics can move the needle,” says Rojas.

  • What is the implementation calendar? Has coronavirus affected you?

-So far, coronavirus has not affected our schedule. We are assembling the team, incorporating people into the business unit, and are in a process of understanding the target industries. We already have close ties with mining, for example, and are starting some concrete things with them. In the second half of the year, we will begin to implement the projects.

  • If the unit already exists in other South American countries, why install it in Chile now?

It has to do with the type of market; although the topic of data analytics and AI is installed in various industries, it is implementation that is the most difficult. For example, in retail, they are widely used, but the level of implementation is not as high as it could be, because analytics are complex and it is difficult for industries to incorporate them.

  • Why did you decide to focus on the natural resources sector?

These industries are very intensive in cost efficiency and that has been a very complex issue in recent years because the cost of labor, energy and water has increased. This implies that you have to be more efficient in making operational decisions that deliver a more comfortable commercial result than exists today.

  • At what stage are the conversations with companies?

We are talking with the largest operators in the natural resources industry. It is an exploratory stage where we are getting to know the relevant processes of each company and understanding their business models, seeing where it is possible to incorporate analytics. We have to draw up a roadmap of work.

  • What processes or areas do you seek to impact?

We see opportunities in the optimization of production processes, such as predictive maintenance or accident rates, knowing how, based on the data, to generate predictive models to avoid accidents. And to evaluate logistics and inventories. These are areas where we see significant opportunities for the data to contribute to productivity and efficiency.

  • What are your growth estimates for 2020?

The main objective is to participate in the design of the roadmaps of current clients, implement part of this plan - which is the most difficult in machine learning or AI projects - and start with the scalability of the solutions. We expect to end 2020 with about ten clients.

Did you know that Chilean companies are incorporating AI at twice the global rate? To find out more about the development of information technologies and investment opportunities in Chile, see this article.  

Source: Diario Financiero

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Topics: success stories- Accenture- Artificial Intelligence- Analytics- Natural resources- Applied Artificial Intelligence

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