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OutSystems launches centre of excellence to increase AI application development

OutSystems, a specialist in low-code application development and cloud computing, has announced an initiative to drive artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) software development.

The centre will explore how AI/ML can transform the world of software development in the next decade. The initiative behind this new centre is called Project Turing, aptly named after Alan Turing, father of theoretical computer science.

As part of Project Turing, OutSystems will: build a new AI Centre of Excellence in Lisbon, Portugal; commit 20 per cent of its overall R&D resources to focus on this challenge in addition to developing partnerships with industry experts, technology leaders, and universities to drive original research and innovation in the field of AI/ML.

‘Our bold vision for Project Turing fits perfectly with the principal ideas we had when we started OutSystems 17 years ago - reduce the complexity of developing and changing enterprise software. It’s in our DNA,’ said Paulo Rosado, OutSystems CEO.

‘With AI, we see the potential to transform the entire software lifecycle where AI assistants help with everything from modelling new applications with the right architecture and user experiences to analysing the business value and impact for the organisation.’

According to a report by Forrester Research, ‘AI will improve, accelerate, and disrupt the software development lifecycle. A combination of AI technologies like advanced machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing, and business rules will have an impact on all steps of the software development lifecycle, helping developers build better software faster.’

The report also notes that ‘AI will not just improve apps as we know them today - it will also allow developers to begin to move beyond apps to deliver tomorrow’s software experiences.’ [How AI Will Change Software Development And Applications by Diego Lo Giudice, November 2, 2016, copyright Forrester Research.]

Another recent research report from Gartner noted that: ‘Machine learning allows enterprises to implement models that would be impossible to build using human analysis due to the time required to do the analysis. Machine learning helps organisations discover hidden insights that would be impossible to identify through other means.’ [AI Will Alter Application Development - Things to Do Now by Van L. Baker, 17 August 2017, copyright Gartner.]

‘As the leading low-code platform provider for over a decade, we have one of the largest datasets of production applications in the world,’ said Nuno Antunes, OutSystems vice president of Engineering. ‘Just like IBM Watson is using massive volumes of medical data from the Mayo Clinic to improve patient health, we’re in a unique position to leverage AI/ML and big data to identify best practices and create expert assistants that will significantly help our customers in the future.’

The new centre will initially focus on three big projects including developing AI assistants by providing best practice patterns, components, and widgets during application design, AI Assistants will make developers more efficient and become the new paradigm for pair programming.

The project will also focus on designing AI-based Analysers that will decrease application maintenance costs. By analysing the structure of complex apps before they are deployed AI-based Analysers will be able to predict issues and monitor real-time usage patterns to make recommendations on how to improve and refactor applications.

Finally they researchers also aim to develop AI-based systems that automatically generate new feature recommendations for new applications based on large data sets of usage, error reporting, customer feedback, adoption rates, and business metrics.

The new centre launched on February 19, 2018, the anniversary of the first detailed design of a stored-program computer proposal developed by Alan Turing.

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