At Oracle, AI is at the forefront of its product development agenda

With artificial intelligence or AI dominating the conversation in the tech world in the last couple of years, business software giant Oracle is jumping into the fray by highlighting the “autonomous” capabilities of its products and cloud services.

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd during the recent Oracle Media Day in Redwood Shores, California

At the recent Oracle Media Day held at the company’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, the software firm said AI has been a standard feature in its offerings over the last two decades. The company is now taking AI, machine learning, and its massive compute power and knowledge of running databases and cloud services and platforms for customers to launch autonomous services.

Similar to AI, which is loosely defined as an area of computer science that is concerned with making machines work smart, autonomous capabilities refer to the ability of a non-human to act on its own intelligently.

In the case of its flagship products, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said the autonomous attributes allow its database to “self-heal” and “self-repair”. He said crucial patches that took weeks or even months to release in the past have now become “instantaneous” with this intelligent capability.

“This is a big leap in terms of implementation and solves a lot of issues in a number of areas such continuity and security,” said Hurd.

The ability to process data on its own, he added, also enables Oracle databases to optimize all sorts of workloads like provisioning for Internet of Things (IoT). “Autonomous means self-driving. Our self-driving database takes care of itself,” Hurd emphasized.

Steve Daheb, senior vice president for Oracle Cloud, echoed Hurd’s assertion, saying an autonomous database that is optimized for all sorts of workloads will logically lead to lower cost, allowing businesses to free up their budgets and focus on innovations.

“We’ve worked on automating databases without human intervention for the last 15 to 20 years,” Daheb declared during a panel discussion.

In the area of security, self-repairing databases can now plug the holes where most attacks are usually carried out, according to Penny Avril, vice president for Oracle Cloud.

“The vast majority of security breaches in the past were shown to have been caused by vulnerabilities which have patches that were previously available. With self-repairing databases, this problem is now a thing of the past,” Avril said.

Tech heavyweights such as Oracle are now leveraging on the maturity of AI to address business needs, and aid in work processes, analyst firm ABI Research has said in a report.

AI, said ABI Research, has now influenced a variety of work processes, the common areas of which include customer service, cyber security, data management, and human resource.

“AI is capable of providing innovative ways to streamline every aspect of a business operation. But, we’re barely scratching the surface,” the research firm said in a report. AI, it underlined, is in its early stages of development, but in the next 15 years, it will touch nearly every business and consumer operation.

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