When the AI developers at Botnik Studios decided to use the predictive technology of machine learning to read Harry Potter and produce some new copy for the beloved series, they knew they weren’t going to end up with a great work of literature. Still, nobody could have predicted the hilariously off-kilter prose it produced, like “The Pig of Hufflepuff pulsed like a large bullfrog,” and Twitter certainly enjoyed the show.
Clearly, humans are still the leaders in real creative endeavours, but automation can support creativity in other ways. While the script for the next Harry Potter movie won’t be written by AI, the film’s visuals might be rendered using several AI products in tandem, such as a tool used to speed and enhance the creative process.
Predictive technology has incredible potential, and thanks to the increasing democratisation of computing power, that potential is no longer confined to major Hollywood movie studios. Now, businesses of any size can use automated solutions to speed and improve their most taxing and creative processes.
Reimagine your office as a shared creative-productive space
In the office environment, the distinction between productive and creative tasks isn’t always clear. Creative solutions can often give even the most routine job a performance boost, while effective execution of creative projects requires efficient behind-the-scenes processes. Maintenance of the office printing network is a perfect example of a simple process that supports more creative ones, and with predictive technology, it can provide that support more effectively.
For instance, printers are hubs for office collaboration, where workers can easily examine complex information together and prepare for larger presentations. But a poorly maintained office printing network can prove unreliable. How can your team solve their most nonlinear problems when far simpler obstacles keep popping up along the way?
Make the workplace more effective with predictive technology
Right now, data and document sorting can be a pain. Whether it’s scanning bar codes to sort pages into categories or pulling out specific numbers for data entry, predictive technology can make the most time-consuming and error-prone tasks faster and more reliable. Advanced algorithms can examine a page and determine which elements represent which common types of data and metadata, then take action accordingly. Important documents will be more likely to get flagged as important by automated processes with infinite attention-spans, and they can actually arrive at the departments that need them most.
Still, the most important aspect of printer management is the most important aspect of any modern digital tool: security. The office is the hottest target for hackers, even those after purely personal information on customers or employees, and they often find crucial vulnerabilities overlooked in subsidiary portions of the office network—like the print server. But with high-quality, automated print security, businesses can rely on their networks to be there when needed.
Prepare for the coming explosion of automation in printing
One big area for future advancement in printer AI has to do with the possible uses for the data in printed and scanned documents. While advanced printers can already analyse pages for word count, automation in printing could be a major source of data for business analytics in the future by collecting the appropriate data from each and every page sent through the machine. This could help with one of the core problems in modern data-driven business: actually producing the massive databases needed to derive real insights. As one of the most natural through-points for information in the office, a sufficiently automated printing system would be the perfect capture device.
Of course, the more insight you draw from your confidential internal data, the more important it will be to protect your systems. Otherwise, all the hard work by IT could end up benefiting criminal hackers rather than investors. Whether it’s applied to a cloud printing solution or the office’s core network of computers, proactive security automation will be needed to keep out next-generation attackers. That means not just downloading and incorporating the newest processes, maintaining good practices, and flagging suspicious activity all on its own—it also equates to learning from any attacks that it’s already endured and become automatically more secure as a result.
AI may not blow JK Rowling out of the water just yet—but it can still add value to the continued advancement of human creativity in business and elsewhere. Or, more accurately, a failure to adopt the incredible power in modern automation could leave businesses without the means to achieve their most creative, personal goals.