News and Tech Talk

AppZen Applying AI to Expense Management

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 2, 2017 9:40:46 AM / by Maria Thing Nielsen

Maria Thing Nielsen

Innovation Center Denmark Silicon Valley has dedicated 2017 to gain expert knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Silicon Valley and investigate how this can be applied to make an impact in Denmark. 

Applied Artificial Intelligence from Silicon Valley to Denmark

AI is in many areas a mature technology that can be used today. Lots of development is maturing and expanding the “AI market”, where Denmark, Danish companies and organizations has a huge opportunity to lead this development, however Denmark is at risk we just “wait and see” what happens. 

There are several AI-oriented technologies and applications but no one knows where these technologies and applications will pick up, or take off, and in many fields, use cases are still taking shapes as “experiments” and not as direct and succinct drivers of business value.

Innovation Center Denmark Silicon Valley wants to help transforming knowledge about artificial intelligence into impact in Denmark, benefiting Danish companies, public sector and universities. We want to transform the intangible AI into Applied AI making AI tangible, concrete and useful, e.g. by presenting cases like AppZen where artificial intelligence drive business value.


AppZen - Firstmover in Applying AI for Auditing of Travel and Entertainment Expenses

As a part of Innovation Center Denmark's ongoing deep dive into Applied Artificial Intelligence, Innovation Senior Adviser Anders Christjansen recently had the chance to sit down with Anant Kale, CEO and founder of the rising star company AppZen, which is the first in the world to apply AI for auditing of travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses in larger firms.

In the 30-minute video interview below Anant talks about his experience of going from an executive position in a Fortune 500 company to quitting his job and founding his own AI-based start-up. Pivoting early from conversational bots to T&E auditing, Anant addresses a common misconception of application specific AIs and explains how the same technology went into the two very different products. In the video interview Anant gives a chronologically overview up until today, telling about the current state of the company, its technology and the impact that it has made with their customers.

Anant further touch upon how the AI may affect the composition of the workforce and practices related to hiring, training and distributing human accountants, as well as comparing the performance of human workers to the capabilities of an AI.


Putting the AI technology Into Perspective

In the final section of the interview, we delve into the design of the technology, and which decisions and tools have gone into making it the way it is today. To put the technology into perspective, Anant explains how the AI is able to read receipts and other documents and relate them to certain consumption patterns, which it is then able to categorize correctly and assess the validity and truthfulness of the expense. It’s also able to help determine whether the employee is guilty of fraud or just making an honest mistake.

See the interview below to further tap into the discussion about the future of AppZen, what is in the pipeline and where the company is headed. 



Video Time Table

For ease of view, we have divided the video into a number of themed sections that can guide you to jump straight into the specific themes discussed.

[00:36] Short presentation of Anant and the origin of AppZen

[01:56] The beginning of AppZen, and the challenges of going from corporate to start-up

[05:29] Pivoting from a corporate-based conversational assistant to a T&E auditing AI enabling better decision making.

[09:07] Current state of the company; What’s the value proposition? What is the product able to do and what has it been able to do so far? Who are your current customers, and what have they used it for?

[14:52] Human performance vs. the performance of the AppZen AI

[18:52] How might the AppZen AI auditor impact decisions related to how corporations hire, organize, and train their human auditors in the near future?

[23:09] Tech-talk: Construction of the technology behind the product, and which tools have gone into developing it.

[26:42] Using and teaching the AI to know honest mistakes from deliberate fraud.

[32:50] The future: What is in the pipeline and where is AppZen headed in the coming year(s).



Topics: appliedartificialintelligence, firstmover, businessvalue

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