Manpower uses AI to match contracts

Contract workforce specialist Manpower has found a business application for artificial intelligence - to help simplify and...

Contract workforce specialist Manpower has found a business application for artificial intelligence - to help simplify and accelerate the process by which it matches contractors with the most appropriate jobs.

Customer relationship management systems have come under fire in recent months because of poor returns on investment, but this promises to change if applications using neural networks and other artificial intelligence techniques live up to their promise.

Manpower is working with Ncorp's Ijen analytical software to replicate the actions of an expert when finding suitable candidates for a job vacancy.

The system uses Ijen to improve on the current SQL-based system, which will only find exact matches and not the near misses that can be discerned using "fuzzy logic" capabilities that let the human brain recognise, for example, that a bus and a car are both vehicles despite differences in their appearance.

By applying the software to the aggregated data from Manpower's 1,400 branches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, increases the likelihood of finding a contractor that will prove to be a perfect fit for the client company by selecting a range of candidates that can then be presented to an expert for the final choice.

Meanwhile SAS Institute is using similar artificial intelligence techniques to help customers to sort through documents and e-mails to filter out clues that might expose potential fraud.

The SAS software uses Inxight's engine to sift through text in, for instance, an insurance claim to detect phrases and nuances that may indicate that someone is lying.

Peter Dorrington, business solutions manager at SAS, explained that the analysed text is given a probability rating and threshold levels can be set for suspect documents to be forwarded to an investigations department. The software could also be used to check witnesses' statements in court cases.

Butler Group senior research analyst Mike Davis said, "There is an increasing trend to embed intelligent decision-making software in applications. This is proving to offer benefits both for customers and staff because of the time these automated systems can save."

After using the software to examine the Elizabethan play Henry VIII, where authorship is disputed, SAS claims that there is a high probability that it was indeed written by William Shakespeare.

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