ORLANDO – SAS, profitable since 1976 when it launched and a $3 billion a year company, showed how serious it is about the growing artificial intelligence market on Tuesday, its CEO saying $1 billion will be invested in AI initiatives over the next three years.

“Businesses face many challenges, from the threat of economic recession and stressed supply chains to workforce shortages and regulatory changes,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight at the annual SAS Innovate conference. “With insights from industry-focused analytics, resilient organizations can find opportunity in these challenges.

“Through this investment, SAS will continue to support companies using AI, machine learning and advanced analytics to fight fraud, manage risk, better serve customers and citizens, and much more. We remain steadfast in our ongoing commitment to innovation while delivering the market’s best analytics.”

SAS already has a huge footprint in advanced analytics and AI through its SAS Viya product suite.

New and further development will target “banking, government, insurance, health care, retail, manufacturing, energy and more,” the privately held company said.

In a two-part interview with WRAL TechWire,  Reggie Townsend, vice president of the SAS Data Ethics Practice, talked about the rapid advances being made in AI and how SAS is pursuing AI initiatives:

‘Digital nervous system’ from SAS is becoming smarter with AI, exec says

‘Digital nervous system’ from SAS is becoming smarter with AI, exec says