Mike Walsh

Recent Posts

Pierre-Yves Calloc'h on AI-driven transformation and the future of consumer engagement

Posted by Mike Walsh

Apr 20, 2024 7:25:50 PM

Pierre-Yves Calloch


I sat down with Pierre-Yves Calloc'h, Chief Digital Officer at Pernod Ricard, to discuss the company's journey in embracing AI, algorithms and automation to drive marketing effectiveness, sales performance, and consumer engagement. Pernod Ricard, known for its extensive portfolio of brands such as Absolut Vodka, Jameson, and Ballantine's, has been at the forefront of leveraging AI to make data-driven decisions and personalize consumer experiences.

Pierre-Yves shares insights into how AI has transformed various aspects of the business, from optimizing marketing investments and generating personalized content to empowering sales teams with tailored recommendations for each outlet. He emphasizes the importance of transparency, internal capability building, and the role of human judgment in challenging and interpreting AI-driven insights.


Looking ahead, Pierre-Yves envisions a future where AI will enable even greater personalization and adaptation to individual consumer preferences and moments. He highlights the potential for AI to enhance consumer experiences by ensuring that people find the right product at the right time, tailored to their specific desires and the social context of their consumption.


5 Key Insights:


1. Embrace AI and automation to drive marketing effectiveness, sales performance, and consumer engagement.


2. Foster a data-driven culture and empower teams to make decisions based on AI-generated insights while encouraging them to challenge and interpret the recommendations.


3. Invest in building internal AI capabilities to ensure transparency, cost-effectiveness, and alignment with business needs.


4. Prepare for a future where AI enables hyper-personalization and adaptation to individual consumer preferences and moments.


5. Ensure responsible and transparent use of AI, addressing consumer concerns and adhering to ethical guidelines.




CATEGORY: Marketing

Byron Reese on emergence, superorganisms and our co-evolution with AI

Posted by Mike Walsh

Apr 14, 2024 7:34:09 PM

Byrone Reese 1-1


In this episode, I speak with Byron Reese, an acclaimed author, futurist, and entrepreneur, who shares his insights on the concept of ‘Agora’, a superorganism formed by the collective interactions of human beings. Drawing parallels complex adaptive systems like beehives, Reese argues that just as individual bees come together to create an entirely new organism with emergent properties, humans too form a higher-order entity through their differentiated roles and interactions. 

Reese delves into the idea of life spreading through the universe via panspermia and the role of natural selection in the evolution of intelligent life on planets. He posits that the purpose of Agora is to protect life on Earth from existential threats, such as asteroids, and that the optimal number of intelligent species on a planet is one, as too many would lead to self-destruction, while too few might fail to protect the planet.

In our discussion, we also touch upon the potential co-evolution of humans and artificial intelligence, the consolidation of human knowledge through language models, and the importance of individual actions in contributing to the well-being of the superorganism. 

5 Key Takeaways

1. Agora, a superorganism formed by human interactions, emerges from the differentiated roles and specialized interactions of individuals, much like a beehive.

2. Life may have spread throughout the universe via panspermia, and natural selection favors planets with a single intelligent species capable of protecting it from existential threats.

3. The purpose of Agora could be to safeguard life on Earth from catastrophic events, such as asteroid impacts, highlighting the importance of collective action.

4. The co-evolution of humans and artificial intelligence, along with the consolidation of human knowledge through language models, may significantly shape the future of society and decision-making.

5. Individual actions, such as kindness and personal growth, play a crucial role in contributing to the well-being and progress of the superorganism, potentially leading to a utopian future.





Matt Hervey on navigating the legal implications of generative AI

Posted by Mike Walsh

Apr 7, 2024 9:59:34 AM

Matt Hervey 1-1


What are the new challenges that generative AI is creating for copyright law? In this episode, I speak with Matt Hervey, the head of AI law at Gowling, to explore the legal intricacies surrounding the creation of content and ideas by large language models. In our discussion, Matt sheds light on the complex landscape of AI ownership, highlighting the differences in legal frameworks across various jurisdictions, such as the UK, EU, and US. 

In Matt’s view, a key issue for leaders to consider in determining the ownership and protectability of AI-generated works, is the degree of human involvement and the level of effort contributed. We also touch upon the controversial issue of training data and the potential liabilities arising from the use of scraped content from the internet.

In this episode, we further explore the transformative potential of AI in industries like life sciences, where AI-powered drug discovery and clinical trials are already making significant strides. Matt discusses the importance of documenting the AI development process to mitigate risks and the need for organizations to develop proprietary models to safeguard their intellectual property.

The 5 Key Takeaways:

1. Understand the legal implications of AI ownership and the varying levels of protection across different jurisdictions to inform strategic decisions and mitigate risks.

2. Assess the potential liabilities associated with training data and implement measures to ensure the ethical and responsible use of AI within the organization.

3. Recognize the transformative potential of AI in industry-specific applications and invest in proprietary models to leverage unique data assets and gain a competitive edge.

4. Foster collaboration between legal, technical, and domain experts to develop a comprehensive understanding of AI's impact and potential within the organization.

5. Prepare for the future of AI-powered organizations by building interdisciplinary teams and upskilling employees to effectively navigate the complexities of AI implementation and governance.






Mikko Hyppönen on the future of cybersecurity in an AI-driven world

Posted by Mike Walsh

Mar 31, 2024 1:53:51 PM

Mikko Hyponnen


Mikko Hyppönen is a renowned Finnish cybersecurity expert and the Chief Research Officer at WithSecure. In our discussion, we delved into the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats, particularly focusing on the impact of artificial intelligence and large language models. 

Mikko and I covered a wide range of topics, from the scalability of AI-powered scams and phishing attacks to the emergence of "cybercrime unicorns" - highly organized and well-funded criminal organizations. Hyppönen emphasized the importance of visibility, anomaly detection, and the use of AI in defending against these threats. He also touched upon the need for regulation and the establishment of principles to guide the development and use of AI systems.

The 5 Key Takeaways:

1. AI-powered scams and phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated, personalized, and scalable, posing significant challenges for organizations and individuals.


2. The rise of "cybercrime unicorns" - well-organized and funded criminal organizations - is a growing concern in the cybersecurity landscape.

3. Visibility, anomaly detection, and the use of AI in defensive strategies are crucial for organizations to protect themselves against evolving threats.

4.  Regulation and the establishment of guiding principles are necessary to ensure the responsible development and use of AI systems in cybersecurity.


5. Organizations must have well-defined plans and the ability to adapt quickly when faced with cybersecurity incidents, such as ransomware attacks.




CATEGORY: Cybersecurity

Building the digital biotech of the future

Posted by Mike Walsh

Nov 3, 2021 2:33:05 PM



Most are familiar with the story of how Moderna was able to rapidly develop and deploy a successful COVID19 vaccine during the pandemic. Not long after Chinese scientists first put the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus online, Moderna went from sequencing to shipping in a matter of months. To put that in perspective, a vaccine typically takes ten years to bring to market. What is less known is that Moderna never intended to be a company focused on making coronavirus vaccines - it was simply an opportunity that emerged out of having the right capabilities and infrastructure in place.


When Moderna was founded in 2010, it set the vision of being a digital biotech platform capable of broadly exploring the potential of mRNA technology. When news of the pandemic first emerged, Moderna was working on a number of mRNA-based medicines, including those focused on heart disease, Zika, and cancer. However, Moderna's founders believed that if mRNA technology worked for one application, it could work for countless more, and all that would be needed was to change the information and code it for a new application. 


When I spoke with Dave Johnson, Chief Data and AI Officer at the company, he explained that mRNA is an information-based platform. Similar to a computer's operating system, researchers can insert new genetic code from a virus to create a novel vaccine quickly and safely. In fact, it was the software-like, digital nature of mRNA technology that inspired Moderna to fashion themselves in the form of a new type of digital biotech company with AI, algorithms, and automation at its core.


Dave Johnson is Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer at Moderna, where he is responsible for all enterprise data capabilities from data engineering, data integration, data science, and software engineering. Johnson holds a PhD in Information Physics and has over 15 years of experience in software engineering and data science. He has spent more than a decade working exclusively in enterprise pharma and biotech companies.



In this episode you will learn: 


02:13 How Moderna brought a COVID19 vaccine to market so quickly
04:10 The value of investing in capabilities rather than competencies
06:20 How Moderna is different from a more traditional pharma company
10:02 The future of personalized cancer vaccines
11:27 Why there is so much misplaced optimism about AI in biotech
13:33 The Moderna digital platform
18:34 Why data scientists are not data analysts



CATEGORY: Pharmaceutical