The coming age of AI products

Posted by Mike Walsh

May 14, 2019 10:07:08 PM

Karthik Ramakrishnan

 

As AI moves out of research labs and into the real world of commercial applications, we will increasingly see the rise of AI products - whether it be detecting fraud in financial transactions or optimizing supply chains. While you won’t need a detailed knowledge of machine learning models to take advantage of the next generation of AI tools, you may well require an appreciation for confidence intervals and a new approach to making decisions. On a trip to Toronto, I caught up with Karthik Ramakrishnan, Head of Industry Solutions & Advisory at Element AI. We spoke about the near-term challenges of embedding AI decision-making in organizations, and why just as important as getting algorithmic products to work with people, will be getting the products to work with each other to make complex, synthesized decisions across the company of the future.

 

CATEGORY: Leadership, Technology

Building the retail AI stack

Posted by Mike Walsh

May 6, 2019 3:11:00 PM

Jason Hosking

 

I met Jason in Las Vegas while speaking at the National Automatic Merchandising Association show. The vending industry is uniquely placed to be a testing ground for the intersection of data, consumer behavior and autonomous retail solutions. Jason, who is the CEO of AI startup Hivery was originally selected as part of an innovation accelerator organized by the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. Tasked to take Coke assets and create a new business model, they came up with an AI platform designed to transform retail decision making. Catching up backstage in Vegas, we spoke about the future of machine learning, and what it might take to build a complete retail AI technology stack.

 

CATEGORY: Retail, Technology

Avoiding the steampunk automation trap

Posted by Mike Walsh

Apr 28, 2019 5:45:45 PM

George Kaczmarskyj

 

Robotic process automation is a tempting proposition for many leaders: who wouldn’t want the ability to replace your processes with cheap algorithms that can run 24/7? However, the real benefit of automation is not efficiency or cost-savings, but the opportunity to rethink your entire operating model. I spoke recently with some of EY’s automation clients in New York, and one of the most interesting chats I had was with George Kaczmarskyj, a principal within EY’s Financial Services advisory practice, who leads Robotics and Intelligent Automation for Americas Financial Services. In this episode about the future of automation, we spoke about the similarities with the early days of electricity when companies also struggled to reinvent their paradigm and business models.

 

CATEGORY: Leadership, Technology

Ethical AI and the digitally transformed insurance company of the future

Posted by Mike Walsh

Mar 19, 2019 6:44:15 PM

Phil Armstrong

 

Despite being one most traditional and conservative sectors in the world, insurance is a sector primed for digital transformation and reinvention through AI. I met Phil Armstrong, the Global Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice-President at The Great-West Life Assurance Company while speaking at event for them in Toronto. Great West Life is a 32 billion dollar financial services holding company with interests in the life insurance, health insurance, investment and retirement savings, and reinsurance businesses. Armstrong has been a key driver of adopting automation to transform their operating model, and we spoke about the challenges of embracing AI while maintaining legacy platforms, digital ethics, his vision for a ‘factory of bots’, and the new kinds of algorithmic talent that companies will need to thrive in this environment.

 

CATEGORY: Technology, Insurance

Life in 2030

Posted by Mike Walsh

Feb 11, 2019 7:21:59 AM

Mark Pesce

 

Mark Pesce has been living in the future for longer than just about anyone I know. He was one of the original pioneers of virtual reality, having invented VRML, the standard for 3D on the Web and a core component of MPEG-4. He is the author of 6 books, including "VRML: Browsing and Building Cyberspace", "The Playful World", and, most recently, "The Last Days of Reality". We caught up recently in Sydney where he now lives, to talk about the coming age of algorithms and the perils and pleasures of what it will be like to live in the AI-haunted world of the near future.

 

CATEGORY: Innovation, Technology

Ethics for an age of smart machines

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jan 28, 2019 5:25:25 AM

Simon Longstaff

 

We are at a pivotal moment in our society where the forces of accelerating technology are starting to collide with our personal values, social priorities and legal systems. With the rise of AI and automation, knowing how to identify what is right or good in any given situation is becoming both more complex, and more essential. To get to the bottom of some of these challenging issues, I caught up with Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of The Ethics Centre. Longstaff, who has been named as one of AFR Boss’ True Leaders for the 21st century, recently released a fascinating report entitled ‘Ethical By Design: Principles For Good Technology’ - that provides a framework that unifies centuries of philosophical thought, with today’s data-driven dilemmas.

 

CATEGORY: Leadership, Technology

How to be smart, when machines are smarter than you

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jan 21, 2019 5:41:05 PM

Mike Walsh

 

To kick off a new season of Between Worlds, I’m turning the camera and the microphone back on myself! What you are about to hear is the first chapter of my brand new audiobook, ‘The Algorithmic Leader: How to be smart, when machines are smarter than you.’ In this book, you will meet many of the leaders, pioneers, and scientists that regular listeners to this show will recognize from previous episodes. What will happen to jobs in a time of accelerating automation? How does the availability of real-time data change the way we need to think and solve problems? What will it take to be an effective leader in a world changed by AI? What are the secrets to successful digital transformation? I’ve synthesized years of research into a set of 10 principles about what it takes to succeed in the algorithmic age. My book is out in early March (pre-order), but if you enjoy this sample, you can download the entire audiobook at Audible or iTunes today. 

 

CATEGORY: Leadership, Technology

Speaking to truth and power in the algorithmic age

Posted by Mike Walsh

Nov 19, 2018 5:01:28 PM

Andreas Ekstrom

 

The algorithmic age raises new difficult questions about truth and objectivity. For leaders of companies and countries alike, reconciling accountability and transparency, with freedom and privacy have never been more difficult. To debate these issues, I sat down with Andreas Ekström, a Swedish philosopher and author of seven books, known for his writing and lectures on life in the digital age. His TEDx talk on the false objectivity of search results has been viewed over a million times.

 

CATEGORY: Leadership, Technology

How AI will force us to find new jobs, inside our old ones

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 22, 2018 3:06:45 PM

Manish Singh

When AI platforms are not busy beating us at Go or showing us how to drive cars properly, they are also changing the way that companies spend and track money. Talking with Manish Singh, an EVP at Oversight Systems, I learned how machine learning is both automating financial operations, and transforming the way we mitigate risk. Although Manish and I had fun talking about some of my favorite geeky AI topics (probabilistic thinking and the influence of Thomas Bayes), what you may find really interesting, is our discussion on how clerical jobs in the company of the future will not be simply automated, but elevated into something altogether new with very different skills and outcomes.

 

CATEGORY: Leadership, Technology

What Marvel can teach us about digital transformation

Posted by Mike Walsh

Sep 24, 2018 6:38:55 PM

Steve Cronan

 

Steve Cronan started out as the digital asset manager on the Matrix movies in the early 2000s. The experience inspired him to start a company that helped Hollywood Studios and global brands manage vast amounts of content and digital assets across processes, workflows and global markets. If you watched the latest Avengers movie, you would have seen Cronan’s company, 5thKind in the credits. Catching up in LA, we spoke about the lessons that studios like Marvel can teach other organizations about digital transformation, and how we are just at the beginning of a new renaissance in AI-powered creativity.

 

CATEGORY: Technology, Media & Entertainment