If we believe the hype, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics are quite possibly the answer to all our problems. Not just in business, but for the wider world too. Equally, some observers fear that the very same technologies are sowing the seeds of our downfall.
The desire to separate myth from reality, fact from fiction, was one of the key reasons we decided to launch the Future Says series. Over the course of the last few months, we’ve broadcast interviews with five people perfectly placed to provide straight answers to the biggest questions. How can we ensure AI is a force for good? Why are so many enterprises falling short in terms of delivering value from their data? How and where should we be applying AI and data analytics, right now and in the years ahead?
Our guests were not academics, although there is certainly no shortage of PHDs and impressive qualifications among them. Nor were they salespeople for AI and data analytics solutions, although all are passionate advocates for the potential of these technologies. In fact, our interviewees are working at the very heart of blue-chip enterprises. On a day-to-day basis, they are responsible for driving the use of AI and data analytics – and making clear and quantifiable differences to business performance. Drawing on this experience, they all shared genuinely thought-provoking insights into the present and future.
Inspired by their contributions, we are now launching a second series. The next round of Future Says starts on September 8, with a very special LinkedIn Live event (stay tuned to our LinkedIn page for more details). Our host, Sean Lang, will bring together all five guests from series one, continuing the conversation and taking questions from a worldwide audience. The full line-up is:
- Aiko Yamashita, senior data scientist, Centre of Excellence, DNB Bank
- Girish Agarwal, chief digital and information officer, PIAB
- Dr Richard Benjamins, chief AI and data strategist, Telefonica
- Errol Koolmeister, head of AI engineering, H&M
- Georg von Zedtwitz-Liebenstein, information and analytics lead, Scania
In the coming months, Lang will interview seven more data science experts, working for companies that include Google, PWC, Fasanara Capital, and Zenseact.
In season one, we learned that as far as realizing the full potential of AI and data analytics is concerned, the nuts and bolts of the technology is no longer the central issue. Reflecting this, the Future Says series will not teach you how to create algorithms, build AI models, or become a data scientist (although it might just make you want to do all three). Instead, we will continue to focus firmly on the bigger picture.
In this respect, our guests in season one shared a common perspective. They believe creating a truly data-driven organization is very much a question of cultural change. Success depends on understanding the relationship between AI and humans and assessing and addressing the potential risks involved. Proof of concept is merely a starting point. Clear and achievable targets need to be set for each use case – and delivered quickly. What’s more, organizations need to consider what type of employee will make a good data scientist, and then ensure they are free to collaborate effectively with their colleagues.
Above all else, Future Says is not just aimed at those on the front line of data analytics and AI. If you are at all interested in creating a data-driven business, ensuring AI and data analytics are used ethically and responsibly, or your investment in these new technologies delivers a meaningful return, it is worth tuning in.
To watch episodes from season one of Future Says or to sign-up for notification of season two episodes, visit https://web.altair.com/futuresays.