16 July 2023 would be a very special day for all the engineers and analysts working in the fields of Artificial Intelligence technology research, development and marketing. The day will be celebrated as the third annual Artificial Intelligence Appreciation Day, honoring the gravitas of the novel machine learning inventions on the human race. From improving the speed and accuracy of medical research to forecasting climate change to preventing suicides and mass-shootings, the AI’s role in improving the quality of our lives as been truly remarkable. Despite fears of AI taking jobs and replacing humans with machines, the positive impact on the global GDP is just too much to be left ignored in the current scenario. Good AI trumps the darker side of the inventions.
This week, top AI leaders and technology experts from different industries spoke to us about the importance of AI and why an event such as the AI Appreciation Day should be actively celebrated at the national, regional and international levels.
The speakers include:
- Richard Hartley, CEO and co-Founder of Cytora
- Alistair Dent, Chief Strategy Officer at Profusion
- Will LaSala, Field CTO, OneSpan
- Vinay Anand, CPO at NetSPI
- Darron Makrokanis, Chief Revenue Officer, Xage Security
- Fran Rosch, CEO, ForgeRock
- Fréderic Godin, Head of AI, Sinch Engage & Chatlayer
- Randall Ward, CEO and co-founder, Appfire
- Carl Froggett, CIO, Deep Instinct
Impossible to Think of Running Business Without Generative AI
Richard Hartley, CEO and co-Founder of Cytora
“AI Appreciation Day is a good time for us to reflect on the impact advancements in AI have had on the across multiple industries this year. Practically every industry vertical is experimenting with generative AI to create innovative new customer experiences. Considerable investment is pouring in and there is a realistic prospect of a step-function improvement in productivity across multiple industries unblocking higher levels of global economic growth over the next decades.
“It is natural for investors and entrepreneurs to get excited about all the possibilities of generative AI, but the reality is that some of the greatest opportunities can be found in deepening existing AI-first platforms rather than creating brand new use cases. For example, the insurance industry has been using AI for a number of years, however, LLMs provide a way to really ramp up productivity through deeper intelligence. It will massively increase the capacity of insurers to uplift the volume of risk they write at close to zero marginal cost. This may be critical in the next decade as factors like climate change increase volatility and drive-up insurance premiums. My view is this type of industry-enhancing innovation is where we will see the biggest impact of AI in the medium term.”
Do we Need another Social Media Revolution? We Need Everyone to Seriously Speak About AI’s Impact on Our Culture
Alistair Dent, Chief Strategy Officer at data consultancy Profusion
“Events like AI Appreciation Day offer a moment to consider some of the most pressing issues impacting the data industry. It goes without saying that the impact of generative AI will dominate conversations for the foreseeable future. However, when it comes to determining all the ethical and practical implications of AI – there’s no such thing as too much talk.
We need people to explore how AI will impact our culture. It’s not hyperbole to say that AI has the capacity to change nearly every aspect of our lives. To fully get to grips with all the potential implications we need to get as many perspectives as possible. To do that the data industry needs to be proactive in reaching out to people from different industries, background and experiences. We also need to do more to educate people on what AI actually involves. There is a lot of hype and frankly misinformation out there about the existing and imminent capabilities of AI. This create both over inflated expectations and a lot of unnecessary fear. It also inhibits our ability to tackle the here and now of determining how we want AI to develop and what limitations we need to impose and how we should enforce them. Put simply, if people and politicians don’t understand the basics of AI, it’s very difficult for them to make ethical judgments on how to use it.
We only need to look at how only privacy issues were handled when social media exploded to see why action needs to be taken now. Most people did not know how they data was being collected and used. Lax regulations and limited scrutiny led to a free for all. When the public fully understood what was happening there was a huge backlash which damaged a lot of brand reputations and led to much tougher regulations. For AI to continue to develop we need to avoid going down this route and the data industry has a critical role in ensuring this doesn’t happen.”
AI is a Great Assist in Tackling the Workforce Shortage in Cybersecurity Industry
“There is a lot of uncertainty around AI (some of it for good reason), however on AI appreciation day I think it’s important that we look at all the good AI can, and is, being used for. Generative AI is a tool that can help organizations achieve new solutions beyond chat bots. It can be used by organizations to build completely new solutions that are human described instead of coder developed. This dramatically decreases the cost to entry, speed to entry and technical barrier to entry for many solutions. From a security perspective, this means developers can more easily implement security solutions into applications from the get-go. For security teams, utilizing AI can help teams cut down on tedious tasks, which is especially critical as the cybersecurity talent shortage continues.”
AI is Critical to Modern Enterprise Cybersecurity Postures
“Every new paradigm shift brings along a specific set of opportunities and challenges, and AI is no different. Abuse and misuse aside, AI has the potential to make cybersecurity issues more addressable in the long run and also help address the industry’s daunting skills shortage. Through the right training models, AI will become a massive force multiplier and extract the tremendous value locked in data sitting in organizations for analysis. Currently, data is too complex and multiplying too rapidly, resulting in threats going undetected and un-patched. AI can get organizations the results they need faster and help find the needle in the haystack that will save organizations millions of dollars from an impending breach. A year from now, if you ask any security leader, they’ll tell you that today’s AI innovations have decisively changed the nature of how we do cybersecurity for the better.”
Darron Makrokanis, Chief Revenue Officer, Xage Security, added, “In the cyber world, while AI is an asset to both adversaries and defenders, ultimately, I believe it will help tip the scales in favor of good. The ideal future state is one where AI-fueled cyber advancements protect the fabric of our society from attacks and threats of high consequence.”
What’s the Plan Against AI Misuse and Ambiguity?
“At ForgeRock, we believe trustworthy AI can protect digital identities while simplifying everyone’s access to the connected world. The powerful intelligence that comes with AI will unlock new opportunities by processing vast amounts of data faster, and more accurately so the decisions we make are smarter. But with any emerging technology, we must safeguard against its misuse and fight for balanced AI laws and protections to ensure our humanity is preserved.
Now is the time to modernize our notion of trust and identity through the lens of AI threats like deep fakes and misinformation. This means finding new ways to use AI to deliver solutions that combat evolving threats to make the world a safer place. Together, we must resist the ‘gold rush’ mentality that AI presents and focus on how to use it responsibly. We approach this new frontier with optimism and commit to explaining how we use AI and collaborating with industry partners to help create a future where access to the digital world is both unhindered and secure.”
AI Engineers! Please Tackle the Issue with AI Hallucinations First…
“At Sinch, we help brands create and upkeep natural language processing (NLP) AI chat bots trained on large language models (LLMs) both for internal use — like identifying information and generating suggested responses for live service agents — as well as external use, such as a customer service chat bot. For public-facing chat bots, in particular, AI hallucinations can have disastrous impacts on customer experience, brand loyalty and even a brand’s reputation, so we’ve been proactive in mitigating hallucinations in our models.
The issue of AI hallucinations is widespread in the industry, with no perfect solution. Ultimately, we’ll need to rely on a combination of approaches to mitigate hallucinations, ensuring that AI systems and applications like chatbots are actually driving value for the businesses that deploy them — not causing headaches or damaging brand reputation. My team and I have developed a hybrid approach, relying on NLP and LLMs to predict user intent based on user inquiries and the context of a conversation. Focusing on user intent in this way prevents chatbots from spiraling off-topic or sharing misinformation, as the bot will be able to parse through typos or misused words by leaning on knowledge from previous customer interactions. And, when bots are affixed to brand-specific knowledge bases, they won’t be pulling from the far reaches of the Internet to answer customer questions.
As generative AI is implemented more and more regularly for customer communications, it will be crucial to keep bots in check with guardrails like these. Businesses look to these applications to maintain strong customer relationships without training their staff and/or resources, so they need to be reliable and trustworthy to be worth the investment.”
“Generative AI is a long-term technology advancement that is going to dramatically transform how business is conducted. For many businesses like ours, AI will reshape how we think about our business, from how we go to market, build products, and hire teams to how we interact with teams across the globe internally and externally and how we interact with vendors.
Business leaders should look at their evolution with AI as a finely crafted symphony, not a brief solo performance. Sure there exists a degree of hesitancy around the implementation and utilization of AI-based solutions. However we’ve seen this before. Think about mobile computing, for example, and its transformative impact. There was a time when not everyone had a cell phone and phones weren’t small computers, but now mobility is core to the way we live and work. AI will be the same way.
AI brings opportunity and value to organizations, customers and the world. There’s great potential to create more software, employees will be empowered to grow their skill sets, and products will be safer, stronger and more reliable. Ultimately, we’re heading towards an immersive AI world and we have to understand that this is going to be a lasting part of business forevermore.”
“AI has provided us with great potential to stop attacks, yet it also enables attackers. One of the biggest challenges we will face is getting away from always reacting to attack methods to meet the speed and sophistication of AI-based attacks.
We are seeing threat actors use adversarial AI, data poisoning of machine learning models, and leveraging LLMs like ChatGPT to launch attacks. Yet, there is good news as well. Fighting AI with AI is the way forward. Cybersecurity solutions natively built with deep learning models can be trained to prevent unknown threats before they materialize and land inside organizations, mitigating the volume, velocity, and constantly morphing AI-created attacks. Leaders looking to adapt their cybersecurity strategies with proactive solutions must start to focus on preventing threats over the status quo of the last ten years of assumed breaches.
There is a pressing need to transition towards an adaptable and proactive approach to effectively combat the dynamic nature of cyber risks. The new era of AI is both exciting and terrifying at the same moment. For cybersecurity, organizations must examine and embrace how AI can be infused throughout the attack chain to combat potential cyber risks in the tremulous threat landscape.”
AI has an immense potential across numerous use cases. Customer-facing departments such as the Marketing, Sales and Service are at the forefront of AI adoption for content generation, summarization, text analytics, customer experience management, personalization, and self-service automation. AI’s ability to tap into trillions of unique data points and derive contextual insights from these data points would continue to drive the innovations in the SaaS and Cloud industry.
Here are the top industries that are utilizing AI to meet business demands:
- Media, Entertainment and Broadcasting
- Sales and Marketing Software
- Financial Services
- Banking and Insurance
- Cyber security and Risk Management
- Healthcare and Life Sciences
- Oil and Gas Exploration
- Energy Management
- Education, Research and Development
- Aeronautics, Military and Space Equipment, and much more