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Understanding Artificial Intelligence for Business with Paul Zikopoulos from IBM

A couple weeks ago, we held the Artificial Intelligence Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. With five executive briefings on AI for business featuring a variety of speakers, the event gave us an inside look at how to integrate AI into key business initiatives.  

In this article, we’ll dive into Paul Zikopoulos’s talk about how he leverages AI to drive IBM further faster, as well as conversations business leaders should be having in this new moment of generative AI. 

Who is Paul Zikopoulos? 

An award-winning author and speaker, Paul Zikopoulos has consulted on the topic of AI and big data with the CBS news show “60 Minutes” and with NATO. He has authored several books about AI, including The AI Ladder: Accelerate Your Journey to AI, Understanding Big Data: Analytics for Enterprise Class Hadoop and Streaming Data, Big Data Beyond the Hype: A Guide to Conversations for Today’s Data Center and more.  

Paul provides a framework for businesses to use AI effectively, helps business leaders think responsibly about AI, and discusses the difference between being an AI user and an AI value creator.  

Artificial Intelligence Should be Used to Solve Problems 

Did you know that, according to Forbes, “machine learning could improve defect detection rates by a whopping 90%”? In Paul’s talk, he shared that each day, we walk by problems that can be solved or made better with technology and data. AI, when used responsibly, can help with time efficiency, improve productivity, help with operational risk management, reputational risk assessment and management, and more.  

Artificial Intelligence Use Cases 

In Paul’s keynote speech, he outlined a strategic approach to AI budgeting, advising organizations to spend money either to save money or make money. He identified three key categories of AI use cases: optimization, prediction, and automation. According to Paul, starting with spending on automation to save money is a great practical entry point for businesses looking to leverage AI.  

What Questions Should Business Leaders be Asking?

Before delving into any AI initiatives, business leaders should take a few things into consideration and ask specific questions concerning the implications of emissions from the size of the model, the cost of the model, data privacy, and the provenance of the data used.  

Shifting Your Perspective of AI 

When it comes to AI, it’s easy to think of yourself and your business as merely an AI user. However, business leaders should think of themselves as value creators. For a business to effectively use AI, transparency and trust are crucial. In a high-compliance environment, maintaining integrity and trust means making sure AI models are explainable, auditable, and built on trustworthy data.  

Paul Zikopoulos’s talk at the Artificial Intelligence Summit was a fantastic look into the new moment of generative AI. With so much information floating around about AI, it can be easy to get lost in the noise and miss out on what you need to know as a business leader.  

Schedule a conversation to discuss how your business can take advantage of AI here.

Listen to our podcast episode about Paul’s talk here.

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