Technology Transformation & The Strategic C-Suite
June 29, 2023 | London
Companies across industries are investing in automation and artificial intelligence projects that may increase efficiency, boost productivity, and help ensure their long-term success. Executives from business and IT gathered for this roundtable dinner to share their experience and ideas about how their firms can harness the technology.
Bruno Corasolla, Global Head of Digital Trains, Hitachi Rail
Ed Briggs, Chief Financial Officer, Digital, BT Group
Rudolf Basson, Chief Financial Officer of Digital Industries, Siemens
Mariana Montalvao Reis, Head of Data Governance, WPP
Sachin Kumar, EMEA FSCT Consulting & BPO Leader, IBM
Jennifer Kested, Associate Partner, Global Finance Transformation, EMEA Lead, IBM
Tim Gude, Senior Vice President, Digital Finance & Finance Strategy, Volkswagen
Gary Kotovets, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Dun & Bradstreet
Dimitrios Emmanoulopoulos, Head of Machine Learning Technologies, Barclay Card UK
Kuldeep Dudeja, Director, Digital, Reckitt
Manmeet Poonia, Head of Renewables, Shell
Christopher Hauss, Head of Strategy and Finance Communications, Volkswagen
Mario Dell’Era, Market Risk Strategy, Citi
Lisa Schlegel, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Bank of Montreal
Fabiana Barticioti, Digital Asset Manager, British Airways
Juergen Blumberg, COO ETF Accelerator for EMEA, Goldman Sachs
Brian Holliday, Country Head, Digital Industries, Siemens
Sara de la Torre, UK Head of Financial Services, Dun & Bradstreet
Giles Baron, Principal, External Communications, BT
Mallika Kapur, Deputy Global Editor, Bloomberg Live Experiences
The conversation began on the subject of generative AI, and how the industry needs to reach a point where it can share how it’s being used publicly, rather than saying ‘We’re experimenting with it’. That said, attendees felt that unless governance is fixed, information may well be misused in the public domain. They suggested that it’s incumbent on any organization embarking on this journey to ‘balance risk with moving the envelope forward’. Additionally, attendees said they believe that there will not be great regulation globally, allowing much smaller companies to take advantage of the situation.
There was wide-spread agreement that machine learning has the capability to come up with ideas that humans wouldn’t think of, potentially providing better and quicker outcomes, but some expressed concern about the risk of personal data leaks. At the same time, there was a universal confidence that AI still presents an opportunity for organizations, especially in terms of productivity and cost reduction.
While ChatGPT was widely discussed, one guest expressed great concern about Dall-E, highlighting its potential to infringe on intellectual property and ownership.
Offering a different perspective, another attendee from a “very risk-adverse organization” shared how their company hasn’t migrated to new technologies, isn’t on the net, and uses its own servers with a lot of manual input for safety measures. While they want to encourage younger employees to harness new technology, they also have to curb over-enthusiastic colleagues, in case it wrecks their existing systems.
Turning to data, some attendees weighed in on the issue of preventing data bias. They also discussed how the ‘virtualisation of processes’ is already happening. For instance, AI generated-proposals are reducing the steps and costs involved in the prototyping process.
To round off the conversation, thoughts turned to sustainability.
One attendee said that the recent introduction of a new algorithm in their organization, and the data it churned, resulted in a 40 per cent increase in their carbon footprint, compared to using a human. This realization generated widespread concern about the extra energy the world will need because of AI. The individual added, “Government and society as such, does not really understand that if we continue on this path, there is no net zero…. So when people say ‘more productivity, more sustainability, lower cost’, you don’t have a complete picture.”
This led another attendee to share a comment they heard the other day, “The cloud is on the ground”.
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