The Long, Long Road to Ethical AI

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary bullets:

• The preeminent ethical concerns used to be the loss of jobs due to AI, bias, or applications of facial recognition, but the ethical debate has become more complicated.

• Even though AI has been around for years, the AI and ethics conversation is just getting started; increasing awareness and education, as well as broadening the types of participants involved in the conversation, are foundational first steps.

Organizations are eager to leverage the insights provided by AI to streamline operations, enhance productivity, generate new business, and personalize customer experience. Several companies have already deployed the technology, or are at least experimenting with it, and are now looking to scale AI by rolling the technology out to a broader user base and additional departments. But as AI becomes more widely used, many companies are unclear about how to best navigate the murky waters of AI and ethics. No organization wants to risk the public relations fiasco that would ensue should it be determined that the AI algorithms it uses yield biased results against a specific demographic, or are being applied a way that is not in line with corporate ethics policies.

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Atos’ Future Will Bring a Much-Needed Restructure

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Atos announced plans to split into two companies: one will focus on digital solutions and the other on information systems.
  • There is still much uncertainty regarding what will happen to Atos in the long term, with rumors flying of a potential acquisition by another French organization.

For France-based Atos, significant change is imminent. In mid-June 2022, the IT services provider (ITSP) announced plans to split into two companies:  SpinCo will offer high-growth solutions that support digital transformation, big data (including Atos’ computing portfolio), and cybersecurity; and TFCo (Atos’ Tech Foundations) will provide low-growth managed infrastructure services, digital workplace solutions, and professional services.  By restructuring, Atos is separating its higher-growth and higher-margin businesses from its underperforming divisions, which have been dragging the company’s overall financial performance down for several years.

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Domo Tackles Challenge of Getting to More Intelligent Actions with Launch of Data Apps

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • At Domopalooza 2022, Domo announced a suite of low-code data app tools designed to help customize the way data is presented to end users.
  • Domo launched pre-designed data apps, or solution accelerators, to target common business challenges in the retail, consumer packaged goods, and financial services industries.

Ideally, successful advanced analytics deployments should lead to more intelligent actions by line-of-business users.  The market has talked for years about concepts such as data democratization and generating data-driven insights, but enterprises still struggle with getting a large portion of their teams to take actions that are informed by data analytics.  Numerous suggestions such as role-based training, model explainability, intuitive dashboards, user-friendly tools, and executive-led initiatives have been made, but with varying degrees of effectiveness. Continue reading “Domo Tackles Challenge of Getting to More Intelligent Actions with Launch of Data Apps”

Tableau Strives to Empower a Broader Audience with Business Science


Summary Bullets:

R. Bhattacharyya

• Tableau has introduced the concept of Business Science, which brings advanced data analytics tools to users that aren’t data scientists.

• During its mid-November user conference, Tableau debuted two new tools that support Business Science: Model Builder and Scenario Planning.

Tableau’s mission is to help all people better visualize and understand data. The company wants to make analytics, and the insights it can drive, available to line of business professionals throughout an organization. To support this vision, it has introduced the concept of Business Science. Business Science brings advanced data analytics tools to users that aren’t data scientists, yet feel comfortable working with data and have a strong understanding of the operational and overarching business issues facing their organization. The tools are powerful enough to offer capabilities such as customized views, drill downs, and predictions, but don’t require the expertise of a data scientist to manipulate them. Essentially, they empower the data-savvy, line of business professional to combine domain expertise with advanced analytics to make better decisions more quickly.

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Finance Organizations Require a Range of AI Tools

Summary Bullets:

R. Bhattacharyya

• Financial organizations are using artificial intelligence (AI) in multiple ways, including to improve service, better understand customers, gauge risk and predict market movements, and speed claims processing.

• Recent results from GlobalData’s 2021 ICT Customer Insight survey reveal that between 25-27% of digital spending by companies in finance will go towards artificial intelligence and machine learning.

For years the finance industry, which encompasses organizations in financial services, insurance, and banking, has been a strong adopter of AI. Financial organizations are AI in multiple ways, including to improve service, better understand customers, gauge risk and predict market movements, and speed claims processing. For example, chatbots and natural language processing (NLP) assist with customer support, optical character recognition (OCR) helps with the ingestion of information from documents, computer vision analyzes images and videos to speed claim processing, and machine learning (ML) models assess risk, detect fraud, and help determine rating and pricing.

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Telefonica Tech Uses Computer Vision and Edge Computing to Improve Customer Experiences

Summary Bullets:

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R. Bhattacharyya

• Telefonica Tech is partnering with C2RO to offer an AI-based customer analytics solution that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics.

• The solution uses edge computing, which enables analysis of data near the point at which it was generated, ensuring that sensitive information remains on site.

Applications of computer vision are vast, ranging from quality control in the manufacturing process to monitoring of grape health in vineyards. Computer vision can also be used to analyze people, with applications ranging from determining building occupancy and traffic patterns, to ascertaining whether individuals are wearing face masks and adhering to safety protocols.

Telefonica Tech is helping its customers realize the benefits of computer vision. It is partnering with Canada-based C2RO to offer enterprises AI-based customer analytics that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is designed to help organizations better understand customer behavior by providing insights into customer and visitor traffic patterns, dwell times, demographics (gender and age), and points of interest, as well as queue measurements. Telefonica’s Smart Steps platform provides the socio-economic information. The solution targets venues, retail organizations, and governments, and is positioned as a solution that can help organizations improve the customer experience and optimize store and venue layouts.

The offer uses surveillance cameras that are strategically positioned throughout a venue (there is no need to upgrade to AI-enabled devices). The AI-powered C2RO PERCEIVE solution is installed on a local edge server so that data is analyzed on-site. Images are not extracted from the venue and therefore adhere to GDPR guidelines. Telefonica Tech assists from start to finish with professional services that include the definition of technical requirements, assistance with hardware identification and procurement (although the C2RO solution is based only on cameras, Telefonica Tech can help assist with obtaining sensors and other devices for other in-store analytics solutions), server configuration, and solution maintenance and support. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is complemented and enriched with information and analytics from Telefonica Tech’s Smart Steps platform, which uses anonymized and aggregated mobile customer data to provide insights into population mobility and behavior.

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Investment in Facial Recognition Forges Ahead Despite Ethical Concerns

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Despite public apprehension related to the privacy and accuracy of facial recognition, companies offering the technology continue to attract the attention of investors.
  • Suppliers of facial recognition technology are taking steps to address the ethical concerns raised by civil liberties organizations.

Despite the negative publicity around facial recognition, companies offering the technology continue to attract the attention of investors. This summer, U.S.-based Clearview AI raised $30 million from private investors; Israel-based AnyVision raised $235 million from SoftBank, Eldridge, and others.  Both companies have been embroiled in controversy around the use of their technology by law enforcement, but neither seems to be hindered by it.   Instead, both are using the opportunity to move the ethics conversation forward. Continue reading “Investment in Facial Recognition Forges Ahead Despite Ethical Concerns”

Capgemini’s New Sustainable IT Portfolio Addresses Growing Interest in Decarbonization

bhattacharyya-100143
R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Capgemini deepened its commitment to its sustainability practice by announcing a new ‘Sustainable IT’ portfolio.
  • IT services providers are well placed to offer carbon reduction consulting services.

Technology providers, enterprise customers, and financial investors are increasingly making business decisions influenced by environmental sustainability considerations.  A growing number are looking at their own carbon footprints and setting timelines for reduced emissions; many are also weighing the environmental impact of organizations when identifying potential partners, providers, vendors, and investment opportunities. Continue reading “Capgemini’s New Sustainable IT Portfolio Addresses Growing Interest in Decarbonization”

IBM’s New Tools Help Enterprises Deploy AI in a Multi-cloud World

Summary Bullets:

R. Bhattacharyya

• At IBM Think 2021, IBM released several capabilities that help customers craft what it calls an ‘intelligent data fabric’.

• IBM AutoSQL (Structured Query Language) for Cloud Pack for Data is designed to help streamline access to data stored in multiple locations.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the shiny new toy on the market that it was a few years ago. Many organizations have by now dabbled with the technology, and a large number have rolled up their sleeves and deployed multiple AI projects. As enterprises mature in their adoption of the technology, they are eager to deploy AI at scale, moving beyond one or two limited implementations to applying machine learning (ML) to more tasks and making it available to a larger number of business units.

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DOMO Unveils Broad Vision that Spans Data Agility, Data Literacy, and Intelligent Action

Summary Bullets:

bhattacharyya-100143
R. Bhattacharyya

• Domopalooza focused on the key themes of data agility, data literacy, and intelligent action.

• Domo announced multiple new products and features, including native integration with Amazon Redshift, availability of natural language generation, DDX Bricks, and Domo Everywhere.

Domo held its annual Domopalooza customer conference at the end of March, hosting a high energy event that outlined three key themes: data agility, data literacy, and intelligent action. Data agility refers to the need for organizations to respond quickly and easily to shifts in data demand and to make data accessible to all (including employees, partners, and customers). It requires a data architecture that integrates disparate data sets into a unified view, enabling the seamless flow of information. Data literacy is about empowering knowledge workers with analytical confidence, so they feel comfortable making data driven decisions. Intelligent action relates to the need to make data easy to use and engage with (such as via visualizations), so that line of business users can quickly use the insights to guide decisions.

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