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#2 Responsible AI

01 July 2019

How will innovation impact the way we live, think and work in 2019 and beyond? Tom Easterby shares his insight from his conversation with CognitiveScale.

In another episode^ from our New Frontiers podcast series, I spoke to AI expert Manoj Saxena, the Executive Chairman of CognitiveScale. CognitiveScale develops AI software to help organisations transform user experience, boost operational productivity and drive value.

What did I learn about AI from talking to Manoj?

Tom Easterby
Head of Venture Capital Coverage at Barclays

We need to look at AI from a ‘business-down’ perspective

CognitiveScale demonstrates the importance of looking at AI from a business, rather than a technological perspective. Manoj highlights that those companies that have failed to deliver business value from their adoption of AI generally started with a technology-up lens. In this capacity, these companies have generally heard of the opportunities offered by AI, and chose to push it into whichever systems it would fit.

CognitiveScale, on the other hand, suggest that the key to the effective AI is to delve deep into your business processes first. This will enable you to develop a view of what the route of your business problem is, and it is only once you have established this that you should start to consider how AI can be used to address it.

Adopting this business-down perspective will ensure that AI is integrated effectively in to your business processes, and optimised to provide fast and intelligent decision-making support to deliver value.

Just like humans, AI needs an ethical overlay

While most discussions surrounding the rise of AI have focused on how this new technology can be utilised to help society, there has been some concern over the ethics of its use. In many cases this has included issues of fairness and bias, whereby AI has been programmed without an ethical overlay and delivered prejudiced outcomes against certain segments of society as a result.

How can you avoid this? CognitiveScale, who praise themselves on the responsible and ethical design of their AI software, suggest that the key to avoiding any element of bias is for companies to focus on understanding the technology’s complex learning patterns. Through this, you can ensure that the AI is being fed the right data to make fair decisions.

By integrating ethical parameters into the original design of their software in this way, CognitiveScale provide their AI with a conscious ethical overlay - similar to that of humans when they think and process decisions. Unique to CognitiveScale, this approach removes casual biases concerning factors such as age, race and gender, from their AI, resulting in more trustworthy and robust systems which enhance human cognitive capabilities more effectively.

There’s lots going on in the world of AI, but there are certain trends we should keep an eye on

As one of humankind’s most powerful innovations, the world of AI is continuously evolving. Despite this, there are four key types of enterprise in CognitiveScale’s world of business technology which are worth taking note of:

  1. Intelligent businesses processes: these business process would have been built with AI from the ground up, and provide responsible and calculated outcomes. Examples could include vertical application companies. 
  2. Data: as data fuels AI, companies who curate and bring the right data together to produce better outcomes for AI are worth keeping an eye on. 
  3. Infrastructure: for AI to run effectively you need massive scale computing power, stretching from the cloud, to hardware and semi-conductors. 
  4. Safety: companies that provide horizontal capabilities around AI safety are important in the rapidly developing world of AI to ensure that it is implemented responsibly.
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