Forum on World Class IT - 359 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

Podcast tags Archives: Artificial Intelligence

Scott Phoenix, Co-Founder of Vicarious

In this interview, Scott Phoenix, Co-Founder of Vicarious discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Two, Infrastructure. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The Artificial General Intelligence differs from Artificial Narrow Intelligence
  • How Vicarious is applying cognitive science to build next generation general intelligence algorithms
  • How AI may replace more jobs than it creates, and new economic and social constructs that could ease the societal shift
  • Vicarious’s decision to prioritize social good over investor returns, and why more companies should do the same
  • How Vicarious assembled an all-star group of investors including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and more
  • Education and if entrepreneurship can be taught in the classroom
  • The balance between the promise and peril of AI
  • World’s Fair style demonstrations of AI, including the recent AlphaGo win and Vicarious’s 2013 cracking of CAPTCHA
  • How Scott thinks about staffing, and how Vicarious’s bold mission acts as a magnet for top talent

Jeff Pashalides, Head of Corporate at Sequoia Capital

In this interview, Jeff Pashalides, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People and World Class Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The symbiotic relationship between practitioners, the venture community, and the founding community
  • Sequoia’s CIO activities and events
  • Jeff’s insights into the importance of security, artificial intelligence, and the public cloud to CIOs
  • How Sequoia helps clients cut through the noise to see what is real
  • Strategies for the successful development and implementation of new technology
  • Two things enterprise technology can learn from consumer technology
  • Eye on the trends: cloud security, focus on talent

Dan Olley, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Product Development at Elsevier

In this interview, Peter High speaks with Dan Olley, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Product Development at Elsevier. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • An overview of Elsevier’s business, including its focus on the legal field, the academic and health research fields, the business risk and financial fields, and their exhibitions business
  • Dan’s responsibilities as CTO, which include customer-facing responsibilities such as overseeing product development, as well as more traditional responsibilities such as applying technology to internal efficiency as well as revenue generation
  • Dan’s perspective on our rapidly accelerating digital world and the emerging symbiotic era, where intelligent conversational interfaces, mixed reality, and other technologies essentially eliminate the boundary between man and machine
  • The implications of machine learning at Elsevier, such as how it has enabled the creation of a new generation of products that move beyond providing static information and in to real-time recommendation and decision support
  • Dan’s perspective on the human element of AI, such as the idea that the human-machine system becomes greater than the sum of its parts, how digital intelligence can augment human decision making, and how Elsevier creates cross-functional teams with the necessary skills
  • How Dan’s background in agile development prepared him for his current customer-facing responsibilities, and his belief that customers must be embedded in the development process
  • How Dan aligns the fast moving R&D function with the broader, more traditional organizational strategy

Greg Brockman, Co-Founder and CTO of OpenAI

In this interview, Greg Brockman, Co-Founder and CTO of OpenAI discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Two, Infrastructure. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The great potential for artificial intelligence to positively impact humanity
  • Greg’s experience as CTO of stripe, and the transition from high-growth startup to mission driven non-profit
  • How Greg thinks about staffing, and how OpenAI’s bold mission and unique structure acts as a magnet for top talent
  • How AI may replace more jobs than it creates, the economic disruption it could cause, and the role of government in easing the societal shift
  • The risks of AI, and the pressures of AI development versus AI safety
  • The role investor-founders Elon Musk and Sam Altman play in OpenA, and where Greg draws inspiration from
  • The trend of open sourcing AI development

Alan Trefler, Founder & CEO of Pegasystems

In this interview, Alan Trefler, discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The evolution of business process management to digital process automation
  • Pegasystem’s Model-Driven platform
  • The value of “cloud choice” for customers
  • Pegasystems’ customer- driven acquisition strategy
  • The rational for Pegasystem’s decision to not pursue venture capital
  • Alan’s book: Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation
  • How Alan’s passion for chess influenced his career path

    Gurmeet Singh, Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Information Officer of 7-Eleven

    In this interview, Peter High speaks with Gurmeet Singh, Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Information Officer of 7-Eleven. Among the topics they discuss include:

    • 7-Eleven’s multi-year journey to become a digitally-enabled organization, including Gurmeet’s “full stack transformation” approach which encompasses consumer-facing technology, back-end technology, infrastructure, and the organizational stack
    • How digital is a strategic pillar at 7-Eleven, mandated directly by the CEO
    • The critical importance of technical talent to 7-Eleven’s future, and Gurmeet’s strategy for attracting top talent – such as highlighting his credibility as a leader and telling a compelling story
    • The ways in which Gurmeet is redefining convenience with software, such as the recognition that the closest store to a customer is the phone in their pocket, and 7-Eleven’s use of APIs and new interfaces to create delightful experiences
    • The expansion of 7-Eleven’s loyalty program from its initial focus on beverages to as a full-fledged loyalty offering that is available on mobile, web, digital loyalty card, and even chatbot
    • 7-Eleven’s approach to experimenting with emerging technologies, including their distinction between technologies that are ready to scale and technologies that are still in the proof of concept phase, a new R&D center, and a CTO function that reports to Gurmeet

    Oren Etzioni, CEO of The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

    In this interview, Oren Etzioni, CEO of The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Two, Infrastructure. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • High impact Artificial Intelligence research and engineering at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
    • Some promising future outcomes of developments within the artificial intelligence field
    • Why equating intelligence with autonomy is inaccurate
    • His perspectives on the dangers of artificial intelligence that have been expressed by major technology leaders
    • Job displacement and the role of government in ensuring an easier transition
    • Methods he uses to stay current on upcoming technology trends
    • The role Paul Allen plays in the day to day operations
    • Partner organizations and the benefits of those partnerships
    • The people who most influenced him to become a serial entrepreneur
    • The significance of Alpha Go defeating the human international champion of Go
    • Advice on the use of artificial intelligence for enterprises considering the use of AI

    Yoshua Bengio, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Montreal, Co-Founder of Element AI

    In this interview, Yoshua Bengio, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and World Class Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Supervised verses unsupervised deep learning
    • The heart of deep learning: disentangled representations
    • The genesis and mission of Element AI
    • Exploratory AI research verses applied AI research
    • The development of the Montreal Institute of Learning Algorithms (MILA)
    • The significance Yoshua places on supportive and collaborative cultures
    • The evolution of AI in Montreal
    • Yoshua’s concerns bout lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs)

    Kim Stevenson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Data Center Infrastructure at Lenovo

    In this interview, Peter High speaks with Kim Stevenson, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Data Center Infrastructure of Lenovo. Among the topics they discuss include:

    • Kim’s purview at Lenovo, which includes leading the data center infrastructure segment, the high-performance computing and artificial intelligence segment, the software-defined infrastructure segment, and the IoT segment
    • The three things boards and CEOs expect from their CIO, which are (1) to reimagine and define the customer experience, (2) extreme productivity, and (3) that they invent and deliver new products and services
    • The values of having worked in technology-centric organizations and the advantages of having been both a buyer and a seller of technology, including being able to work with more knowledgeable customers
    • The diversity of Lenovo, where the company’s top 25 executives represent 16 different nationalities, and a great many women hold executive leadership positions
    • The benefits of Fu Pan, Lenovo’s unique take on the post-mortem analysis, which focuses on what went right and how to replicate it rather than what went wrong and how to avoid it
    • Kim’s experience on corporate boards, and her belief that the end-to-end visibility and well-rounded set of experiences make technologists increasingly attractive for board membership
    • Kim’s thoughts on the state of women in technology, including her belief that there are more than enough qualified women, but the challenge is that people recruit from their own network, which is often limited
    • Eye on the Trends: private cloud, containers, micro-services, and 5G

    Neil Jacobstein, Co-Chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University

    In this interview, Neil Jacobstein, Co-Chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Two, Infrastructure. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Singularity University and his role as co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics track
    • The ways in which AI can mitigate the heuristics inherent in human cognition
    • How AI can be used to augment current human capability
    • Strategies technology executives should use to think about AI
    • The role the government should play in helping mitigate the potential job losses from AI
    • His perspectives on the dangers of artificial intelligence that have been expressed by major thought leaders
    • Advice on how to train workers to be prepared for the coming wave of AI
    • How individuals can prepare themselves for the opportunity of AI