Web Summit 2017 Lisbon – Day 2

November 08, 2017 - Written by

On Web Summit Day 2 we found out our stage of choice: Binate.io. Many intereresting ideas and inputs came from the talks focused on data, online data protection and the application of AI in the real world.

The first talk “Striking the balance between Big Data and online Privacy” deals with data protection. With 20+ billions of IOT connected devices this huge flood of data could be a goldmine for cybercriminals. AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky and Yandex Data Factory CEO Jane Zavalishina discussed how privacy control is esponentially important. It should thus be a result of the combination of tecnology and education for all individuals. An important outcome emerged: Privacy as a Service. People often are happy to share their data, even more if they can obtain better conditions or services, let’s think about insurance. Advertising then is fueled by our data stream and people would be happy to convey information if they turn back as better offers or discounts. It goes without saying that Google, Yahoo and Facebook develop their business on data, without charging users. However there’s a need for trasparency. Privacy rules are difficult to apply and complicated to understand. It would be a good idea to “incorporate” privacy into a product or service, think of a simple tool that allows to switch on or off specific data we want/don’t want to share in each specific case. Privacy is often considered a defensive subject and it usually deals with lawyers. Companies should instead evaluate Privacy protection as an opportunity to sell more and better, instead of adopting an approach of protecting from fallouts.

The second talk we attended today is from the Co-Founder of Sumo Logic, Christian Beedgen. He reflects upon the role of instinct in data-driven analysis. As modern technologies provide us with real-time, accurate, predictive and pervasive data, which is the role of humans? Do they still can make a difference? “We are experiencing a growing belief in and reliance on data, but we should also focus on having empathy on humans” Christian says. We are used to live in a binary model, where we need to choose between opposites: objective versus subjective, quantified versus qualitative, rational versus intuitive, scientific versus humanist. Nothing could be more wrong. Data need a context. Therefore “bring me data, but also bring me a context!”. We are humans and we can live only here and now. Data analysis should be fueled by experience and intuition. Quoting Einstein “the intuitive mind is a sacred gift, while the rational mind is a faithful servant”.

The last speech from IBM CTO for Cognitive Services, Dr. Chitra Dorai, focuses on how AI can make the ordinary extraordinary. She explains how AI can be placed into the real world, helping us reimagining business processes, to change and improve at last the way we work. 

If Machine Learning is critical for pattern recognition to make data driven prediction and discovery, AI deals with natural language processing, knowledge representation, reasoning and planning for advanced tasks. Cognitive Computing uses of Machine Learning and AI to accomplish interactive decision making and reasoning. Data-first approach in analytics allows to obtain expedited identification of patterns and business value to achieve insight-informed process reinvention and redesign. Think about a customer care assistant informed on the clients preferences while speaking on the phone in few seconds or a manager provided with the cash flow trends for historical series in the same timeframe. Or again let’s think about Intelligent Process Automation that is services able to dinamically adapt to specific situations. AI thus can be put at the core of business process reimagination in three stages:

  • Re-invent Client Engagement: AI can interact and assist through understanding and reasoning about context and content.
  • Digitize and streamline decisions: AI can provide bias-free advice semi-autonomously.
  • Discovery and deploy disruptive business models: AI can create new insights and new value.

Stay tuned for our report of Day 3!

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