Skip to content

Brave New World of Artificial Intelligence

Janani Jayasundar January 9, 2018

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA)-organised event on “The Brave New World of Artificial Intelligence”.

Speaking at the event on AI was David Heiner, Strategic Policy Advisor at Microsoft Corporation. Heiner is particularly interested in policy issues at the intersection of data and society, and artificial intelligence. Heiner has a background in law, and is interested in how AI is going to be regulated by governments. He spoke briefly about laws in Europe leading the discussions in the US – this is also something our lawmakers here in Australia are discussing as technology creeps more and more into everything we do.

He talked about the promise of AI as enabling us to make better decisions – not making independent decisions. Humans, unlike AI, have other things to bring to the table, namely empathy, fairness, judgement and common sense. He envisions us using AI to bring together the best of computers and the best of people.

We’ve all heard of concerns around sharing private data with machines, the safety and reliability of using AI, and fears around automation of jobs. One concern he brought up that I hadn’t thought much about previously was machine bias, and how this stems from the people writing the code and building these machines – mainly young, white men. Heiner stressed the importance of a more diverse group of coders and programmers so that these issues don’t arise. He gave some examples of this – when face recognition software recognised African-American people as monkeys, or when face-identifying technology failed to “see” non-Caucasian faces. Diversity in the group of people building these programmes is vital to ensure that entire communities don’t get left behind.

He also shared a lovely example of how AI can be used to improve the lives of people – Microsoft’s Seeing AI project.

It was obvious that the video resonated with the audience – being able to use machines to help blind people “see” is certainly impressive, and showcases the opportunity for technology to improve lives.

At SalesPreso, our AI engine works hard to make the lives of salespeople and advisors easier. I’ve always thought of salespeople and advisors as a very talented group of people – especially today when it’s so hard to sell to people. Why listen to a salesperson when Google has all the answers to my questions? Despite the hurdles, every salesperson I’ve worked with loves their job. They love the buzz that comes from closing a sale – that’s what truly drives them to pick up the phone when they think there’s an opportunity for a sale. Our AI engine helps them to do what they love more instead of being stuck behind a desk putting presentations together, and this really gets our customers excited.

Contact us today to talk about how PresoAI can help your organisation.

Special thanks to Character for the invitation to attend the CEDA event. Read CEDA’s post on the event here.