Join the Digital Transformation Community as we interview the leading minds in DX on the third Thursday of every month at 12pm ET.
Through the DXC, participants have the chance to attend and ask questions in live interviews with diverse industry thought leaders. Below, you will find recordings of these interviews and links to other interviews curated from around the web. Have a suggestion for who we should interview next? Let us know!
Pete Dulcamara, Chief Scientist & Technical Vice President, Kimberly-Clark
Pete Dulcamara serves as the chief scientist and technical vice president for Kimberly-Clark. In his role, he combines the consumer insights of today with predictive data, trends and habits of the future to uncover new opportunities and innovation for the global consumer goods company as it seeks to connect with consumers through breakthrough essential products, including iconic brands such as Huggies, Cottonelle, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Depend and more.
Dulcamara is a challenger, coach and catalyst for the enterprise strategies while fostering a culture of scientific excellence driven through value creation. As a leader of Kimberly-Clark’s research and engineering organization, he has guided advanced scientific research and technology development in the areas of advanced materials, life and analytical sciences, modeling and simulation, technology licensing, and reimaging innovation.
Dulcamara is a passionate proponent of sustainability strategies and the circular economy, using advances in data science, materials science, and artificial intelligence to unlock promising solutions. He regularly represents Kimberly-Clark as a featured speaker at conferences around the world, receiving rave reviews for his “thought-provoking” content, “powerful and innovative” storytelling, and “insightful” applications.
Before joining Kimberly-Clark, Dulcamara spent 18 years with The Dow Chemical Company, where he held various positions for numerous businesses in research and development, new business development, sustainable development, mergers and acquisitions, corporate licensing, and new ventures.
Dulcamara is a member of the Partnership Council for the Toilet Board Coalition, which is a global, business-led alliance of leading companies, government agencies, sanitation experts and nonprofit organizations with the aim to develop commercially sustainable and scalable solutions to the global sanitation crisis.
He serves as an Innovation Fellow at TitleTownTech, a joint venture between Microsoft and the Green Bay Packers to enable and invest in early-stage businesses. In addition, he is on the board of directors for Bassett Mechanical, Void Polymers in the UK, and the Wisconsin Technology Council, which is the science and technology advisor to Wisconsin’s governor and the legislature. He is also an emeritus board member for NEW North, a regional economic development organization for Northeast Wisconsin.
Dulcamara has a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with minors in mathematics and physics from Cameron University, and a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in chemical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He is also an alumnus of The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme through the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
Date: Thursday, July 15, 12pm ET
Craig Slavtcheff, Executive Vice President, Chief R&D and Innovation Officer, and Francisco Fraga, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Campbell Soup Company
Craig Slavtcheff was named Executive Vice President – Global Research & Development (R&D) and Chief Innovation Officer in 2020. Craig reports to Mark Clouse, President & Chief Executive Officer. He is a member of the Campbell Leadership Team.
Craig leads Campbell’s R&D function, including strategy, product development for all divisions, as well as Campbell’s regulatory, nutrition, packaging, and culinary teams. He is also responsible for Innovation Capabilities and performance for the company.
Since joining Campbell in 2012, Craig has led numerous transformations of the R&D and Innovation functions to optimize Innovation output and impact to the business. He hardwired agile design methodology, leveraged from the world of digital technology, into the Campbell’s structure, greatly accelerating our time to market. He has implemented AI and machine learning capabilities to feed the insight generation process, ensuring consumer timeliness and relevancy for our innovation pipelines.
Francisco Fraga is Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO) for the Campbell Soup Company.
As CTIO, Francisco is responsible for the definition and execution of the enterprise wide IT strategy to lead the digitization of Campbell, with the goal of enabling the company to achieve its objectives. In his role, he brings a current knowledge and future vision of leveraging information and technology in business model design, business processes re-engineering, products and services development, and support for competitive advantage.
Prior to joining Campbell, Francisco was Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Feminine Care for the Procter & Gamble Company. As CTO, Francisco was responsible for P&G’s global IT operations, enterprise architecture, and IT innovation. He led the information technology master plan to support P&G’s objectives, was responsible for setting technology standards for the company, and drove the IT innovation agenda with focus on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual/Augmented Reality. As CIO for the Feminine Care Global Business Unit, he was responsible for the definition and execution of the digital action plan to enable the category strategy.
Date: Thursday, September 16, 12pm ET
Jeff Cope, Director, Strategy and Innovation, RTI Innovation Advisors
Join IRI’s Lee Green as she interviews Jeff Cope, Director, Strategy and Innovation, RTI Innovation Advisors. She and Jeff will discuss the key learnings so far from IRI and RTI’s four case studies on digital transformation, including strategy, managing change, training and data governance.
Jeff Cope is a director of strategy and innovation at RTI Innovation Advisors, a mission-driven innovation consultancy. Jeff leads the business development team and serves as the consumer products sector practice lead. His innovation engagements focus on discerning complex futures and discovering disruptive technologies and partners for Fortune 500 clients. A frequent speaker, Jeff enjoys sharing his insights related to foresight, consumer trends, and digital transformation. He has a love/hate relationship with a 1937 Chevy. Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Business Management from North Carolina State University.
Date: Thursday, October 21, 12pm ET
IRI’s Lee Green and Alyssa and Sean cover Hess’s structured approach to digital, including their approach to enterprise architecture and emphasis on Lean.
Alyssa Mueller is Digital Enablement & Architecture Lead – Information Technology for Hess Corporation, a global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.
Her role for Hess is defining the enterprise’s digital strategy to enable valuable use of emerging technology and to champion its use across the workforce. In this role, she seeks to balance the difficult equilibrium between process and people readiness for the power of digital tools and the continually-evolving buffet of emerging technology options. She steers and drives execution of IT’s enterprise architecture and key digital initiatives while serving as the focal point for digitalization definition and execution.
She has more than 20 years of experience in emerging technology, data migration, risk management, and program management. She brings the perspective of diverse industries, including Transportation, Government, Consulting, and Human Spaceflight. Previously, she managed technology partnerships, strategy, and development testing for the International Space Station and planning Mars-class exploration missions.
Sean Bruce is Digital Innovation Advisor – Information Technology for Hess Corporation, a global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.
His role for Hess is to ensure that the enterprise’s digital enablement strategy is carried out effectively. He focuses on defining the digital innovation process to enable valuable use of emerging technology and to champion its use across the workforce. In this role, he works across the enterprise keep this process balanced between IT, innovation and business unit needs to allow for creativity with discipline. In a prior role, he was part of the team that launched Hess’ global lean practice that is still in use today.
He has more than 10 years of experience in technical project and program management with certifications as Certified Scrum Master and Project Management Professional. He has worked for global consulting firms such as Slalom and Deloitte. Prior to this, he served in the United States Air Force.
IRI’s Lee Green and Serban and Thanos discuss spreading digitalization efforts across a complex global network, using digital tools to meet the needs of a hospitals in a pandemic, and upskilling staff in this wide-ranging interview.
Serban Cantacuzene joined the Air Liquide Group in 1995 as a Researcher at the Innovation Campus Paris and managed several projects in Heat Treatment and Metallurgy. In 2000, he transitioned to a Marketing position at the Group’s Paris headquarters.
Between 2004 and 2011, he held several international operational roles in North America, based in Atlanta, Houston, and Montréal.
In 2011, Serban was appointed CEO of the Maghreb Cluster based in Tunisia, and in 2014, he became Executive Vice President and COO of Air Liquide Japan.
Since returning to R&D in 2018 as Vice President of the Americas, Serban has been responsible for managing the Zone’s strategy and activities. He is based at the Innovation Campus Delaware in Newark, Delaware.
Serban holds an INPG Engineering Degree in Material Science from the Grenoble Institute of Technology, a PhD in Plasma Physics from Paris Saclay/CEA, and a MBA from the Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (IAE) de Paris.
Athanasios Kontopoulos holds the position of “Computational & Data Science Scientific Director and Global Lab Leader”. He is a Chemical Engineer with a PhD in Applied Sciences and Math. He is with Air Liquide since 1995. He found several ways to express his passion for simulation, applied math and data science both in R&D, where he is currently, and in Operations, where he spent more than 13 years.
He pioneered many smart manufacturing solutions for Air Liquide such as the development of predictive control and innovative real-time optimization systems. He presented the first roadmap of big data for Air Liquide and set up the first teams of data scientists within R&D, in 3 continents. He introduced artificial intelligence, through proofs of concept and alliances with innovative companies. He recently launched the “data and decision sciences lab” (d2-lab) initiative, a network of experts and practitioners, to reach scientific excellence in these areas.
Athanasios is an Air Liquide International Fellow.
In this interview, IRI’s Lee Green and Bernardo discuss DuPont’s Spark Digital strategy, their centralized Digital Team, and their work to collaborate across the organization.
Bernardo Tiburcio is an Information Technology professional with over 20 years of experience developing and implementing technology solutions for international companies. He obtained a B.S. Degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) and has received certifications as Six Sigma Green Belt, Six Sigma Black Belt, and Project Management Professional (PMP). Bernardo started his career in Mexico, where he led the IT department of the newspaper “Siglo 21”, launched the 3rd on-line newspaper in the country, and designed one of the first web-based editorial systems in operation. In 1999, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he worked as a consultant at GE Power Systems. Among other assignments, he was the technical leader for the On-Line Auction System, which saved GE over $200M the first year of operation. Bernardo was hired by DuPont and moved to Delaware in 2002. In his 17 years with DuPont, he has held numerous positions in sourcing and IT, such as Sustainable Solutions CIO, Data & Analytics Leader and Mobility CoE Leader. He is currently the Global Digital Innovation Leader with DuPont, responsible to drive the Digital Transformation program. Bernardo has two daughters and enjoys spending some of his free time supporting nonprofit organizations focused on humanitarian causes. He serves on the board of Leadership Delaware and on the advisory board of Vision To Learn Delaware.
In this interview, IRI’s Lee Green and Jaap discuss building resiliency, cyber security, and data governance.
Dr. Jaap de Vries is a technologist in FM Global’s Innovation team, based in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. In this role, he discovers and develops new opportunities to guide the strategic planning efforts of FM Global and its mutual members. Dr. de Vries developed IoT strategies, explored the role of drones, and developed patented AI-based fire protection technology. He is responsible for building a network of sources to identify, research and assess emerging signals of change in the market, new technologies and scientific advances.
Prior to his current role, Dr. de Vries served as lead research scientist at FM Global’s offices in Norwood, Massachusetts, USA. In this position, he established the Advanced Technology Laboratory and studied new, potentially disruptive technologies, such as machine learning/AI, augmented/virtual reality, drones and rapid prototyping. He also led large-scale fire testing programs in relation to radiation-activated sprinklers, lithium-ion batteries and SMART sprinklers—the findings of which resulted in new, patented sprinkler technology.
He received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University (Texas, USA); a master of science in aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida (Florida, USA); and a bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering from the College of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, the Netherlands). He has authored more than 35 journal and conference papers, and is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and The Combustion Institute.
In this interview, Lee Green, Bryan, and Cliff discuss measuring ROI of digitalization efforts, building better partnerships, managing data, and knowledge transfer.
Bryan helped shape the online supply chain management industry while leading CommerceOne.net. Bryan then helped create Webify as co-founder and COO where a new class of cross business and cross application integration was invented. Webify was acquired by IBM where Bryan then directed worldwide software strategy. Bryan’s strategy team at IBM was one of the first to identify the emerging market that is known today as The Internet of Things. Today, he is CEO of Thinaer, a leading edge IoT company that he founded with the intent to change healthcare and other highly regulated industries.
Cliff Tironi is EVP of Client Success & Strategic Sales at Thinaer, an IoT platform that integrates actionable data from highly-calibrated sensors and real-time stakeholder feedback to give organizations unparalleled insight into their operations, predictive analytics to see the future, and consultative business process redesign to get improved results. Thinaer empowers digital transformation by using the assets an organization already owns and engaging the people who matter most to an organization. Cliff was a co-creator of Thinaer’s real-time feedback platform, which is the core tool utilized in driving their digital transformation consulting. Cliff is a data visualization enthusiast and resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Digital Alchemy to Create Value and Reduce Risk
IRI’s Lee Green and Shah discuss:
– Operational excellence
– Monetizing Data and its Governance
– Optimizing ROI for R&D
Shah Karim is CEO of SafeRock, a company that serves Global and Regional companies in North America and Europe and has deep experience with digital transformation for the consumer, industrial, ecommerce, food, retail, education, and energy sectors.
Shah is an Innovation Fellow at Columbia Business School. He is a Judge for the MacArthur Foundation’s $100 million prize competition entitled “100&Change”. Shah has been an Executive Mentor with the National Retail Federation for five years, deeply committed to encouraging students including first generation students. He serves on Penn State’s Industry Advisory Board for Enterprise Systems, and on the Board of Governors at the College of Merchandising and Digital Retailing at the University of North Texas. He is a Fellow of the Tribeca Disruptors Foundation at the Tribeca Film Festival which is a community of accomplished and promising innovators dedicated to propelling their respective fields further.
Shah has been a guest or keynote speaker on Leadership, Megatrends, and Big Data at numerous international conferences around the world including in the United States, Austria, China, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey, and the UAE. He has authored and co-authored research published in CITI Research, Retail & Leisure, Retail Solutions Online, Chain Store Age, Apparel News, Handelsblatt, and Shopping Center Business. He is recognized as a “Top 100 Retail Industry Influencer” by Retail Digest.
Shah was elected to the Yale Alumni Association’s Board of Governors in 2018. Shah received his B.A., M.A., and M.Phil. degrees from Yale University.
Most recently, Marguerite led transformational growth strategies in innovation, business execution and partnerships. She collaborates within communities of experts to transform ideas into products, services and sustaining businesses that grow innovation portfolios and sales pipelines. She is on the Board of Directors of the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI). She accumulated knowledge across many industrial markets: automotive electrification, commercial and industrial engines, heavy non-road equipment and polyurethane plastics. She acquired more than 20-years of expertise in Innovation Strategy, Disruptive Innovation, Digital Transformation, Ideation, Customer Insights, Marketing and Business Plans, Channel and Distribution Marketing, Digital Business Models and Platforms, Open Innovation and Co-Creation. She was awarded two design patents. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from The College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio), a Master’s degree in Acquisitions Management from Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, Michigan), and several professional certifications from executive management programs.
IRI’s Lee Green and Marguerite discuss the link between disruptive innovation and digital transformation, the importance of innovation ecosystems, and effective ways of using foresight.
Jerry is currently the Vice President of Operations at INVISTA which is part of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. Jerry leads INVISTA’s Operations Transformation effort, which is focused on delivering value from the Digital Plant of the Future. He and his team are focused on four workstreams:
- Process Control
- Connected Worker
- Material Flow Automation
- Asset Performance Management
Jerry’s team focuses on unlocking the underlying data in each area to convert data to knowledge, knowledge to action, and action to value. Prior to this role, Jerry led INVISTA’s global R&D team. His group developed several breakthough technologies in Nylon 66 intermediates and polymer products and processes that have recently been or are currently being commercialized.
Jerry has worked for INVISTA and its predecessor company (DuPont) since 1989, after graduating with a BA in Chemistry degree from La Salle University (USA), and a Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of Florida (USA). Over his career, Jerry has had a variety of roles in R&D and Operations and has worked at or led teams at all of INVISTA’s 13 global operations sites. Jerry is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt.
Jerry and his wife Cindy (also an INVISTA leader) are proud parents of Chris, who is an investment banker in New York City, and Jon, who is a Graduate Student in Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Jerry remains active in the Boy Scouts of America (once a leader, you can never get out) and like all native Philadelphians, is a frustrated fan of the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, and Flyers.
IRI’s Lee Green and Jerry discuss the impact of covid-19 on their digitalization efforts, INVISTA’s focus on the people, processes, and technology elements of digital transformation, and how being a part of Koch Industries impacts their partnerships.
Bob was named Senior Vice President – Chief Technology Officer at A. O. Smith in December 2010. He had served as Vice President of the Milwaukee-based research and engineering facility since February 2008. The Corporate Technology Center consists of technology platforms that concentrate on advanced concepts and emerging technologies supporting the long-term product development strategies of the company’s electric motor and water heating operating units.
Bob joined A. O. Smith Corporation in 1994 as a Project Engineer at Corporate Technology. In that role, he worked on a wide range of projects for a number of the company’s operating units.
He returned to A. O. Smith in 2002 as a Section Manager, responsible for the Metallurgy and Prototyping Group. In 2005, he was promoted to Director-Materials and Processes at Corporate Technology.
Bob holds a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
IRI’s Lee Green and Bob discuss A.O. Smith’s work on digitizing their product line, their data strategy, and work with sensors and AI.
Youngjin Yoo – Creator of the Digital First Maturity Framework and Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professorship in Entrepreneurship, Faculty Director, D&I Initiatives, Professor, Design & Innovation, Case Western Reserve University
Youngjin is the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor of Entrepreneurship and professor of information systems in the Department of Design & Innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. He has a joint appointment at University Hospitals of Cleveland as Innovation Architect, overseeing the digital transformation efforts at one of the largest teaching hospital systems in the country. He is also WBS Distinguished Research Environment Professor at Warwick Business School, UK.
Yoo holds a PhD in information systems from the University of Maryland. His research interests include: digital innovation and entrepreneurship, organizational genetics, societal use of technology and design. He has worked with leading companies including Samsung Electronics, American Greetings, Bendix, Moen, Intel, Ford Motor Company, Andersen Consulting, IDEO, Gehry and Partners, University Hospitals in Cleveland, American Management Systems, Lotus, NASA, Parker Hannifin, Poly One and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
IRI’s Lee Green and Youngjin discuss his Digital First maturity framework and success stories from legacy companies transitioning to digital in the industrial Midwest.
Eric Chaniot is a dynamic and seasoned innovator, who has been in the technology business for over 20 years.
He began his career at Apple Inc. in the mid 90’s, and was responsible for the first wireless notebook. He then left to build on his expertise at another technology power player, Hewlett-Packard Company, where he created many products and product lines and ran businesses in networking, personal computing, software and printing. With many successful product lines, he helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the company. After Eric left HP, he created an Internet start-up in Europe called Internet Word of Mouth, iWoM. The premise of this start-up was to make Internet ratings and reviews more reliable, by using proprietary technology. After growing his entrepreneurial expertise and learning how to develop and run a start-up company, he moved to the United States and created Tire Intelligence, a data and software start-up. This company enabled tire manufacturers, tire distributors and tire dealers to manage their businesses more efficiently and to drastically improve their presence on the Internet.
In June 2015, Eric sold Tire Intelligence and became the Chief Digital Officer of Michelin. At Michelin, Eric is responsible for accelerating the worldwide Michelin Digital Transformation.
IRI’s Lee Green and Eric to discuss how Michelin’s digital transformation has advanced since their case study was released, his lessons learned, and advice for other organizations.
Lee Green, Jeff White, and Sam Immordino discuss USG’s digital transformation journey, including working across the organization, the origins of their digital structure, lessons learned, and getting buy in from the C-suite.
Ananth directs Research, Innovation and Co-Innovation in TCS. Under his leadership, TCS has created significant range of new products and services with a wide IP portfolio. Ananth has architected an agile model for innovation at scale, across the entire organization. He has been a member of the TCS Corporate leadership since 1999, and has led several strategic initiatives.
Ananth has served on several Governing Councils of Academia, Industry Advisory boards, and Government and Alumni committees. He was elected a Fellow at the Indian Academy of Engineering (INAE) in recognition of his contributions towards engineering in 2013. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Delhi in 2009. He has been listed in Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders (2007), and in Infoworld’s Top 25 CTOs (2007).
Ananth is an M. Tech. in Computer Science and an M. Sc in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
IRI’s Lee Green and Ananth discussed successes and hurdles to digitalization both within TCS and externally.
Brian is a technology executive with 20+ years of experience in digital transformation and innovation. Brian’s passion lies in developing technologies at the intersection of science, information and business. As Head of Scouting and Partnerships, Digitalization of R&D at BASF, Brian is responsible for building collaborations with academic institutions, early-stage ventures and established companies to strengthen BASF’s digital capabilities, enabling the continuous advancement of science. He is currently focused on the role of digitalization in sustainability and how the enormous volumes of data available may still not be enough of the right data to enable the broad changes cutting-edge data science techniques offer. Prior to his current role, Brian was the Head of Computational Biology for BASF Enzymes, LLC, Director of Information Systems and Technology for Verenium Corporation, co-founder and partner of Coaliance and an independent technology consultant. Brian received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and English from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master of Business Administration from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler School of Business.
Lee Green of IRI and Brian discussed the importance of people in the digitalization, tips for getting partnerships right, digital’s potential to improve sustainability efforts, and data management.
Professor Gerald C. (Jerry) Kane’s research interests involve how organizations develop strategy, culture, and talent in response to changes in the competitive landscape wrought by digital technology, such as social media, mobile devices, Internet-of-Things, analytics, and emerging technologies (i.e. virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence). In this interview, Jerry discusses the importance of people and culture in digital transformation and the steps and caveats that organizations should consider as they move forward with their digital journeys.
This webinar focused on the three key phases of organizational digital transformation and specifically:
- The importance of defending today and winning tomorrow
- The importance of collision at the core – and why this is a good thing
- What legacy organizations should learn from digital firsts
- How to successfully grapple with the digital talent challenge
- The importance of an experimental mindset and how to embrace it
It was underpinned by data from the National Digital Benchmark and examples from real-life work.
Digital tools, both emerging ones like AI-based tech monitoring and traditional ones like physics-based simulation, have the potential to greatly improve the practice of corporate innovation. To better understand how new digital capabilities are impacting innovation practice, Lux Research interviewed 38 corporate innovation leaders at large global companies active in tech innovation. This presentation reviews some key findings on how and where digital tools are being adopted, discusses the current state-of-the-art and emerging best practices, and considers how innovation teams and processes need to adapt to take full advantage of this change.
J.-F. is responsible for assessing the state of the Agency’s Digital Transformation initiatives and recommending how to effectively integrate the diverse initiatives. Prior to that assignment, J.-F. was the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) Chief Technologist from January 2015. He advised the LaRC Office of the Director and Senior Staff on technology matters and provided technical leadership for planning, management and evaluation of comprehensive, Center-wide advanced technology development activities. In this interview, J.-F. discusses the digital transformation efforts he has seen at NASA and their impact on the Agency. He also discusses the key elements of success that he has seen and areas that have provided challenges.
In the last decade, cloud computing has transformed the way organizations think about the computer architecture supporting their business operations. Now, intelligent systems combined with cloud computing and data proliferation are again likely to reshape the competitive landscape and require companies to continue to innovate to stay competitive. In this webinar, RTI’s Jim Redden and Chris Verne, the executive director of the Systems Technology Innovation Center at Lenovo, discussed the ways in which Lenovo is adapting their business to succeed in the intelligent future. Listen as Chris describes the ways that 5G connectivity will affect data and technology development, the impact of AI, particularly in autonomous vehicles, on our lives, and his recommendations for how companies should approach the integration of new technologies.
Blockchain and distributed ledgers are a group of emerging technologies with vast implications for the way that we share and exchange both value and information. The technology applies to a wide variety of verticals but provides uneven business value across sectors and use-cases. The value proposition for blockchain is not yet well understood and is rarely quantified -yet most conferences still present an aspirational blockchain future without addressing the real questions about when, how, and why the technology may disrupt an industry. Jason Cross, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Rymedi, spoke with RTI’s Jim Redden about the current state of the technology, possible applications, and the ways that the co-evolution of blockchain and intelligent systems might shape the future.
Alan Blatecky is a visiting fellow at RTI International and the former director of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure at the National Science Foundation. At RTI, he advises on advanced data technologies and cyberinfrastructure capabilities. In this small group conversation with RTI’s Jim Redden and the SPRING Pioneers, Alan touches on a range of topics from cybersecurity to ethics to supply and demand for talent trained in AI technologies.
Dr. Brian M. Sadler, Senior Scientist and Fellow at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, serves as the Army’s principal scientific leader for basic and applied research in intelligent systems. Dr. Sadler has contributed to several U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL) Collaborative Technology Alliances, or CTAs, most recently as a technical area lead in the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology CTA since its inception. He has been the principle investigator for a variety of internal ARL and collaborative R&D projects, worked closely with DARPA, and mentored many ARL S&E’s.
In this conversation, Dr. Sadler discusses the maturation of technologies that has led to the rise in the hype over AI. He also dives into AI applications for the U.S. Army, including the use of autonomous agents and distributed collaborative intelligence.
Dr. Nita Farahany is a professor of law and philosophy at Duke University and a leading scholar on ethical, legal, and social implications of biosciences and emerging technologies.
Dr. Farahany’s work explores the ethical and legal implications of artificial intelligence (AI), consumer-based neurotechnology, and augmented and virtual reality. Her research approaches ethics from a practical standpoint: how research can inform policy and define laws in light of the rapid advances in science and technology. In this wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Farahany discusses a range of ethical and regulatory issues including data privacy, algorithm bias, the emerging implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and more.
Sam Adams is a distinguished engineer and master inventor at IBM Research. He has been working on AI with IBM for over 20 years and has been involved in the development and evolution of AI systems for over 35 years. He has lived through previous AI hype cycles. In this interview, he discusses the future shift from “narrow” single-task AI to “broad” AI systems, the capabilities of which extend beyond narrow tasks. He also describes several notable advances in hardware (neuron on a chip), internet of things (IoT) sensing (wifi tomography), and other important intelligent-systems trends.
Although artificial intelligence (AI) as a scientific discipline dates to 1956 and the Dartmouth Summer Research Project, recent advances have brought intelligent systems to the center of the conversation. What has changed to shift these technologies into focus? Raj Minhas, director of the AI lab at the Palo Alto Research Center, helps us separate what is real from what is hype and covers important topics including the future of the human machine interface, the need to open the “black box” of AI, and emerging trends shaping the future of intelligent systems.
Other Thought Leaders
One of the benefits of the explosion of interest in intelligent systems has been an explosion in thought-leader interviews available online. Titans of industry and academia like Yann LeCun (Facebook), Andrew Ng (Stanford University, Baidu), and Geoffrey Hinton (University of Toronto) have publicly discussed their views on intelligent systems trends and futures. The following are some of our favorite interviews with these tech visionaries.
Andrew Ng is a former chief scientist at Baidu, where he led the company’s AI Group. He is an adjunct professor at Stanford University. He is widely recognized as one of the preeminent thought leaders in the field of AI. Andrew Ng coined the phrase “AI is the new electricity,” highlighting its future ubiquity and power to transform nearly every industry.
The State of Artificial Intelligence (December 2017)
In this 30-minute talk at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Ng discusses business use cases for current AI technology, examines the workforce implications of this transformation, and peers into the future to examine the potential for new applications as technology progresses.
How Do AI Companies Think about Data Strategy and Competition?
In this 2-minute video, Ng shares how AI companies think about data strategy and competition. He describes how startups can enter the market with a product that is just “good enough” and then use this early product to generate data that improve the product. This “virtuous data feedback loop” makes AI startups particularly dangerous disruptors. In The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen explains how disruptors often enter the market with an inferior product at a lower price point. AI startups may enter with an inferior product, but the “virtuous data loop” means that many of those products will not stay inferior for long.
Yann LeCun is the director of AI research at Facebook and a professor of data science, computer science, neural science, and electrical engineering at New York University. He is a pioneer in the field of deep learning and has been working in the field of deep learning for decades.
Medalist Keynote – The Power and Limits of Deep Learning (IRI Annual Summit – IRI members only)
In this talk, LeCun explains deep learning: its current capabilities, limitations, and future possibilities.
The Power and Limits of Deep Learning (MIT Conference – publicly accessible)
Deep learning has caused revolutions in computer perception and natural language understanding, the enabling of new applications such as autonomous driving, radiology screening, real-time language translation, and dialog systems. Good predictive world models are an essential component of intelligent behavior: With them, one can predict outcomes and plan courses of actions. One could argue that good predictive models are the basis of common sense, allowing us to fill in missing information: predict the future from the past and present, the past from the present, or the state of the world from noisy precepts. LeCun reviews some principles and methods for predictive learning, and gives examples of applications in virtual assistants and creative tools.
Fei-Fei Li leads the AI and machine learning (ML) research and development efforts at Google Cloud. Her responsibility includes overseeing basic science AI research, all Google Cloud’s AI/ML products and engineering efforts, university relations, and Google AI’s China Center.
Li is the director of the Stanford Vision Lab, which focuses on connecting computer vision and human vision; the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL), which was founded in the early 1960s; and the director of the new SAIL-Toyota Center for AI Research, which brings together researchers in visual computing, machine learning, robotics, human-computer interactions, intelligent systems, decision making, natural language processing, dynamic modeling, and design to develop “human-centered AI” for intelligent vehicles.
In this conversation with A16Z’s Frank Chen and Sonal Chokshi, Fei-Fei Li discuss Who has the advantage in AI — big companies, startups, or academia. In addition, they cover questions like “why now for AI?”; “is deep learning ‘it’?”; and “what comes next?” Li explains what might happen as AI moves from its in vitro phase to its in vivo phase. Beyond ethical considerations, Li argues that we need to inject a stronger humanistic thinking element to design and develop algorithms and AI that can cohabitate with people and in social spaces.
Geoffrey Hinton is the father of ‘deep learning,’ the technique behind the current excitement about AI. ‘In 30 years, we’re going to look back and say Geoff is Einstein—of AI, deep learning, the thing that we’re calling AI,’ Jacobs says. Of the researchers at the top of the field of deep learning, Hinton has more citations than the next three combined. His students and postdocs have gone on to run the AI labs at Apple, Facebook, and OpenAI; Hinton himself is a lead scientist on the Google Brain AI team. In fact, nearly every achievement in the last decade of AI—in translation, speech recognition, image recognition, and game playing—traces in some way back to Hinton’s work.” (MIT Tech Review)
The Neural Network Revolution
In this 45-minute talk from January 2018, Hinton describes artificial neural networks work, discusses their current capabilities, and explores the future possibilities for this powerful technology.
Andrew Ng interviews Geoffrey Hinton
In this 40-minute interview, Hinton gives us a unique look into his career journey and how he became known as the Father of Deep Learning. He discusses his current research activities, including some of his work with Google Brain, and describes some of his biggest lessons learned from more than 30 years in the field. Hinton says that General Adversarial Networks could lead to some near-term “big breakthroughs.” He compares the coming transformation from AI to the previous industrial revolution in terms of impact and scale.
Hinton answers the following questions:
- How has your work advanced the frontiers of knowledge in AI?
- How can such advances improve the world and benefit humanity?
- Will AI create mass unemployment?
- Will machines be more intelligent than humans?
- Will machines ever have emotions?
- Are you concerned about the future of science
Rodney Brooks is the Panasonic Professor of Robotics (emeritus) at MIT. He is a robotics entrepreneur and founder, chairman, and chief technology officer (CTO) of Rethink Robotics (formerly Heartland Robotics). He is also a founder, former board member (1990–2011) and former CTO (1990–2008) of iRobot Corp. Dr. Brooks is the former director (1997–2007) of the MIT Artificial Intelliigence Laboratory and then the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Robotics and AI: Their Present and Future
In this 1-hour interview with Rodney Brooks, podcast host Rob Reid inquires about the future of robotics, human–machine interaction, and much more. Brook’s background in robotics gives him a unique perspective on the rapid acceleration of robotics and intelligent system technologies. He describes a near future in which robots are “released from the cages” that have traditionally separated humans and machines in industrial spaces. As a critical observer of the intelligent systems landscape, Brooks offers a well-informed and thought-provoking point of view on the trends impacting the future of these systems. Brooks also wrote a great long-form blog post pointing out common mistakes that are made when predicting the future of AI.
Frank Chen is a partner at the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), a firm that specializes in high-growth software startups. Chen and the A16Z team have a front row seat as the intelligent systems startup landscape and invest in many startups that apply AI to transform industries.
The Promise of AI
In this 45-minute talk, Chen explores the categories that “AI will make cheap,” including transportation, perception, content generation, and optimization of complex systems. He also highlights several startups that are building for a future that looks very different than today and points to key enabling technologies like Generative Adversarial Networks that pose significant promise for intelligent systems.
John Launchbury is an American and British computer scientist who is currently chief scientist at Galois, Inc., and the former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Information Innovation Office, where he oversaw nation-wide scientific and engineering research in cybersecurity, data analysis, and AI.
A DARPA Perspective on Artificial Intelligence
What’s the ground truth on AI? In this video, Launchbury attempts to demystify AI—what it can do, what it can’t do, and where it is headed. Through a discussion of the “three waves of AI” and the capabilities required for AI to reach its full potential, Launchbury provides analytical context to help understand AI’s rolein the past, the present, and the future.
Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist who is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures. She is the author of The Signals Are Talking, an award-winning book about how to identify emerging trends early and use strategic foresight to manage risk and opportunity.
What’s Next for AI from Wall Street Journal – The Future of Everything Podcast
In this 20-minute interview, Webb highlights what she sees as some alarming trends across the AI ecosystem. From data privacy and ethics to the country-scale “AI arms race” happening in China, the EU, and the US, Webb points out several alarming indicators that portend a future that few are currently envisioning.
Dr. Adam Coates spent 12 years at Stanford University studying AI before accepting a position as director of Baidu’s Silicon-Valley based AI lab. He is currently operating partner at Khosla Ventures.
In this interview, Coates discusses consumer AI applications, what he’s excited about, and what he thinks may be more ‘hype’ than reality. He talks about applications that could potentially influence billions of mobile-phone and computer users worldwide. If you’re interested in the developments of speech recognition and natural language processing, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.
Still Want More?
In truth, we have only scratched the surface of available thought-leader interviews. The growth in the popularity of podcasting as a new content platform means that there are lots of high quality interviews available for free. The following are our three favorite aggregators of additional intelligent systems content:
The team at the investment firm a16z produces a lot of great content about the future of AI, ML, and deep learning. The complete list of their AI, machine learning, and deep learning content includes original podcasts, videos, and blog posts. They have also curated their own list of resources from around the web, which is very good. One of our favorite a16z podcast episodes is summarized below:
AI, from ‘Toy’ Problems to Practical Application With Scott Clark (SIGOPT), Joseph Spisak (Amazon Web Services), Martin Casado(a16z), and Sonal Chokshi (a16z)
When you have “a really hot, frothy space” like AI, even the most basic questions—like what it’s good for and how to make sure your data is in shape—aren’t answered. So, what does this mean for organizations going from so-called toy problems in research and development to real business results tied to KPIs and returns on investment? In this episode of the a16z podcast, participants share their thoughts on what’s happening and what’s needed for AI in practice, given their vantage points working with both large companies and AI startups.
In this podcast series, host Byron Reese interviews more than 50 thought leaders in various fields of artificial intelligence. It’s a great resource for in-depth conversations with some of the pioneers and technical experts in the field of AI. If you are looking for a good place to start with GigaOm, we recommend the interview with Steve Pratt, the Chief Executive Officer at Noodle AI, an enterprise artificial intelligence company.
Robbie Allen, speaker at the upcoming SPRINGBOARD conference, has created a curated list of AI/ML resources:
It seems fitting to end with Robbie’s list. If you’ve made it this far and are still looking for more, Robbie’s list will keep you busy for weeks!
Know of a great publicly available thought leader interview we missed? Let us know!