“The secret is to demonstrate that small businesses can generate value quickly” – Q&A with Olivier Blais, Speaker at the Dublin Tech Summit – Business & Finance

Olivier Blais is co-founder and Head of Decision Science at Moov AI. He will speak at Dublin Tech Summit on June 15 & 16, which returns to the RDS in a physical capacity. See all confirmed speakers here.


What are the new technological trends?

Despite all the new concepts like NFTs, metaverse, blockchain, etc., I think the most game-changing trend is that companies are starting to adopt AI in their organizations. Despite all the negative sides of COVID-19, this pandemic period has been a great catalyst for organizations to think about automation and digital transformation. AI is just a tool, but it can be transformative when you integrate it well into a process. For example, if you get fantastic at forecasting your customer’s demand, you can streamline all logistics, supply chain, and purchasing functions accordingly. It’s huge for businesses.

How can small businesses get into the tech industry?

The secret is to demonstrate that small businesses can generate value quickly. I believe the advantage of small businesses is speed of delivery and innovative thinking. For larger organizations, partnering with smaller companies is otherwise difficult. Another secret to growing small businesses is to multiply successes. If a company solves a massive problem for a customer, it becomes a relevant supplier, regardless of the size of that company.

What are some of the biggest concerns facing the tech community today?

I think every tech company should address the following issues so that we can ensure AI adoption:

  • About 50% of organizations are stuck in their adoption of AI due to data issues (AI Forum, 2022). What can we do about it? How to propose solutions less dependent on a large amount of data?
  • Around 60% of organizations do not have enough knowledge or talent to generate value with their data (AI Forum, 2022). How can we make this very simple while ensuring secure use of data?
  • By 2022, 85% of AI projects will produce erroneous results due to biases in the data, models, or responsible teams (Gartner, 2020). How can we develop approaches and tools to validate the quality of an AI system before its release? Most data science teams still rely on basic ad-hoc performance assessment, but it needs to get more sophisticated. Software development evolved its testing approaches 10 to 15 years ago. The AI ​​should do the same soon to avoid the fallback of a poor quality system deployed in production.

What key message do you want the DTS community to hear?

Simply put, artificial intelligence is a great tool to support the transformation of critical functions in top organizations. However, changes do not happen overnight and the use of an instrument is usually not enough. Therefore, these tips optimize the success of a transformation project using AI:

  • Start small and gradually build on successes; otherwise, you will lack traction.
  • Use simple solutions to solve complex problems; Many existing and robust machine learning frameworks and algorithms exist, so be sure to reuse as many as possible.
  • Consider delivering a system and not just a model; Machine learning code typically makes up barely 20% of an AI system’s code base.
  • When developing your AI system, consideration of change management and training is paramount, as an unused AI system is useless.

Now in its 5th year, DTS 2022 will see over 8,000 registered attendees, 200 speakers and 65 partners representing 50 countries, the event, which has been held virtually for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic , promises to be bigger and better than ever. It will bring together the brightest tech innovators, influencers and entrepreneurs from around the world, showcasing the capabilities and creativity that are part of a larger tech ecosystem. For Dublin Tech Summit themes, see here.

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