AI's Future: Prospects, Challenges, and Its Role in Our World

We invited Matt Fornito, CEO of Tech Ink and Member of the Evanta CIO Council, to understand "The cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence and the evolving relationship between humans and smart machines.”

Artificial Intelligence

Matt Fornito

Who did we interview?

Matt Fornito is an Executive AI Strategist who helps organizations create data-driven cultures. He has spent over 20 years in AI and 10 years consulting for both F500 and VC/PE-backed firms. He is currently the CEO of Tech Ink, a consulting firm that helps companies transform into AI-driven organizations.

Let us quickly get to our expert's point of view.

  • Ques 1 : If you can share some of the AI work you are optimistic about and you think that can bring a great impact in future.

    Ans : We’re going to see a shift in HOW AI impacts people’s day-to-day lives and how we interact with the technologies. This will primarily be in the form of Large Language Models (LLMs) similar to ChatGPT and Computer Vision (CV).

    LLMs will provide new ways of accomplishing tasks and automate many of the mundane or boring parts – allowing people the opportunity to be more creative and think about their end goals.

    CVs will change marketing completely as digital characters become commonplace and people are able to create videos using their real (or synthetic voice) that look like they are actually talking.

    There are obviously dangers to both of these and we’ll need more guardrails in place but the opportunities will be endless for innovation.

    In regards to verticals, I am most excited about Autonomous Vehicles and Healthcare. For Self-driving cars, in the short-term, we’ll eliminate the majority of car wrecks (and can eradicate drunk driving further than we have today). In the long-term, we may not even own cars as these can exist as a self-driving service moving forward. With healthcare, we’ll ultimately be able to get to more personalized healthcare (1:1 treatments) and holistic healthcare – by focusing on the individual across all their behaviors and tests, not in isolated environments.

  • Ques 2 : How intelligent machines can fail in ways that don't fit human error patterns and in ways we won't expect or be prepared for?

    Ans : AI, especially LLMs and Neural Networks (NN) are more prone to unknown biases. What I mean by that is…for machine learning, we have data inputs that can be transformed and identified (e.g. race and gender) and thus, can control for biases within the data itself.

    However, with LLMs and NNs, they are more of a ‘black box.’ As such, we don’t actually know what the LLM or NN is considering important – just that it’s important. Because of this, we will see unique errors going forward that we would never consider.

    One such case included humans putting traffic cones on self-driving cars forcing the cars to simply stop in the middle of the road because they couldn’t interpret if the environment was safe to proceed onward.

  • Ques 3 : The world we are building right now is driven by the thinking machines. Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values or will they have values of their own?

    Ans : Let’s clarify – machines don’t think. They don’t currently – they might not for a very long time based on the current architectural confines that they operate within.

    However, if machines can learn, iterate, and adapt, if they can understand emotions, communication, and empathy, if they can reflect and create philosophies based on a set of rules or cognitions then we may be closer to thinking machines.

    At which point – they will either adhere to the structural guidelines (rules) they have been governed by or they could potentially create their own set of rules if their end goal state changes – because that end goal state may not operate effectively within the initial confines.

  • Ques 4 : Can you share your vision of where intelligent machines can help us turn our grandest dreams into reality?

    Ans : What’s the dream? To own a coffee shop? No. To connect with others more deeply – probably not. To spend more time with loved ones and pursuing hobbies/passions? Yes – IF we can accept that humans aren’t batteries and don’t need to work 40-100 hours per week. If we optimize for the human experience, for life, then we have a large opportunity to let people be people. Otherwise, we’ll succumb to greater productivity and optimizations without benefit to the working class.

  • Ques 5 : How artificial intelligence will redefine business and work?

    Ans : It. Will. Change. Everything.

    • Marketing - personalization.

    • Sales - Better experiences and needs identification.

    • Customer Service - faster (and happier) resolutions.

    • Leadership - An AI coach who is a sounding board for innovation

    • Finance & Legal - Drastic reduction in the workforce due to huge automation.

    • Education - what we teach and how we learn will have to be completely revamped.

    The list goes on and on. The question is really – how will AI impact our society and how we perceive success at work?

    One thing is clear: those who use AI (e.g. ChatGPT) to be more proficient will have the greatest career longevity.

  • Ques 6 : How can we leverage AI in 2024 and beyond? What is the best event that you attended recently? What were your key takeaways?

    Ans : It’s going to come down to:

    • Do we trust AI?

    • Do we trust data?

    • Do we have a culture that accepts AI?

    • Do we have a strategy to successfully execute?

    • Do we have a culture that willingly accepts failure and change?

    I’ve been busy building out my new consulting firm Tech Ink so haven’t had time to attend any events recently. However, I meet in person and virtually 1:1 as often as I can with thought leaders. Having a sounding board – a discussion forum allows us to learn from one another and prepare for the future.

    The next 20 years are going to be incredibly exciting.

  • Ques 7 : What’s your success mantra?

    Ans : Be adaptable and willing to change. Seek Continuous Learning opportunities on a daily basis. Surround yourself with people who challenge you and lastly, be kind.

Aman Benipal

Senior Consultant

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