AI isn't magic. It’s computer science.
AI has the potential to add $16 trillion global economy by 2030, but adoption has been slow. While we understand the power of AI, many of us aren’t sure how to fully unleash its potential.
Join Robert Thomas and Tim O’Reilly to learn that the reality is AI isn’t magic. It’s hard work. There’s no wand to be waved at enterprise inefficiencies, and having the technology alone is not enough. AI breakthroughs will come with mass experimentation, and while many of those experiments will fail, the successful ones will have substantial impact. AI can help you, your business, your employees, and your customers, but you need a prescriptive approach to harness its power and put AI to work.
Robert D. Thomas is the general manager of IBM Data and Artificial Intelligence. He directs IBM’s product investment strategy, sales and marketing, expert labs, and global software product development. With a portfolio of over 1,000 products, IBM has emerged as a leader in data and AI, spanning databases, data integration and governance, business intelligence, planning, data science and AI tools, and AI applications. Major product brands under Rob’s leadership include Watson, DB2, Netezza, Cognos, SPSS, and InfoSphere. Since joining IBM’s software unit, Rob has held roles of increasing responsibility, including business development, product engineering, sales and marketing, and general management. He’s overseen four acquisitions by the firm representing over $2.5 billion in transaction value. At IBM, he’s worked in technology and strategy consulting, first in Atlanta and then in New York; founded IBM’s practice to advise companies moving onto the internet, where he executed and advised on strategy and operations at a variety of companies including Motorola, AXA, and Sanmina; joined IBM’s high-technology business to build an engineering services organization focused on semiconductor design, embedded software, and systems development; led the business and manufacturing operations in Asia Pacific, living in Tokyo, Japan; joined IBM’s software business, focused on data and analytics, holding a variety of roles, leading IBM’s transition from core databases to delivering broader analytical capabilities and eventually artificial intelligence. Rob’s first book Big Data Revolution: What Farmers, Doctors, and Insurance Agents Can Teach Us About Patterns in Big Data (Wiley) was published in 2015. The Financial Times called the book, “interesting as a case study of the philosophical assumptions that underpin the growing obsession with data.” His second book, The End of Tech Companies was published in 2016, educating business leaders on how to navigate digital disruption in every industry. Today, he writes extensively on his blog Robdthomas.com. Rob serves on the board of Domus (Stamford, CT), which assists underprivileged children in Fairfield county. He lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife and three children. He was born in Florida and trained in economics at Vanderbilt University, earning his BA in economics. During his MBA from the University of Florida, he worked in equity research, learning applied economics, finance, and financial analysis.
Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc. His original business plan was simply “interesting work for interesting people,” and that’s worked out pretty well. O’Reilly Media delivers online learning, publishes books, runs conferences, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators. Tim has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry. In 1998, he organized the meeting where the term “open source software” was agreed on and helped the business world understand its importance. In 2004, with the Web 2.0 Summit, he defined how “Web 2.0” represented not only the resurgence of the web after the dot-com bust but a new model for the computer industry based on big data, collective intelligence, and the internet as a platform. In 2009, with his Gov 2.0 Summit, he framed a conversation about the modernization of government technology that has shaped policy and spawned initiatives at the federal, state, and local level and around the world. He has now turned his attention to implications of AI, the on-demand economy, and other technologies that are transforming the nature of work and the future shape of the business world. This is the subject of his book from Harper Business, WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us. In addition to his role at O’Reilly Media, Tim is a partner at early-stage venture firm O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) and serves on the boards of Maker Media (which was spun out from O’Reilly Media in 2012), Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics, and PopVox.
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