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Getting the most from the AI Business Summit

2018-03-13 15:35:00

The AI Conference in NY will feature tutorials, conference sessions, and executive briefings to help business leaders understand and plan for AI technologies.

Artificial intelligence has certainly been the most heavily hyped topic of the past year. There’s a lot of smoke and confusion—and, incidentally, a lot of fire. Businesses are using AI to transform themselves: they’re using it to help their employees do more meaningful work, they’re using it to satisfy customers, and they’re using it to find opportunities they didn’t know existed.

But with all the frenzy, there’s also been a lot of thrash. Many execs want to “develop an AI strategy,” but they don’t know what that strategy is, or what it’s for. You won’t get anywhere in AI without a concrete plan that relates to your current business environment and needs. AI won’t magically solve your problems.

Nor can we, but we can give you the tools you need to think about solutions. At the AI Business Summit (a part of O’Reilly’s Artificial Intelligence Conference in New York), we have three days of tutorials, conference sessions, and executive briefings designed to help business leaders understand and plan for these new technologies. These sessions are led by executives who have real-world experience with artificial intelligence, in industries as diverse as manufacturing, telecommunications, and ecommerce. They will be sharing what worked for them as well as what didn’t. Learn from their success—and from their failures.

Getting ahead of the curve

If you think you’re behind the AI adoption curve, you’ve got a lot of company. But you’re also not where you want to be. These sessions teach you how to get ahead of the curve: how to get on track integrating AI into your business. You’ll need need to understand how to make your business work smarter: how to integrate AI into all aspects of your business, how to build an organization that is continually learning how to improve, and how to put AI to work today, and not as part of a rose-colored future.

Learning from experience

Like any other discipline, AI is best learned through experience. That applies to business leadership as well as to developers. How do you get experience when you’re just starting out? From others who’ve taken the path before you. In these sessions, executives and business leaders share their experiences growing into AI: what worked for them, what didn’t, and how it transformed their business.

Design for AI

In the past two years, “design thinking” has become an important buzzword. How do you integrate design into your products from the beginning? Designing for AI brings its own challenges: how do you build systems that are partners for humans, rather than overlords? How do you build systems that can effectively collaborate with your staff? And how do you help AI systems to expose their decision-making process, which might be more valuable than a simple answer? We’ll be looking at questions like these in this group of sessions.

Joining the conversation

Devices like Amazon’s Echo have made it clear that the future is voice-driven. Humans have never adapted well to applications that force them to sit at a keyboard; we want to be able to talk, and have the system understand what we want to do. But how do businesses use chatbots to become better? These sessions will teach you how to think about conversational businesses.

Building a better world

Despite fears about super-intelligences that are hostile to humans and fill the world with paper clips, the future will be what we make it, not what AI makes it. So, what sorts of decisions do we, as business leaders, need to make to ensure we have the future we want? There is a lot to consider: how we use data appropriately, how we develop our legal systems, and how we rethink our workplaces so that AIs are our assistants, not our overlords.

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Four short links: 13 March 2018

2018-03-13 11:00:00

El Paquete, Ingenious Malware, Region Evacuation, and Deck Template

  1. Inside El Paquete, Cuba’s Social Network -- In a country where the government keeps tight control over the media, citizens are able to access an extraordinary amount of information from around the world in the form of a terabyte-sized weekly file dump, Bring Your Own Hard Drive. Nation-scale sneakernet. (via Andy Baio)
  2. The Slingshot APT FAQ --malware that disabled disk defragmentation because it stores its own encrypted filesystem in the unused sectors of yours.
  3. Netflix Region Evacuation -- This article describes how we re-imagined region failover from what used to take close to an hour to less than 10 minutes, all while remaining cost neutral.
  4. YC Seed Deck Template -- The deck below is a template for how I think companies should build seed decks. While the main target for this template is a company raising its seed round, the deck is not all that different from best practices for a Series A deck—which we’ll release next.

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