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Keeping an AI on things – “Every single business will be transformed”

Ahead of his keynote speech in Dublin’s Royal Convention Centre next week, we spoke to Dr. Michael Wu, one of the world’s leading authorities on artificial intelligence (AI).


When you cast an eye back over the history of inventions such as electricity and the automobile, one thing becomes clear. There is always an introductory period where only a select number of people feel prepared to adopt it, and quite often there is a general feeling of uncertainty about how this new technology can change our lives.

Artificial intelligence (AI) may not be new, with predecessors such as computerised games being around for decades, but it is certainly following a similar path at present. Much of the conversation centres around how it is going to impact society in the future, and many of us are unsure of where to start when trying to understand it more.

According to Dr Michael Wu PhD, Chief AI Strategist at PROS in California’s Silicon Valley, it is something that will affect businesses in more ways than you might assume. One of the keynote speakers at MII’S National Digital Conference, taking place on 23 March in the Royal Convention Centre, his background in world leading tech innovation and reputation as an authority on AI makes his one of the most informed opinions on the subject.

Michael says, “I don’t say this lightly; I really think that every single business will be transformed because this is like the fourth industrial revolution. It’s not just impacting a particular vertical or business function such as marketing or sales, it has the potential to impact all of them.

“That’s the same kind of thing that we have seen in the industrial revolution, because their application is so broad that it’s not limited to a particular part of the business world or our society. It’s affecting every part, that’s why we’re calling it an industrial revolution!”

It is at this point that for many, the uncertainty starts to kick in, and it would be easy to assume that you need to be a tech expert to reap the rewards. Understanding exactly how AI can make things easier for a business is one thing, but knowing where to start with it all is quite another.

“Certainly there is a little bit of ‘I don’t understand how this works,’ and there is a little bit of fear at play as well. It’s the fear of the unknown and the misconception that ‘I don’t know anything about maths and statistics, how can I use AI?’

“That is a misconception. It’s the same thing as many years ago with computers, people would think you have to be a really techie programmer to use it but over time the new technology became much, much more user friendly and now basically anybody can use a computer and certainly everybody knows how to use a phone!

“That’s basically a pretty powerful computer in comparison to the computers back in those days. New technology will be made and designed in such a way that allows and enables mass adoption,” he says.

The 11th iteration of Ireland’s preeminent marketing event sees a return to it being an in-person event after two years of going virtual, with Mediahuis as official media partners. To find out more about Michael’s keynote speech, as well as the other speakers at DMX 2023 which creates a list of who’s-who in marketing, visit the website here.


Embracing a digital transformation

Rewind the clock 10-15 years, and the expectation on most businesses was for them to create a website. It’s easy to forget how that was a move that many were initially hesitant to make, but there is always a new opportunity awaiting businesses looking to move with the times and adapt to the latest technology at their fingertips.

“If you don’t digitally transform or you don’t adapt to the advanced digital technology of today, it’s the same thing as not having a website back in the early days of the internet,” Michael says.

As someone who has been at the beating heart of such tech advances for many years, Michael is also well placed to give an idea as to what the future of AI might look like.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but I could hypothesise some possible future. I developed a kind of AI-adoption maturity curve basically to answer the question of how this technology is going to evolve and adopted into the workplace.

“The first step of that is digital transformation. You need to digitise your work, and what that means is you turn your work into a digital process.

“It creates the raw material for AI, which has a component in it called machine learning. It needs to learn something, and where do you think it would learn from? It basically learns from data, which should be created somewhere.

“The best way to think about AI is that it’s a machine which mimics some human behaviour which has two very important characteristics. One is to automate our decisions and actions, and the second one essentially is to learn. Learning in this context means that it has to be able to improve its performance with usage and the more you use it the better it gets at what it’s doing,” Michael says.

The subject of digital transformation is the theme of this year’s DMX, and will be a major point of focus for Michael’s keynote speech. Those in attendance will also learn more about his adoption maturity curve and gain insight into the potential benefits of AI, as well as connect with other industry professionals and embrace networking opportunities.

National Digital Conference MII DMX is a one-day expert-led conference delivering the truth about digital transformation. With a keynote speech from Michael Wu, Chief AI Strategist direct from Silicon Valley, lean into the future and gain insight from Meta on Metaverse, Google, Accenture Song and the future of work and transport, as well as hand-picked case studies.

MII DMX will take a holistic approach to both the technological and human components of successful digital transformation.

We are entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). It is transforming how we live, work, and do business. This will have a real impact on us all both as individuals and business.

To get tickets to this year's event, scan the QR code below or visit the website here.