Welcome to the AI Index Report, featuring practitioner analyst and entrepreneur Toni Witt. This series is intended to deliver the timely intelligence about artificial intelligence (AI) you need to get up to speed for an upcoming client engagement or board meeting.
In this AI Index Special Report, after being on location at AI Summit Preconference, part of Community Summit North America 2023, Toni Witt shares his top takeaways from the AI sessions he participated in and attended.
A Beginning Framework for AI (01:45)
The AI Summit Preconference kicked off with a keynote delivered by Acceleration Economy Chief Content Officer Aaron Back and Alfredo Ramirez, GM, business applications at Microsoft. The pair outlined a framework to help companies get on track with AI. They shared some starting points for businesses looking to begin their AI journeys:
- Moving to the cloud is an essential element to making the most of AI.
- It’s not just about the technology but also about the people and the process.
- Consider eliminating tasks and processes that aren’t necessary before automating vital manual tasks and building AI into business processes.
- Determine where you are when it comes to the AI transformation process.
After evaluating where your organization is with AI, it all comes down to educating yourself and your team.
Optimizing with AI Tools (03:43)
Once you identified the opportunities you can add value to your business with AI, there are some tools that can be useful to optimize AI’s potential. Toni shared a couple of specific tools during one of the sessions that he participated in:
- UiPath provides great tools to get into an automation mindset and build familiarity with AI.
- Automation Anywhere recently expanded its product portfolio to support copilots.
- Granica’s Crunch platform compresses large datasets and Chronicle is useful for analytics.
- Large enterprises can take advantage of IBM’s wastonx AI suite.
- MosaicML helps you train your own models, which is useful for custom jobs.
During a panel discussion with Crystal Ahrens, Solutions Architect at HeicoCompanies, and Acceleration Economy practitioner analysts Kenny Mullican and Wayne Sadin participated in a panel discussion, Toni shared a prediction for next year: There will be a rise in use case-specific, lightweight, custom fine-tuned models, especially when it comes to enterprises.
The real value is going to be coming from these fine-tuned lightweight models that, in many cases, the enterprise businesses train themselves. This process will become cheaper over time.
Final Thoughts (06:56)
Toni described AI Summit attendees to be like a “summit of practitioners” — people building real businesses and facing real problems. Everyone was ready to learn and take action when it comes to AI. The speakers, the panelists, and the roundtable discussion covered everything from data management to model training to finding automation opportunities.
An attendee shared with Toni after the sessions that, “The Summit felt like you weren’t alone.” It was refreshing to have the space to connect with other people undergoing the same transformations and helping each other. Toni said it was inspiring to see everyone face a common challenge and learn together from each other. With the rapid rise of AI, businesses must be ready for change.