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Does AI aim to build a better world for humans? Challenges and Opportunities

The second panel discussion moderated by Sangseok You, HEC Paris professor was given by 3 business practitioners, Shirine Maher, Co-founder @EdzoAi;  Guillaume Lerouge, Director @LaJavaness, Gautier Virepinte, Senior Manager@ KPMG on the business opportunities of AI application and on-going practice with corporations. 

Panel 2 - Ai, Robotics and work

By Jacquelina Yin Zhou, HEC Paris MBA student

What are the opportunities?

AI advances business process efficiency 

Nowadays, we are experiencing an automotive email campaign. That’s the core business of LaJavaness - automating a range of business process, including email marketing, customer relationship management, even pricing analysis. We are not surprised to find out that the repetitive jobs, such as administration work and supply chain stocking management have to a much larger degree adopted and been replaced by AI. 

Gautier from KPMG further explicated how this now is covering a range of industries, banking, transportation, and even government. AI technology strategically transfers the business into a customer experience oriented landscape from four main perspectives: growth of the business, increasing process efficiency, identifying and mitigating risk and improving quality.

AI enables collective intelligence from human beings

Shirine from EdzoAI gave us a fresh view on how AI could possibly enable diverse and collective intelligence from human beings. It originated from the contract idea of top-down management from the Roman Empire. The AI technology revolution is enabling human progress by extracting the essence of human intelligence — our diversity and creativity. A different layer or the next level of extracting value from the collaboration and knowledge sharing from the diverse and creative, which will further advance human progress to solve complex situations and bring novel solutions. 

What are the challenges? 

There are two common challenges given by the three practitioners. One is that there is no sufficient data to build an algorithm in the first place. The other one is that lacking trust or the unknowing of the AI technology makes it very difficult to implement. 

Hardware: Not enough data to exploit  

Guillaume, who has successfully deployed AI projects in big organizations, shared with us another point that there is a gap between what people think AI can do and what AI can actually do. The AI has to be built on a large database in the first place. Thus, it requires a system/ platform to collect enough data. Moreover, there are efforts to be made to clean the data to make it useable. At the same time, the available and relevant algorithms are very limited. 

In the French market, AI is mainly limited to traditional machine learning and text mining.  — Gautier from KPMG, “It was not an original problem. It is about managing bias and unpacking human minds.” Particularly, in big corporates, it is crucial to build a strategic vision for AI to identify and mobilize resources to have specific plans to implement it. 

Soft skill: Lacking of trust 

The question is; do we trust the outcome/decision made by the machine or a program/algorithm? Is there a way that we could justify that? Our 3 guest speakers shared the same experience that it is essential to create a trustworthy working culture and it simply needs to invest time to train people to work with the machine in any organization. The plausible way is to give people the choice to trust or not and keep the machine to give accountable feedback. 

It is particularly important to make sure it will be easy for the human to work and use. Because it is inevitable that humans, behind the machine, make the algorithm based on the customer/user oriented mindset and operate and implement them in the existing business contexts. Overall, AI technology aims to build a better world for humans.



Jacquelina Yin Zhou is an MBA student at HEC Paris and did a double degree at SciencesPo for sustainable development. She has 6-year industry experiences in consumer goods and social enterprise. Now she is working with providing tech solution with AI technology on impact measurement to advance the sustainable development across public and private sectors.