We are clearly in the middle of a significant change concerning where and even how we work. Since the breakout of the pandemic, most companies shifted from "work from home as an exception" to "work from home, as a rule."
As a result, the lines between business and consumer productivity products have significantly blurred. You’ll see the result of this blurring next week at CES, where firms like Caterpiller, BlackBerry, and Hive will be talking about applied AI at the event. As any technology matures, the most innovative and successful companies typically discover how to successfully apply it to adjacent markets, often through partners that know those markets better.
Here are the sessions at the event that showcase how enterprise-class AI is bleeding over into the extended offices increasing in our homes – and one session on how the new administration plans to deal with tech, particularly Cyber Security.
This session held on the first day of CES looks at the application of Caterpillar’s unique AI experience with autonomous driving. Caterpillar’s implementation targets mostly mining, where you have private roads that often don’t have things like stop signs, stop lights, crosswalks, or even paved roads. Still, they do have a loss of unstructured traffic and pedestrians free-flowing around the vehicles.
In Autonomous driving, only the last, level 5, allows for this kind of off-public road performance. Caterpillar seems to have the most experience with this final phase of autonomous driving development.
This unique Caterpiller benefit makes them an exciting partner, particularly for those automotive firms that want to explore Level 5 autonomous driving and even how to deal with the potential liabilities if something goes wrong. So a resource that was developed for large scale mining has broad applicability for consumer-level autonomous driving. I expect this talk by Denise Johnson, Group President of Resource Industries, will be far more interesting than most realize as a result.
One of the likely most fascinating events at CES is being put on by a group of enterprise providers, including BlackBerry, Hive, and IBM. Moderated by Digital Trends and held on the second day of the event, this will focus on how AI can revolutionize productivity, improve safety, and provide better access to the data that people need to be more productive in their jobs.
- BlackBerry’s Eric Cornelius, who came from the firm’s Cylance unit, is likely to cover how BlackBerry/Cylance used AI to create one of the most potent individual security products. This offering is being used broadly to protect remote workers and executives under far higher threats now that they are working remotely. This contribution will likely showcase how Enterprise-Class AI-driven security can be effectively used to now protect the at-risk remote workforce. But BlackBerry has other AI offerings that protect the development process, better ensure employee safety during disasters, and secure the growing fleet of ever more autonomous vehicles and robots.
- Bridget Karlen, out of IBM, comes out of IBM’s Global Technology Services business. She is responsible for digital transformation, automation, cloud, security, and Open Source technologies, among other things. She also has a considerable interest in vehicles and sits on the board for Dana Incorporated, a world leader in vehicle drivetrain and propulsion systems. Her broad experience will likely focus on better supporting a remote workforce and the emerging electric autonomous vehicle market with Enterprise-class services to protect and assure its productivity.
- Kevin Guo, the CEO of Hive, one of the more exciting startup AI firms building AI for enterprises, will likely talk about Enterprise-Class AI’s potential to improve the work from home experience. He has a deep background in applying AI in the biomedical space. Particularly during the Pandemic, he will talk about AI’s potential to keep employees safer during this Pandemic event.
One of the areas where AI has a huge impact is on Healthcare. One of the initial focuses of IBM’s Watson effort was in this area, and the promise for AI to massively improve the quality of Healthcare is unmatched. This quality comes from the potential to speed up and increase the accuracy of medical diagnosis.
In this session, Kerri Haresign from the CTA (Consumer Technology Association), Pat Baird from Philips, and Jesse Ehrenfeld will talk about how AI can improve outcomes and lower costs, particularly critical during the Pandemic. This advantage may have many of us preferring providers who have this capability.
I include this session moderated by Gary Shapiro, CEO of the CTA, and Bian Deese of the National Economic Council should be a fascinating early look into how the new administration will treat Technology Companies. It is interesting to note the under the prior Obama administration; there was a massive effort to secure the nation against cyber threats better but, I’ve been told by the firms that worked on that project, the Trump Administration all but killed this effort.
It is expected that the Biden administration will again take Cyber Security and technology very seriously, and understanding the early dynamics of this could be very helpful for firms working either with the US Government or in the US. He may also provide insight into Chinese technology firms’ future treatment often blamed, with little or no evidence, for problems under the current administration.
Trust goes to the heart of retaining customers, investors, and even employees. Here Razeev Chand of Wing Venture Capital, Keith Enright of Google, Damien Kieran of Twitter, and Anne Toth of Amazon will discuss balancing privacy in the age of digital engagement and abuse. Balancing the corporate entity’s need to capture personal information without abusing or violating GPRS laws should lead to a fascinating discussion benefiting firms struggling with this problem.
I expect AIs will increasingly be asked to maintain this balance at scale because customer engagement with three of these firms is beyond what human employees are likely capable of achieving at scale.
One of the big problems we have in the technology industry is race and gender bias. This problem ranges from salary disparities to outright abuse. With AI, the problems have been mainly tied to bad training sets. They have set back efforts like facial recognition, which could have been used to identify more of the attackers at the US Capital recently, significantly.
This session with Shelley Zalis from the Female Quotient, Annie Jean-Batiste from Google, Taniya Mishra of MySureStart, and Kimberly Sterling of ResMed should be fascinating for anyone looking at successfully using AI in a variety of markets, including retail and Healthcare.
I was on the advisory council for Comdex and watched that show drift from Enterprise to Consumer products, eventually becoming too large and unfocused to be sustainable. But the technology we have to provide a virtual event like CES didn’t exist back then and while moving from Enterprise to Consumer created a problem of scaling down, moving from Consumer to Enterprise is a scale-up and, apparently, not as tricky because CES appears to be doing fine with this transition.
The sessions I cherry-picked above cover some interesting AI topics (and one that has to do with the incoming administration that I think every tech company should attend). I hope to see some of you virtually at the show and one thing I’m not missing this year is all the walking. Stay safe and have a wonderful week.