Keynote by Dr. Babak Hodjat: Creating an AI-Powered Organization

Dr. Babak Hodjat, a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and chief architect of the technology behind Siri, believes that insights aren’t enough. In a past ODSC East keynote address, Hodjat leads us through what he believes the issues are and how companies can build true AI-Powered Organizations.

When you ask companies what they want from AI, many of their responses are prediction-based — know if a transaction is fraudulent or predict the risk of insuring a property. When they have these analytics, the company can make confident decisions on their own. They would take appropriate action to counteract the fraud or decide whether or not to insure that property.

The company doesn’t use AI to make the decisions themselves, only to provide the analytics to inform the decision. The trouble is that getting to those analytics requires a lot of effort — charts are confusing, graphs can be manipulated, and few people have the visualization training to read these complex outputs.

What’s the Problem With Analytics?

Most companies are focused on preliminary analytics, but this doesn’t do business impact justice.

  • Most problems require multiple objectives — some kind of balance the company is striking between different solutions and needs.
  • Models become obsolete faster than we expect — changes in customer habits, regulations, even unpredictable events like natural disasters alter the course of AI models.

Dr. Babak Hodjat believes that AI should be helping us make our decisions rather than serving purely an analytics function. He believes we’ve gotten some of this backward, and becoming a truly AI-powered organization is the way to fix it.


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