Kay Firth-Butterfield

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Davos: Driving Economic Growth with AI in a Productivity-Challenged Future

Davos 2024 AI House: CEOs of Automation Anywhere, IBM and Accenture discuss how AI can drive growth.

Panel of AI company CEOs at the AI House, Davos 2024

Kay Firth-Butterfield moderated a panel of CEOs from leading AI companies:

  • Mihir Shukla, CEO of Automation Anywhere
  • Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO of IBM
  • Manish Sharma, CEO North America Accenture

The panel shared their experiences of deploying and developing artificial intelligence in their enterprises and in those of their clients. Mihir set the tone commenting that the world needs growth to ensure peace and now that populations are declining, increased productivity is the key to that growth. The development of AI at just this moment is apposite.

Also at the AI House: Fortune Magazine – After dinner fireside chat Davos 2024

Evidencing the boost to productivity that artificial intelligence can bring, Arvind described cases of customer service calls being 50-75% automated, HR administration (but not recruiting) reducing staff from 500 to 70 and coding staff reduced by 20-50%. All panelists agreed that increasing productivity did not mean fewer jobs, it meant lower costs, more market share and in turn, the need for more staff to address that share. Manish advocated going large and embracing scale. They have been creating massive data lakes of company knowledge spanning the entire enterprise and running LLMs over it for themselves and for customers like BestBuy, Unilever and McDonalds.

Again, the goal of these projects is growth, not cost cutting. Mihir describe how Petrobas saved $120m in 3 weeks; expects to save $1b this year and $3bn next year using genAI and their enterprise data. Also, Keybank  automated its mortgage processing system and completed the equivalent to 9 years of work in just two weeks.

The panel acknowledged that there were real risks associated with the use of artificial intelligence but that they could be addressed. They emphasized that anyone working with artificial intelligence at scale must have a Responsible AI policy and a Responsible AI Officer established before starting. Too often, large projects have had to be undone because they started without guidelines and automate bad practices.

Watch the video here:

Case studies mentioned

McDonalds (https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/2023/mcdonald-s-corporation-and-accenture-expand-partnership-to-accelerate-technology-adoption-and-reinvent-customer-and-crew-experiences ; https://chainstoreage.com/mcdonalds-expands-initiative-deploy-generative-ai-leading-edge-tech

Unilever: (https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/2023/unilever-and-accenture-collaborate-on-next-generation-ai, https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/technology-and-supply-chain/unilever-and-accenture-partner-to-scale-generative-ai/686107.article

NatWest: https://newsroom.ibm.com/2023-11-06-NatWest-and-IBM-Collaborate-on-Generative-AI-Initiative-to-Enhance-Customer-Experience)

Natwest (https://newsroom.ibm.com/2023-11-06-NatWest-and-IBM-Collaborate-on-Generative-AI-Initiative-to-Enhance-Customer-Experience) – use for contact centers from employess and clients. SAP help clients navigate where query.

Keybank https://www.automationanywhere.com/solutions/financial-services/mortgage-process-automation

Petrobas: https://www.automationanywhere.com/company/blog/product-insights/transform-your-business-and-accelerate-roi-automation-infused-ai