Stephen Piron, co-founder and co-CEO, Dessa
Stephen Piron is co-founder and co-CEO at Dessa, an AI company that helps enterprises transform their enterprises with the technology. Business Reporter’s Alastair Greener sat down with Stephen to learn more about how enterprises can ensure rapid results and long-term success when implementing AI into their organisations.
Below are excerpts from the video interview featured above, which have been edited for conciseness and clarity
The company’s mission
At Dessa, our mission is to help large enterprises scale AI and create impactful business value. We’re at a point in time where everyone is talking about AI, and lots of big companies have put a few systems in production. But the real challenge and the real problem to be solved is how do you do this at scale? How do you multiply early-stage use cases and their impact by ten, one hundred thousand? We’re trying to help enterprises solve this problem.
AI’s ubiquity in today’s boardrooms
It makes sense because deep learning and AI have the potential to be truly transformative. But we’re also in the early chapters of this change: if you think about the birth of contemporary AI as the invention of AlexNet in 2012, then they really haven’t been around for long. Because of this, there’s a lot of hype. To ensure success, executives need to be sober about the choices they’re making. But I also think they should expect large returns. It may take longer than the hype promises, but AI will be truly world-changing.
How enterprises can extract maximum value
In short, it comes down to thinking big but starting small. And that’s all about finding the right use cases. These tend to be the non-sexy kind, and they always start with a viable business problem. So you’re not doing AI for the sake of doing it, you are trying to use it as a tool to solve a problem.
As an example: a bank came to us, they had a problem with customers leaving the bank. So we built an attrition model for them, which makes predictions on who might leave, and certain ways to incentivise and prompt their customers to stay with the bank.
What enterprises should know but don’t
The work we’ve seen being done so far in enterprise with AI is largely incremental. Enterprises take an existing process that they’ve been doing for years and they replace it with an AI process. In some cases, this way produces double-digit lift, and implementing AI incrementally also reduces risk.
However, I think that there is this huge universe of net-new use-cases that aren’t being done yet. These are the use-cases for which advanced AI techniques are particularly suited. And we think that’s where the lion’s share of the value is. They’re not being done because there just isn’t the right infrastructure and tools to do these things at scale. But when there is, I think that’s when we’ll see some truly impactful things being done in enterprise.
Curious to learn about how Dessa can help your enterprise scale AI across the organization? Visit their homepage at www.dessa.com to learn more about the company’s platform, products and services that are advancing this mission. In addition, you can find some more thoughts from Stephen on ensuring successful AI deployments in an article recently published in Business Reporter on the Future of Work here.