Exclusive Industry Insights: Dr. Catriona Wallace, CEO and Founder of Flamingo AI

Published on June 13, 2018

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We recently spoke to Dr. Catriona Wallace, CEO and Founder of Flamingo AI, where she shared in-depth insights on the many factors at play regarding the rise of AI.

Artificial Intelligence: What leaders need to know

In today’s fast-moving business environment, ignoring digital disruption and the impact of technological change is done at one’s own peril. The integration of machine learning into operations, especially in the financial services industry, is accelerating at lightening speed. Against the backdrop, there are many ways AI and machine learning are set to positively transform the customer experience. From streamlining services, to personalising the customer experience, AI is here to stay. So, what should businesses be keeping front of mind during this rapid change and concurrent rise of AI? Below are some of Catriona’s top recommendations for businesses considering and assessing an AI strategy.

– General Intelligence machines Vs Narrow Intelligence machines: To derive the most value from Artificial Intelligence, businesses need to distinguish between general and narrow intelligence. According to Catriona, general AI machines are commonly being tested and deployed by banks and Telcos but are failing to generate the desired results. An example of an artificial general intelligence engine is IBM Watson or the Apple HomePod, whereby the machines are expected to know information on a range of subject matters. However, general intelligence is still a few years away from complete maturity. To effectively enhance the customer experience with AI, companies in the testing phase should look to artificial narrow intelligence. Narrow AI limits the domain of learning, so the machine only needs to learn about one specific product or one process or function. Narrow AI can be both narrow and deep, learning all the questions a customer might have on a specific Use Case, for example Life Insurance quotations, in a short amount of time, often in just weeks.

– View AI a strategic asset: According to Catriona, AI is mature enough to deliver businesses measurable commercial value. While some companies are grappling with making a return on investment, Catriona believes the unique data that is produced from the AI machines should be able to provide a competitive advantage to firms, especially banks. Clever firms are now trying to understand how AI can not only be leveraged but go one better and become a built-in asset to the business.

– Understand AI is the future of the workforce: According to a 2017 Gartner report, AI is set to become a positive net job motivator. In 2020, AI will result in the creation of 2.3 million jobs, overtaking the number of jobs poised to be eliminated by AI. Against this backdrop, leaders can benefit from viewing AI as a positive workforce game changer. In this sense, AI is adopted not just as a digital strategy, but more importantly, as a business strategy. Integrating AI into the business model can free up workers from different parts of the businesses so they are in a better position to undertake higher order tasks, such as solving complex problems for the customer.

About Dr Catriona Wallace

Dr Wallace is the Founder and CEO of Artificial Intelligence FinTech and ASX Listed company (ASX:FGO) Flamingo AI, which provides a Machine Learning based Virtual Assistant called ROSIE that helps Financial Services companies improve online sales conversion rates. Flamingo is the second only woman led (CEO & Chair) business to list on the ASX.

Based in NYC and Sydney, Dr Catriona Wallace is one of the world’s most cited experts on the Future of Customer Experience, Artificial Intelligence and Bot Strategy.

Catriona has a PhD in Organisational Behaviour: Human Technology Interaction and is a well published author and Analyst and is recognised as one of Top 4 Most Respected People globally in the Customer Experience sector.

Catriona is a highly recognised business person having recently been awarded Advance Australia’s highest award in Technology & Innovation for Australian’s working abroad. Catriona has been inducted into the Australian Business Woman’s Hall of Fame, has won Telstra Business Awards, and is Alumni of the Springboard Enterprises Women Entrepreneur’s and EY Entrepreneur of the Year programs. Catriona was awarded a prestigious Pearcey Foundation award for tech entrepreneurs. She was recently named among the Top 9 Female Entrepreneurs by the Sydney Morning Herald and Top 30 Women redefining business by Womens’ Agenda.

Catriona is also a philanthropist, human rights activist and mother of five.

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