How Firms Can Actually Adopt A.I., with Rehgan Avon

Data Science

Rehgan Avon’s DataConnect conference is this week and is getting rave reviews. In this SuperDataScience episode, hosted by our Chief Data Scientist, Jon Krohn, the silver-tongued entrepreneur details how organizations can successfully adopt A.I.

• Is Co-Founder and CEO of AlignAI, a firm that specializes in helping organizations successfully adopt A.I.
• For more than a decade, has architected products that operationalize ML models at scale within large enterprises, particularly financial institutions.
• Also founded Women in Analytics (WIA), a global community with more than 7000 members that is behind the (by all accounts immaculately run) DataConnect conference that features big names including Sadie St. Lawrence, Kate Strachnyi, Chip Huyen and Cassie Kozyrkov.
• Holds a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio State.

In this episode, Rehgan details:

  1. Evolving Perception of AI in Enterprises:
    • Rehgan discussed the transformation in AI perception within enterprises over the past decade. Initially, industries like banking and insurance used simplistic machine learning techniques for compliance and auditability. However, the advent of generative models and large language models has shifted the focus towards more sophisticated AI applications, providing clearer ROI and reducing investment barriers.
  2. Practical Guidance on Adopting AI:
    • The key to successful AI adoption, as Rehgan highlights, is a strategic approach to selecting initial use cases, focusing on “boring” yet impactful scenarios where data quality is high, decision processes are simplified, and stakeholders are excited.
    • Education is vital. Understanding AI at different levels – from basic concepts to specific tools and responsibilities – is crucial for an organization-wide shift towards AI adoption.
    • Incremental Adoption: She emphasizes starting with small, manageable projects that demonstrate tangible benefits, gradually building towards more complex applications.
    • Addressing Psychological Barriers: Understanding and mitigating fears related to AI adoption, such as job displacement or reliance on complex decision systems, is crucial.

Rehgan’s Advice for Aspiring AI Adopters: Rehgan’s parting advice for organizations looking to adopt AI is to focus on incremental changes, educate at all levels, and create an environment of excitement and possibility around AI. By doing so, organizations can not only adopt AI more successfully but also innovate continuously in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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