We spoke to Bret Greenstein who is Global Head of AI & Analytics for leading consulting firm Cognizant.

Brett leads Cognizant’s Global Data Practice, focused on helping  Chief Data Officers transform their businesses through Data Modernization. 

Prior to this, Bret lead IBM Watson’s Internet of Things Offerings, establishing new IoT products and services. He holds patents in the areas of collaboration systems, a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering.

In this wide-ranging discussion, we uncovered new uses for AI, around the notion of “Evolutionary AI”.

We also discussed how AI can help governments and countries prepare for the next COVID-19 pandemic, and Cognizant’s involvement with XPRIZE to launch the Pandemic Response Challenge, a competition to create AI systems that can help societies reopen safely in the wake of COVID-19. 

Cognizant’s work was based on data from Oxford and John Hopkins and provided data-centric strategies for governments that want to support healthcare professionals in the fight against future pandemics. 

We also covered:

  • The difference between Artificial Intelligence, Artificial General Intelligence and Evolutionary Artificial Intelligence
  • Bret’s view on General AI and how far we are away from it in practice
  • The importance of ethics and AI, and conscious bias
  • What more can be done in schools to prepare students for a world dominated by AI?
  • What Governments be doing to implement the sorts of solutions uncovered in the challenge to help our societies get back to a pre-Covid world
  • The notion of “data credits” to encourage data sharing to solve broader problems
  • How AI augments people’s decisions and finds meaning from the noise
  • The suggestion that data and access to data should be an asset on a company balance sheet
  • How AI can be used to develop better predictions for a range of business problems
  • Some practical advice on what you can be doing to better understand the power of AI and in particular Evolutionary AI
  • Bret’s view on how AI can better connect with humans

My favourite quote of the episode was

“Climbers climb mountains, data scientists find meaning in data”

We’ve had a number of AI experts on the show, and this episode was one of my favourites because of the way Bret explained very complicated topics in an easy to understand way.

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