In this episode, we spoke to Bret Greenstein who at the time of recording was Global Head of AI & Analytics for consulting firm Cognizant. He now leads PwC’s US AI, Data and Analytics Strategy and Alliances. He has an additional role leading Generative AI for the firm.

Bret has worked for over 25 years helping clients to transform through the adoption of new technologies, including Generative AI, Data, Internet of Things, and Cloud, to deliver new business models and new ways of working.

He joined PwC from Cognizant where he was the SVP and Global Head of AI and Analytics. Prior to that he worked in IBM as a P&L leader for multiple software and services brands, and he was the CIO for IBM’s Growth Markets based in China.

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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