Avery Dennison Corporate / The Future of AI in Business with Nick Colisto

The Future of AI in Business with Nick Colisto

The Future of AI in Business
with Nick Colisto

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing and exciting technology transforming how we live and work. AI is revolutionizing multiple industries and is expected to have an even greater impact in the coming years.

In this article, we explore the thoughts and insights of Nick Colisto, senior vice president and chief information officer, Avery Dennison, on the path to success with AI, the benefits, the challenges businesses face when implementing it, and how to overcome them. 

So, let's dive in and explore the fascinating world of AI with Nick Colisto.

Q: Nick, artificial intelligence continues to be a hot topic. What are your thoughts on what is happening with AI? 

AI has undoubtedly been one of the hottest topics in the business world today. I have closely followed the advancements and investments in AI, and the level of investment pouring into this space is truly fascinating. According to IDC, global spending is estimated to increase by a staggering 27% this year to $154 billion. Its influence is only expected to grow over the next 10 years.

The potential for AI to revolutionize various industries and drive innovation is tremendous, and it's exciting to see how businesses are leveraging this technology to gain a competitive edge. However, it's essential to recognize that AI is not a silver bullet and comes with challenges and limitations. Business leaders and technologists must ensure that they invest in AI technology that aligns with their business goals and delivers tangible value to their organization.

Q: What are some examples of AI that people may recognize in their daily lives?

AI has become an essential tool powering virtual assistant software to set reminders, make phone calls, and answer questions. 

If you use a streaming application to watch television or movies, AI has given you personalized content recommendations based on shows you've already watched.

Cities around the world use AI to optimize transportation routes to reduce congestion, making your morning commute more efficient. 

E-commerce has leveraged AI for over a decade to analyze customer data and provide personalized product recommendations, improving customer service in the process.

Financial institutions use AI for fraud detection, credit scoring, and algorithmic trading. 

AI has been revolutionary in healthcare, assisting in medical diagnosis, drug discovery, personalized medicine, and patient monitoring, and being used to detect anomalies and diagnose diseases. And the possibilities are endless as the technology continues to evolve.

Q: Generative AI is the most well-known form of AI and the most accessible. What should people know before they use it?

Generative AI (GenAI) is an exciting field that has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our lives. Its consumer-oriented interface makes it extremely accessible — and it’s as revolutionary as the personal computer was 40 years ago. However, it also poses significant risks that need to be carefully considered. One of the primary concerns is confidentiality and privacy. Company data used in public GenAI platforms could be stolen or misused, leading to financial or reputational losses or legal liabilities.

Misinformation and disinformation are other significant risks associated with GenAI. It can create realistic-looking fake news, propaganda, and other forms of misinformation that could severely impact public discourse and decision-making. Deep fakes, realistic-looking videos and audio recordings can also be created using GenAI, which could be used to spread misinformation or damage someone's reputation. The technology can also generate output that is inconsistent with reality or based on false assumptions. In other words, the system might be "hallucinating" because it generates output not grounded in actual data or real-world phenomena.

Another risk is intellectual property infringement. GenAI can be used to create new content that infringes on the copyright of others, including music, images, and text. Moreover, models trained on large datasets of human-generated data may contain biases that can be reflected in the output of the models, leading to harmful outcomes.

To mitigate these risks, it is essential to establish policies that prioritize integrity and doing the right thing. At Avery Dennison, we have formed the GenAI Task Force, consisting of representatives across business units and functions. The task force is responsible for recommending policies for the development and use of GenAI, educating employees about the benefits and risks, monitoring the use of AI, and evaluating and mitigating bias in models.

While GenAI has immense potential, it is crucial to recognize its risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them. By prioritizing integrity, establishing policies, and monitoring the use of GenAI, we can harness its potential while safeguarding against potential harm.

At Avery Dennison, we have formed the GenAI Task Force, consisting of representatives across business units and functions. The task force is responsible for recommending policies for the development and use of GenAI, educating employees about the benefits and risks, monitoring the use of AI, and evaluating and mitigating bias in models.

Q: How should business leaders approach the use of AI in their organizations?

When considering any new technology, business leaders must first identify and prioritize the problems they want to solve. Blindly applying AI without a clear objective is unlikely to yield positive results.

With the problems identified, business leaders should develop a clear strategy for AI implementation, including identifying required resources, setting objectives, and creating a timeline for the plan. The global nature of teams today means people are more spread out, however leveraging digital ideation sessions can be a collaborative way to explore how different types of AI can solve a particular challenge and generate new, innovative ideas.

During this phase, it’s also important to consider the ethical concerns of AI, such as bias and privacy, and develop the right policies and procedures to ensure responsible and ethical use.

With the problem and potential solution in place, business leaders should ensure that their organization has the necessary infrastructure and capabilities to implement and maintain AI solutions. AI relies on large amounts of high-quality data to function effectively. It also needs a level of expertise to implement and maintain. Roles including data scientists, software engineers, and other technical experts may be required. By taking these actions, business leaders can determine how AI may benefit their organization and develop a plan for successful implementation.

Q: What are some of the challenges businesses face when using AI technologies, and how can they overcome them?

 I mentioned a few challenges in my last response, but I’ll expand on those thoughts. One of the biggest hurdles is the need for more expertise in AI. Finding people with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop and implement AI systems takes work. Organizations must either invest in employee training programs or work with external partners with AI expertise to ensure their investment isn’t wasted. 

Data presents another challenge since AI technologies require high-quality data to produce accurate results.  Businesses may need access to more data, or improve the quality or organization of their existing data to be used by AI. Investments in master data management systems and data quality programs can solve these challenges and provide data in a format that can be used to develop and train a learning model.

AI can also raise ethical concerns, as I mentioned at our most recent Global town hall, and may be subject to regulations. Privacy, surveillance, bias, and discrimination are pressing issues related to AI. Businesses must develop the appropriate ethical guidelines for AI use and follow relevant regulations and standards, otherwise they expose themselves to compliance, financial, or reputational risk.

Lastly, developing and implementing AI systems can be costly. To overcome this challenge, companies can start small and focus on use cases in a specific area of their operations before gradually scaling up as they achieve the desired outcomes.

Q: What is the most important factor that will enable Avery Dennison to succeed with AI?

The most important factor that will contribute to our success in achieving value with AI is creating a culture of curiosity. Curiosity is the desire to learn something new and unfamiliar. Innovation is one of our company values, and to be innovative, one must be curious and use their imagination and intellect to create new possibilities. And, the possibilities with AI are endless.

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