Testimony of Silvano Sansoni, General Manager of IBM France and responsible for IBM sales worldwide.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is a wonderful promise for our generation and those to come. The most appropriate way to talk about artificial intelligence would be to talk about "augmented intelligence". We call it that at IBM. Let's take the example of a dermatologist: today he identifies about 80% of cases of melanoma, cancer, in a patient. By using augmented intelligence, we can reach 85%. By combining human knowledge and augmented intelligence, we finally reach 95%. It is the complementarity between the machine and the human being that makes the integrated value of artificial intelligence.
How to use artificial intelligence?
In the world of artificial intelligence, the characteristics and skills that you need to have are above all a general culture, an ability to be curious, adaptable, work with agility and be collaborative. This is what we call soft skills. As far as technical skills are concerned, I think that the "digital natives" will have a boulevard in front of them, since they already have these abilities almost innately.
How can I learn about artificial intelligence?
In today's world of artificial intelligence, we see that the employee is becoming more and more augmented. This means that they will focus on mission critical tasks, and all the automatic and repetitive tasks will be done by artificial intelligence. In clients where we deploy augmented intelligence, we are actually seeing the creation of new value-added jobs. This is where the optimistic promise of artificial intelligence lies. For people who want to go into digital, we have a collaboration with non-governmental organisations, to offer courses on digital, in collaboration with Open classrooms. These courses build a kind of skeleton that allows the individual concerned to approach the new digital job with confidence.
How to avoid bias in recruitment, career management, and compensation?
In a process of implementing cognitive or augmented intelligence, it is already important to have a mass of historical data, to organize and process it well to avoid cognitive bias as much as possible. For a Human Resources Director, there are two areas where artificial intelligence can bring real added value. The first is talent management: it is about retaining talent and giving them fulfilling external opportunities. On the other hand, concerning the management of skills throughout the employee's life, for example, at IBM, we are setting up a virtual coach that allows people to learn with very interactive tools, but also to experiment and play with the technologies.
So what will be the place of artificial intelligence in 5 years' time?
In IBM's research department, we have the "Five in Five", i.e. the five innovations that will lead to technological upheaval over the next five years. These disruptions will become more widespread for two reasons. On the one hand, a better understanding of natural language, and on the other hand, a correction of cognitive biases, which will be deployed thanks to the Cloud -essential for having universal access to data-, and Quantum -a new form of computing which allows millions of data to be exploited, while remaining extremely vigilant as to the computing power used.
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