The Role AI is Playing in Building and Sustaining Startups

Utilizing AI for Your Startup

GIST TechConnect brought together another panel of insightful industry experts on Nov 17th, 2020, this time to present the state of artificial intelligence and the role it can play in the startup ecosystem. 

You can watch the entire discussion as well as our many other discussions by visiting the TechConnect archive

Moderator, Richie Bavasso, co-founder and CEO of nQ Medical Inc., was joined by a distinguished group including Lakisha Hall of IBM, Fraser Kitchell of KEF Robotics, and Vishal Kapur of Deloitte. 

As with all GIST TechConnect panel discussions, international audience members were able to learn about a topic of significant interest while also directly interacting with top U.S. experts in the field. Questions from the viewers were answered in real time throughout the talk. 

The hour-long discussion covered the latest trends in AI utilization, strengths and weaknesses of current AI capabilities, and areas where AI can bolster and enhance tools used in the startup journey.  

Deloitte’s Vishal Kapur explained that the industries where he is seeing AI make the most significant gains are banking and finance, as well as pharmtech. 

Fraser Kitchell had three main points to convey to startups. He pointed out that there are a number of free resources in AI and machine learning to help startups gain early traction. Startups should seek out those resources such as datasets and courses if they are just starting out or still bootstrapping. The second was his insistence that AI is still in its early stages and founders should not be intimidated by it. His third point was to emphasize that AI makes analyzing huge amounts of data in the field possible. Prior to AI and machine learning, that data would be sent back to humans to analyze over a longer period of time before being able to make important determinations. The concept being that AI can free humans up to spend more time analyzing the results of large data sets and making higher level decisions. 

IBM’s Lakisha Hall provided a great insight about the agtech field explaining that AI isn’t confined to just growing food but also helping to ensure food safety from farm to table. Another aspect of promising AI-powered tech is in environmental safety. She mentioned AI’s role in predicting oil spills in order to better manage oil rigs. She also commented on the growth from the use of chatbots in customer service to a more involved usage of AI in companies. “We’ve seen a complete revolution from things that were more customer-centric focused to really transforming their business overall.” 

Moderator Richie Bavasso pointed out that ultimately customers don’t really care that much about your technology. They care about your solution to their need. AI should be used toward that goal. 

Following the live panel discussion, GIST provided another opportunity for innovators in Asia to experience the insights and have their questions about AI answered. The week following the live broadcast, GIST held a watch party that included live Q&A with AI expert David Guy Brizan, Ph.D. Dr. Brizan is a co-founder of the AI-powered quality assurance startup Calidad AI based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over 110 participants joined in from across Asia to watch the panel discussion and ask questions of Dr. Brizan. Some of the most relevant takeaways from Dr. Brizan’s answers included:

  • Start your company with an AI engine and you will find a way to introduce more AI which will allow you to scale better over time.
  • So few companies are executing (or executing well) on AI that any successful integration will contribute to the unique value proposition.
  • Any place in the business where there is a lot of paper, a lot of people, and a lot of processes, especially complicated processes--this is a good place to start thinking about ML/AI.

You can watch the entire discussion as well as our many other discussions by visiting the TechConnect archive

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