Blog | 05.28.2024

Leveraging AI for Customer, Employee & Fan Experience: Takeaways from the Executive Panel at Bedminster

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the way we do business, transforming industries and enhancing the customer, employee, and fan experiences. To explore the transformative power of AI, I moderated a panel of six industry executives at our annual customer event in Bedminster, NJ last week. With a wide range of expertise in publishing, education, sports, manufacturing, and technology, the panel provided a comprehensive understanding of how AI is shaping the future of their business operations, and how NWN Carousel is helping guide their adoption through our AI-Powered Managed Services portfolio. This blog post summarizes some of the key takeaways I had from the discussion, highlighting the ways in which AI is enhancing their organizations’ abilities in 2024 and beyond.  Thanks again to the panelists, and the over 100 customers and partners who attended!

Risk vs. Reward: A Balancing Act

The discussion opened with a familiar struggle – the need to balance risk mitigation with the exciting possibilities of AI. Overly cautious legal restrictions on data handling can stifle innovation. However, panelists emphasized the importance of establishing secure data practices before diving headfirst into AI.

“We’re struggling with it,” admitted one panelist. “Our business units set up task forces to assess the risks. So it’s all about the risk and not about the opportunity.” Another highlighted the frustration: “We have our global parent saying you can’t do these things even play with them until you have data tagging. It’s really the challenges on trying to get over this legal doom and gloom and focus on what can we do with the reasonable level of risk mitigation?”

Key takeaways from the panel:

  • AI in Publishing: Michael, Chief Information Officer at a leading publishing company, underscored the significance of AI in elevating customer experiences within the publishing industry. By harnessing AI’s analytical capabilities, publishers can tailor content to individual preferences, fostering deeper connections and increased loyalty among readers. “AI is not just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer. It’s about leveraging data to drive business outcomes.” – Mike, CIO at Publishing Co
  • AI in Education: Vincent, Chief Information Officer at a prominent educational institution, highlighted AI’s transformative potential in revolutionizing educational paradigms. His discourse explained AI’s capacity to cultivate responsible tech consumption among students, emphasizing the imperative of nurturing adaptive learning environments to equip future leaders for success. “AI is not just about technology; it’s about people. It’s about understanding how students learn and how we can support them.” – Vince, College CIO
  • AI in Sports: Mark, President and General Manager of a top sports franchise, shared compelling insights into the deployment of AI to enrich fan experiences. Leveraging AI-driven analytics, the organization can decipher fan sentiments, enabling tailored engagement strategies that foster enduring community bonds and unwavering support. “AI is not just about improving the fan experience; it’s about building a community. It’s about creating a sense of belonging.” – Mark, President and GM Sports Franchise
  • AI in Manufacturing: Joseph, President and Chief Executive Officer of a semiconductor manufacturer, articulated AI’s instrumental role in driving operational excellence and fostering sustainable growth within manufacturing enterprises. His discourse shared how AI-driven optimization initiatives can mitigate inefficiencies, enhance productivity, and fortify competitive standing in dynamic market landscapes. “AI is not just about optimizing operations; it’s about creating a sustainable business model. It’s about reducing waste and improving efficiency.” – Joe, President, and CEO of Semiconductor Manufacture

Who Owns the Future? Collaboration is Key

The conversation then tackled the question of ownership. While IT departments play a crucial role, the panel argued against placing the sole responsibility on their shoulders. Instead, a collaborative approach emerged as the preferred solution. Subject matter experts from different business units should work hand-in-hand with IT and legal teams to ensure secure and effective AI implementation.

“Ownership is everyone.” stressed a panelist. “IT alone cannot design these policies because we need to understand how good is the data for. When do you want to archive it? How long is it’s longevity from a legal standpoint? When do we get rid of it?” The analogy to cybersecurity was clear: “Just like paralleling like Lordford Bayd you should have a cyber security incident. It’s not the IT teams responsibility to figure out how to manage that cyber security incident. It’s our responsibility to get the business back online.”

Bridging the Gap

NWN Carousel’s AI-powered Managed Services can bridge the gap between the risks and rewards of AI. Our Experience Management Platform (EMP) offers a unified view into your IT environment, providing advanced analytics and reporting. This empowers businesses to understand their data better, identify potential risks, and make informed decisions about AI implementation. Additionally, NWN Carousel’s managed security services leverage industry-leading solutions like Palo Alto Networks to ensure your data is protected throughout the AI lifecycle.

Industry-Specific Opportunities and Challenges

The impact of AI varies across industries. Here are some examples:

  • Manufacturing: AI can optimize production lines, predict equipment failure, and improve quality control. However, challenges include the high cost of implementation and potential job displacement.
  • Healthcare: AI can analyze medical images for faster diagnoses, personalize treatment plans, and develop new drugs. Concerns surround data privacy and the potential for bias in AI algorithms.
  • Finance: AI can automate fraud detection, personalize financial products, and manage risk. Regulatory hurdles and the need for explainable AI models are key challenges.

AI for AI Security: A Glimpse into the Future

The discussion touched on the exciting potential of AI to monitor itself for security vulnerabilities. While these systems are still under development, they hold promise for streamlining security processes in the future.

“I think we have to wrap it up. You’ve done a tool to protect your AI investment. AI, monitor AI. I mean there’s a shop out there. I just wondered if there’s anything that you can just cover it.” This question sparked a discussion about the potential for AI to become a self-monitoring tool. “We’re looking at AI for co-pilot.” While still under development, this technology offers a glimpse into a future where AI helps secure itself.

Data: The Fuel of AI

The final point focused on the importance of data quality. Panelists stressed that the quality of data used to train AI models directly impacts the system’s effectiveness. Businesses serious about AI success should prioritize improving data quality to achieve desired outcomes.

“The subject matter experts who loan it and then they get support from our IT team or legal team to make sure everything is safe secure.” This quote highlighted the importance of high-quality data.

“Talk a lot about outcomes and I think we’ve got to remember that what become the best being that it needs brain works and the quality of the content is going to.” Another panelist echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that “farming your employees with different skillsets and teaching different things or giving them them different tools.” is crucial for optimizing data quality.