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Digital Magazine

Creating a Quantifiable, Demonstrative Artificial Intelligence  

Evandro Barros CEO, DATAH

Creating a Quantifiable, Demonstrative Artificial Intelligence

Alex’s 25 years of expertise in media and digital businesses helped him carve a niche for himself in the industry. A go-getter, this technology enthusiast shifted his focus on AI (Artificial Intelligence), Data Science and Robotics in the year 2019. A staunch believer of pragmatic changes through strategic design, Alex always remained focused on operations and have designed and managed scores of businesses and medica strategies, investments etc. He is the President and CEO of Bedrock, a company focused on providing guidance to firms through humanized intelligence using data and Deep Science, enabling them with better decision-making, while optimizing operations. Excerpts from an interview with Alex Lawton:

Conception of Bedrock

Bedrock focuses on ideating and implementing data-driven and AI solutions that are grounded in strategic thinking. Observes Alex that he faced the challenge of dealing with huge influx of data on AI just like others in the industry. “A lot of this information, what reaches decision-makers on most levels originates through the grapevine and comes from the sales pitch of tech/AI pre-built product vendors and re-sellers who are not impartial in their recommendations.”

He says that he invested a lot of time in learning the actual process of AI over the years and this was the key factor that led him to sell his previous companies and focus on Bedrock. ‘There was a need to hit the ground running and show improved results by using custom- made solutions that AI can be quantified and demonstrated in financial terms and that have a positive impact on the shareholder profits.”

The AI Solutions

Noting that AI is a field that creates a lot of friction with operational business teams if not managed adequately, this technology enthusiast notes that the common factor here is to find many detractors of AI and similar technologies, and to keenly observe the resistance to change. “Becoming a connected company and using AI to gain a competitive edge starts by introducing newness step-by-step to company culture and working on the constant transformation of my own companies. I discovered that human-centred design and working at a strategic level upstream in organizations is the best way to help leaders manage change through empathy and inclusivity whilst making people feel safe and rewarded for being part of these programms.”

The Future of AI

“The question of the real capabilities of Data Scientists to do best in class AI/ML work should not be underestimated” says Alex. The kind of groundbreaking work companies should expect from AI providers, partners and teams will only be made possible by extremely talented individuals with a very solid background in Mathematics, Physics or Engineering.  There are not many of these around and the global market is flooding with jobs and poorly prepared candidates under the Data Science role who should not be compared to these other highly specified and scientific profiles, especially when it comes to costs of salaries, talent acquisition and retention or when looking at the pricing of a project. “When hiring a team to do the job, it´s critical to check out the academic background and achievements of the specific team being hired.”

Challenges Galore

“If an organization has pre-existing bad practices in place, whatever they may be, or behaves with low ethical standards, AI will probably amplify these, in the same manner, it amplifies performance in positive ways also” observes Alex.

He urges organizations to have controls, codes of conduct, supervision, constant feedback on these programs etc. to consider Compliance and Regulatory Risk, especially with everything that involves handling and usage personal data and Privacy. “Choosing infeasible or very complex initiatives from the start, lack of management backing, uncoordinated silos and fighting, business group fortress mentalities, poor management of expectations concerning AI/ML potential, absence of purpose, objectives, clear goals or success KPIs and not delivering quantifiable value to stakeholders from day 1 are only but some common mistakes.”

Leadership Traits

“I would say determination, curiosity, the ability to keep going under pressure, being honest about what you think is the best strategy for any business, learning from success and especially from failure, trusting the right people, transparency, and always trying to go the extra mile for clients.” Staying international and learning from various cultures and people is yet another recommendation Alex makes to people in the industry.

A Word of Advice

“AI, Data Science and technology are advanced tools that can have a huge impact on business and other areas of society, but startups should keep in mind that they are a means to an end, so they should not become the end themselves.”

The Success Mantras

Be true to yourself, walk the talk, what goes around comes around, practice giving and being generous first without expecting anything in return all the time, don’t be afraid to say no, it’s not what you look like but who you are and what you do that matters, and try to have fun by applying your skills to your passions, it works very well, signs off Alex.

Company: BEDROCK Intelligence

Website: www.bedrockdbd.com

Management:  Alex Lawton, Founder & CEO

Founded Year: 2019

Headquarters: Gijon, Spain

Description: Data Science & AI with a human-centred approach to business digitalisation that delivers value.