David Carmona: “In Spain, there aren’t many companies that apply AI”
13 de December de 2019
13 de December de 2019
The Spanish Executive around the World series held a new conference to analyse the importance of Artificial Intelligence in companies
Artificial Intelligence will transform businesses; this concept was the focus of the latest session of the Spanish Executive around the World series, organized by APD and EAE Business School, which was held at the Col·legi d'Economistes de Catalunya in Barcelona.
The speaker, David Carmona, the General Manager of Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft, focused his presentation on how to manage this transformation within the company and identify the best opportunities for developing a company AI strategy, organize teams and redefine the culture in order to succeed in the age of Artificial Intelligence.
At the same event, Gustavo Ramírez, the Program Director of the Master en Big Data and Business Intelligence at EAE’s Barcelona Campus, emphasized the importance of this Master, explaining that there is great demand for employees who know how to handle data. “This is one of the Masters that has the greatest professional prospects at EAE, because the growing need to make decisions based on data is unstoppable”. He also highlighted the fact that this Master evolves every year because “what we analyse now will have nothing to do with what we have to deal with in 5 years’ time”.
David Carmona leads the team responsible for taking AI initiatives to market for the company and developer segments, as well as the business strategy of the Artificial Intelligence division. He has been working at Microsoft for 15 years and has also published a book entitled ‘AI Organization’.
In Carmona’s opinion, AI is a new way to transform software. “AI will redefine companies and every company will be AI”. Moreover, he particularly emphasized that all companies know exactly what AI is but, in Spain especially, very few companies are applying it, as little as 20-25%. However, the problem is nothing to do with technology in any of the cases.
The problem is due to a number of different causes. In the professional’s opinion, one of the shortcomings is a lack of an AI strategy. “Firstly, we have to define where we want to go and how to get there”. He recommends that technological departments get training in AI and develop applications in the field. In addition, “we have to take AI to all the business units in a company and reach all the organization’s employees”.
Moreover, the fact that a large proportion of companies do not yet apply AI is also a problem of culture, in Carmona’s opinion. “AI is not implemented in the company culture, and we need empowerment: the whole company has to form part of the digital transformation. At the same time, we have to generate and share quality data”.
David Carmona recommended changing the way we develop AI and use new tools to achieve this. “Centralizing the semantics of this data”. He also underlined the importance of leaders who have adopted AI, describing them as alchemists. “We have to incorporate this leadership throughout the organization to make it grow. One factor that the leaders who have applied AI have in common is that they talk of a personal vision, rather than a company one, but they are absolutely necessary”. In addition, they were all able to remember an objective: “they offer a personal vision that facilitates this transformation”.
Opening the floor to questions, David Carmona explained that all companies, large or small, have to apply AI. “I would like it is a healthcare company, for instance, developed AI, rather than Microsoft or Google”. So, how do we apply AI in a company? According to the General Manager of Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft, to apply AI in the short term, it is better to have a horizontal structure.
In a vertical process, “introducing AI will be harder, but it will generate more differentiation and greater potential, but it will be more difficult to apply”.