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Two simple rules to guide all your AI efforts

Two simple rules to guide all your AI efforts


Humans drive AI.


Despite its popularity, artificial intelligence has the problem that people don't trust it. This is a strange and complex endeavor for many, with terms like diffusion models and emergent behavior being thrown around.

Add to this the general fear of hallucinations, biased results, and AI taking away jobs, and AI will certainly not be welcomed as it expands across organizations. On the contrary, there is a tendency to rely too much on the output of AI, which can lead to all sorts of complications.

Somewhere there is a compromise between being careful and being close to the business, but still embracing all that it has to offer.

Karen Feldman, vice president of marketing and communications at IBM, said when you think about generative AI, you need to think about the role it plays. Feldman led a panel discussion at the recent Adobe Summit that looked at trust issues in AI and how to address them. Going forward, generative AI will shape the trust we have with our brands, the trust we have with our customers, and the trust we need to build with our employees, she said. The only way you can take advantage of this magical technology is if your employees embrace it themselves.

Additionally, we often hear questions from clients about AI. “Can the output be trusted?” she continued. Will it resonate with customers? Is the AI ​​you're using safe? Is it on-brand? Can you trust that AI will reward the individuals who create it?

The key to a successful AI business is making sure everyone in the room is comfortable using AI. For Aramark, one of the largest service companies, this means establishing a safe space for discussion and experimentation, said panel participant Laura Powers, vice president of B2B marketing operations and communications at Aramark. he said. Trust in AI is currently very negative, she said. It's like AI will kill everyone.

Powers aims to make AI easy to understand, sustainable, and open to all employees with ideas about how AI can improve their work. She said her department drives and pilots AI initiatives and serves as an internal agency across Aramark.

Aramarks' AI journey began with the establishment of an AI task force, she said. It may sound very big brotherly, but she said it was actually reassuring to see AI as something that was starting to be talked about publicly.

The main focus of the task force's work was to develop comprehensive policies as part of governance. She explained that the policy has two main points.

Don't input client or proprietary data into your AI tools. AI is not a replacement for human judgment.

With these two guidelines, we really started working at Aramark with the ability to feel comfortable in the AI ​​space, she said.

The company's AI Task Force is comprised of two committees: the Regulatory Committee and the Investigation Committee. Powers said the regulatory committee, made up of the compliance officer and the legal department, oversaw the management of risk, assessing and defining risk, determining risk levels and establishing governance. Once an idea moves forward, a regulatory commission will investigate the technology behind it. Is it a closed environment? Does it contain Aramark materials? Is it safe for us?

Powers said the AI ​​review committee is made up of a number of departmental and cross-sector ambassadors, primarily from Aramark. We talk about groups of people and AI and what they're interested in, what they're afraid of, what they've heard, what they're probably researching, what they're going to explore. You can talk in a comfortable and public way.

AI ambassadors are located throughout the company to provide support and listen to employee feedback as AI projects get off the ground. We are actively soliciting ideas from our employees. Provides an online form for submitting ideas for AI projects. You can submit that form, or you can talk to the closest AI Ambassador in your department or any Ambassador to submit it for you.

Aramark also regularly speaks with technology partners like IBM, Salesforce and Microsoft to discuss what they're doing with AI within their company, which Powers said has been eye-opening.

Another channel for communicating employee ideas is a team channel called AI Buzz and a companion channel called AI Pathfinders that provides project updates. This is an ongoing, cyclical process that we're in, and we were here to encourage this safe space for AI exploration, Powers said.

An early AI application the task force is pursuing is proposal generation from an RFP or RFQ to a first draft, Powers said. We started looking into this proof of concept, called Intelligent Response Assistance, after identifying these kinds of discrete areas where we thought we could improve our efforts. The goal of the business is to get the draft faster. We want to give agency team members, sales representatives, and subject matter experts across Aramark more time to draft proposals.

The team applies AI to measure time spent on proposals, money spent with agencies, and quality of proposals.

Other projects implementing AI include legal chatbots and human resources automated virtual assistants, Powers said.

Powers offers the following advice for getting your AI efforts on track and staying grounded:

Build AI based on your business case. If you're looking to get started, don't know where to start, or are in the middle of your journey, Powers says a business case is critical. We did a lot of work thinking about value drivers and business objectives: what are we measuring, what is the business case, and is this investment really worth it?

Start small. First of all, we focused on just one area of ​​her business, she said. The business partnered with us for a proof of concept. They subscribed and attended all the discovery sessions. The demo was done really quickly.

Think about skills. Ask some bigger questions. What skills do I need to build with my team members? Powers recommends: What organizations do we need to work with? Do we need to reorganize? I think the answer is clearly yes.

Establish shared governance. What's really important in establishing governance is getting all departments involved, Powers said. To get this started and to define how these committees would work and set up the channels, we needed a shared voice. Many of us also felt that we had a role in governance.

Please stay positive. Powers said he should talk internally about what his colleagues are thinking. Find an evangelist who can help you and want to talk about AI with you. I found a group of like-minded people. Those people can really help you stay on a positive and upward trajectory.




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