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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Dave Excell, Co-Founder and CTO of Featurespace (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 28th 2018

Sramana Mitra: Any other ideas that you’ve picked up while keeping your eyes and ears open?

Dave Excell: The reason why a business like us exists is that fraud is able to take place. If you look at a lot of fraud stories, it’s due to the lack of authentication on transactions. If you can authenticate who a customer is when they buy something online or when they go into a shop and use their card, that is where you can start to make the whole security of the transaction much more reliable.

Sramana Mitra: Any other broader trends that have particularly caught your attention vis-a-vis AI that is worth discussing in this conversation?

Dave Excell: The thing about machine learning is that it is being applied to almost every problem at the moment. It’s just really interesting to see where the practicalities of those types of things really apply. But we don’t necessarily know what’s going on behind the scenes.

For example, the machine learning that goes behind a lot of the mapping applications to work out what is the fastest route. As that evolves more and more, how does that improve the quality of our lives and the things that we do in terms of our day-to-day activities.

Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else you want to add to this conversation that highlights other aspects of AI that would fall within the thought leadership spectrum?

Dave Excell: The important thing with machine learning is making sure that it still gives everyone fair access to goods and services. When someone is applying for credit, there are protected aspects of a person, which can’t be used to decide whether or not a credit card should be issued to them.

These are aspects like gender, age, and race. When machine learning is applied in those contexts, make sure that everyone is given a fair opportunity to get access to those services. That is an ongoing challenge – to make sure that that fairness is applied.

Sramana Mitra: Do you think AI is going to be a job destroyer or a creator?

Dave Excell: I think it would be a job creator. We are scratching the surface on the ways in which machine learning can be applied. Although I think it will change jobs, I think it will still create jobs at the same time. Throughout modern civilization, we’ve continued to develop new technologies and we’ve continued to grow in terms of the capabilities of what we’re able to do. Machine learning is the next step in that.

Sramana Mitra: I completely disagree with you. My forecast is we’re heading for absolute disaster on the jobs front. If you’re interested in the subject, read my Man and Superman series on the blog.

Dave Excell: I’ll have to read that.

Sramana Mitra: Great. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Dave Excell, Co-Founder and CTO of Featurespace
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