108th Tech Day - AI: a new landscape for processes & digital services

10/07/2020     Tech Days / AI

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On the 7th of July, another Tech Day@Altice Labs was held, this time on the artificial intelligence (AI) theme and its advantages as a technology that drives digital processes and services, enhancing efficiency and the organizations' outputs.

Entitled "AI: a new landscape for processes & digital services", the 108th Tech Day took place exclusively online, enabling 110 participants to understand how, in recent times, we have moved to an economy of data and algorithms, where more and new sources of sensing, more computational power, greater availability of infrastructures and tools create the necessary conditions for the massive adoption of AI, thus giving rise to increasingly robust and autonomous cognitive processes, in favor of digital services increasingly personalized and adjusted to the market demands.

The session was attended, as Moderator, by Paulo Pereira, Director of Altice Labs’ Technology and Innovation Strategy Department who, highlighting how important the evolution of technology is, in capacity and complexity, to create the ideal conditions for AI adoption in several industries, from the outset involved the remaining Speakers: Luís Mestre, Responsible for the B2C Segment at Altice Portugal, Carlos Bento, Associate Professor with Aggregation of the Informatics Department of the University of Coimbra, and Mário Rui Costa, Responsible for the Portfolio Strategy and Solution Architecture Team, at Altice Labs.

When asked about the possible impact of AI on business, Luís Mestre had the opportunity to stress that this impact is high, noting, however, some gaps in the level of necessary skills. In his opinion, all those who better exploit AI will be those who will better position themselves in the market, standing out from other competitors. Luís Mestre also highlighted the unique position of the operators due to the profusion of data to which they have access. Lifting the veil on how Altice Portugal's B2C is taking advantage of AI, he highlighted, among others, virtual assistants in customer service, in order to increase the level of self-care and thus contribute to increased satisfaction of the customer.

Professor Carlos Bento had the opportunity to express his opinion on the way the Academy is adapting and how they build an academic roadmap capable of responding to industry challenges, seeking to understand their problems and challenges, and thus combining innovative work with its impact on the market. Among other aspects, he also mentioned that the dazzle with technology, platforms and algorithms make AI appealing, assuming, however, that a successful adoption will involve a focus on decision support, added value for the business and its needs.

In turn, Mário Rui Costa, in whose responsibility the Altice Labs' cognitive team is included, expressed his opinion about the impact of web-scale players for the adoption of AI in the industry, stating that some of the main cloud providers in the market, whose offer is based on integrated platforms, they are the fundamental lever for new players to emerge and for there to be a stimulus in the implementation of AI. DSPs, like Altice, are, in his perspective, organizations that are in a privileged position in the cognitive context, given the significant legacy of data they hold, although they are not aware of the true potential of this data source. In his opinion, such a challenge will be overcome when the DSPs manage to "tame" the data, with governed curatorial processes. Mário Rui Costa also reinforced the opinion of Professor Carlos Bento that, in fact, the infusion of AI, whatever the industry, must be attached to the value that it will bring to the business, being implemented based on practical use cases of the company, which solve specific needs identified by the different teams and thus enable efficiency in terms of investment and resources, as well as increasing the customer and end user experience. Finally, Mário Rui Costa also had the opportunity to briefly present Altice Labs' strategy for the implementation of AI in its processes and offers, something that went through the creation of the cognitive team, with the technical skills and methodologies oriented to the data-driven context and, above all, oriented according to the company's business needs, which materialize in the use cases that this team works with.

The session ended with the intervention of Paulo Pereira who, in conclusion, emphasized that it will not be the technology, per se, that should move the option for the AI adoption but rather the business improvement.

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