November 14, 2019 YPO invited talk: Artificial Intelligence: Hype or Reality?

14 November, 2019

Amman Fairmont Hotel – Emerald Meeting Room
6 Beirut Street 5th Circle

Middle East/North Africa>YPO Jordan Integrated



Usama founded Open Insights as a technology and consulting firm in 2008 after leaving Yahoo! to enable enterprises to get value out of their data assets and optimize or create new business models based on the new evolving economy of interactions. Leveraging both technology and strategic consulting Open Insights deploys data-driven solutions to grow revenue from Data assets through BigData strategy, new business models on data assets, and deploying data science, AI/ML solutions. Usama is also Co-Founder & CTO at OODA Health, Inc a VC-funded company aiming to liberate the healthcare system from administrative waste by leveraging AI/automation to create real-time/retail-like experience in payments in healthcare.

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Join us for a power breakfast on Thursday 14 Nov 2019 for a brief history of Artificial Intelligence, lessons from the front lines on separating the hype from reality by Usama Fayyad, Chairman & CEO of Open Insights.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been receiving a lot of hype as a magical solution for many difficult problems. Some have started to worry that AI would not only take over their jobs but also take over control of work and perhaps personal life. In the meantime, many businesses feel pressured that if they are not leveraging AI now, they may miss the boat on the next wave to digitization and business automation.

What parts of this technology are real, what parts are hype, and most importantly what executives need to do in their business in the short and medium terms to make sure they are keeping up with the best technology practices globally.

Usama will attempt to demystify most of these concerns by simply describing in reality what has worked and what has not. The main theme is that the technology can be extremely useful and powerful, but is nowhere near the hype associated with it.


The main themes are:

  1. This field is not new. It is much older than many believe.  In fact we have seen exactly the same hype cycle twice before.
  2. Winter is coming:  We are on the verge of a third AI winter. But this does not mean that we should ignore the parts of the technology that work.
  3. A “Brief History of AI” and explain the fundamental challenges and why we are, and will be safe, from replacement by robots in the foreseeable future… This will help us to crystallize what has actually worked and why
  4. It turns out, while most of AI has failed (with some very notable exceptions). Machine learning (ML) is behind most of what has worked primarily because a lot more data became available.
  5. This means that Data is critical to making ML work, and hence to making most of AI work.
  6. Despite all the hype, with the right Data in place, ML/AI are making their way into all kinds of business operations today as more companies explore how they can put their data to work. Among the most common reasons to apply ML to business processes is the ability of the technology to perform certain functions at scale, which would otherwise require significant amounts of time and resources. Data is the fuel that powers a machine learning solution and machine learning is the key to make most AI algorithms practical.

We will include several case studies on how success was achieved and will highlight the right approach for creating an environment that enables successful machine learning and data science.


What do we hope to get out of this talk?

Attendees will come out with a basic understanding of what is AI and what is ML. They will also understand the real history and the real opportunities where this technology can transform the business and have a major impact on the top and bottom lines. AI is a critical tool that is already helping us navigate the new digital reality. We just use it not in the way many imagine we use it.

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