Speaking to Anthony P. Bernard, editor of MONEY magazine about a recent investment which BMIT made in EBO. The text below is a longer, non-edited version of the content which appeared in Issue 63 of the magazine.
What does this investment mean for EBO and BMIT?
A pioneer in the local AI industry and a fast-growing player in the UK, EBO brings together some of the brightest minds in the digital field with deep experience in technology applications in the healthcare, iGaming and financial services industries.
BMIT Technologies’ investment of a stake in EBO helps us accomplish a bigger vision: to bring the power of Artificial Intelligence to more companies around the world. EBO will now accelerate its growth path and remain as passionate as ever about helping shape the future of AI.
How is the market reacting to this news?
This investment deepens EBO’s commitment to deliver enterprise solutions based on robust infrastructure and excellent service models. AI technology is evolving rapidly, and our customers are accelerating their adoption to digitally transform into more nimble companies. With BMIT acquiring a stake in EBO, the industry is exploring the powerful capabilities of our solutions and the talent which we bring to the table.
We are seeing stronger demand for our AI powered solutions in the territories that we operate in, with focused growth being registered in the public and private healthcare sectors in the UK. With BMIT’s strategic investment we are accelerating our own capabilities in these markets and also expanding the product offering to capture the widest range of use-cases in these verticals.
How much of a challenge is it to ensure that new technologies are compliant with legislation?
Regulatory compliance is an opportunity. We believe that the successful companies of tomorrow will be those that are most capable of building products which serve regulatory needs and create trustworthy solutions for end-users.
AI technology, like any branch of science, is a human endeavour that is guided by values. Subsequently EBO develops AI solutions to fulfil specific objectives which are aligned to the requirements of the law, societal norms and customer expectations. This makes us accountable and responsible to our customers to deliver solutions that are not merely compliant, but also transparent, explainable and worthy of trust.
Are there any plans to expand into new territories and markets?
We look at a world ahead of us that is defined by AI. We witness that AI is reaching a stage of maturity in which on a daily basis more and more applications can be found for the use of AI in society. Through the involvement of BMIT, we shall build solutions that deepen our involvement in the iGaming market but which also look into a new vertical; that of the increasingly digitised telco sector.
We shall also be putting into place a strategy which allows us to explore more effectively territories in which we currently have nascent presence; particularly the US, Cyprus , Greece and the Scandinavian region.
Why is the technology relevant now?
BMIT and EBO share a fundamental mission: that of enabling the sustainable digital transformation of businesses thorough technology. AI plays a vital role in this transformation journey and it is certain that a post-COVID world will see the increased emphasis on automation as a method of streamlining services, reducing costs and optimising processes. Thus, as the role of AI applications in enterprise is rapidly evolving, being at the forefront of this change will allow us to assist business boost their competitive capabilities in a critical period of their maturity.
What would you say to the people who think AI is putting people out of work?
Although global employment will be invariably affected, most of the present AI deployments will rely on human judgement when complex cognitive tasks are at play. Therefore, AI will augment (not replace) human capability. More so, several studies reveal that AI will roughly create the same number of jobs that it will eventually displace.
Governments should consider policies aimed at providing the necessary social security measures for affected workers while investing heavily in the rapid development of the necessary skills to take advantage of the new jobs created
Are you working on changing misconceptions of AI
There’s a lot of AI hype which unfortunately ‘hides’ the real discussions we should be having around business benefits, or the tough questions we need to discuss about AI bias, ethics and human agency. Hype shifts the discussion away from AI literacy to marketing-speak, which is deplorable.
AI must engender trust and to do so it must have wide societal acceptance. For this to occur we take time to explain key AI concepts, like classification and confidence levels, ethics and fairness in machine learning, for non-technical audiences. And we do this in simple terms to allow anyone to follow.
Do you feel people need to be better educated on AI?
AI requires a deep partnership between the technologists and the humanists and so it presents the need for interdisciplinary education which fosters better communication and explainability. We’re not thinking enough about this in our education system and in our public policy formulation.
Which book is by your bedside right now?
I generally read three simultaneously which allows me to jump from one to the other based on my reading appetite on the day. My three presently are: Nick Bostrom’s ‘SuperIntelligence’ a dystopic book about the dangers of AI, Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking fast and slow’ an intellectually satisfying book about human rationality, and Arora’s ‘The Next Billion Users’ which is an anthropological examination of the online lives of cultures very distant from our own.
Which podcast are you listening to?
- Bill Gates & Rashida Jones’ recently launched ‘Ask Big Questions’ – link here
- Roman Mars’ excellent ‘99% Invisible’ – link here
- And the Philosophy podcast ‘The Partially Examined Life’ – link here
What album do you listen to, to unwind?
What is the best advice you ever got ?
So many ideas come to mind. Here are my top two: (1) To succeed you must study the endgame before everything else. (2) The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.