How is AI playing or impacting that industry? What software is moving into that industry and really understanding what that software is doing, make yourself a subject matter expert at that particular piece of software. 

This is HumAIn a weekly podcast focused on bridging the gap between humans and machines in this age of acceleration. My name is David Yakobovitch and in this podcast I interview experts in sociology, psychology, artificial intelligence researchers on consumer facing products and consumer facing companies to help audiences better understand AI and its many capabilities. If you like the show, remember to subscribe and leave a review.

Today on our podcast, I’m bringing to you Jeronimo De Leon or my friend, I like to call him JD. JD has been involved in the digital space for many years from working with AI first companies with products like IBM Watson data studio and is currently working on his own startup welcome AI to bridge the gap with humans and machines, I believe, but I want to hear from JV first. Why do we even need a platform? Like welcome AI. Aren’t robots going to take over the world. 

Jerónimo De León

Thanks for the intro, David the what we see now, and the reason, one of the main reasons why I came up with welcome to AI, I’ve been in more in the digital marketing side for IBM and up more specifically, I’ve been Watson and the data science products, and you see year on year that there’s more AI companies coming into the market.

You’re exactly right way with AI  thing taking over the world and this McKinsey research that shows that companies who adopt not a proactive artificial intelligence strategy, moving ahead of their competitors so for businesses to actually just keep ahead or be part of the playing field they need to start thinking about how does AI fit into my business strategy there.

David Yakobovitch

Now we’ve worked together with IBM Watson. So for our listeners here, I did get to work on the IBM Watson platform and explore its data science products and the challenge that I’ve experienced with all AI products is there is a learning curve and you particularly built out the accreditation and certification process for,  new users on IBM Watson to learn how to use that software and do you think we should be learning the software? How do we bridge this gap

Jerónimo De León

And this is what I’m seeing of like AI software is coming into the market and they’re at different levels. You’ve got that data science level where there are tools and services that are there to  empower or help and assist the data science level and that’s obvious so you’re going to require a lot more learning and education and then you have the developer level where there’s every big technology company from the IBM’s to the AWS, to the Googles are allowing you to access their AI services. So it’s  education from the hardcore machine learning but more education of how to access their APIs and how to train their models that they provide act projects that’s to then there’s the software level where.

You don’t have to  learn all that,  foundational machine learning algorithms and data training because it provides you a user interface and this is like one of the main reasons why I developed welcome today is to  show you. There is a breadth of software out there that would suit us,  your business needs at the moment, people are  thinking artificial intelligence, too hot and going to need data scientists. I’m going to need developers, or I’m going to need a whole bunch of things to be able to get started but there is a raft of startups and new technology companies that are  tackling here coming into industries providing AI services so you don’t have to learn, or the foundational, machine learning theory. 

It really is more discovering the tools and services that are going to satisfy you at the level of knowledge that you have, because you’re not, you’re not going to see everyday businesses bring on a whole data science team, like the small to medium or type businesses don’t really have that capability, but they still need to have they need still need to be thinking about how does, how do I become more efficient or how do I help my business create more value with artificial intelligence? 

David Yakobovitch

I find that so fascinating because especially small and medium sized businesses don’t know where to get started often on what product services they should use and in 2018, Matt Turck from First Mark an early stage venture capital firm came out with the big data and AI landscape  2018 infographic and  for our viewers, when you get to see this infographic, there are a hundreds of startups in the industry, all with their own platforms, with horizontal and vertical AI applications. 

There’s so many products now and us being in the AI industry, we know a little bit about this is a good product, or we can ask our friends, can you recommend whether I should use let’s use AWS SageMaker let’s use IBM, Neural Network Modeler, but with a bow for the small and medium sized businesses, how can they get started? I know you’re working welcome, is that part of the solution? 

Jerónimo De León

That’s exactly right ando part of it is you don’t know what you don’t know. There’s potentially a small to medium business, and isn’t going to know exactly where to start. So, how welcome may I work today?

I works is you would come into the platform and start following categories that particularly your industry, or potentially a technology Ernst it’s such as chatbots and then we serve you what content from AI companies that are either serving that industry or have developed that technology because we have over 3000 companies on the site and we’re ingesting their tweets and RSS feeds so we actually tailor the content first from a discover boot discoverability perspective, where you get to see content from here are all the companies that are servicing say finance. 

So it  gives you or gives you a taste of, okay, what’s actually happening in the field and as time goes on, you’d be potentially start to follow interact with content from particular companies and your feed starts to get tailored to more companies and technologies are gravitating to like one thing that we’re, we’re trying to do also is create a classification,  algorithm where we will also start tailoring content based on how, how technical you are, because we don’t want to be serving content. That’s more,  is very hardcore technical to a person that’s more that doesn’t have that type of knowledge so that’s what we’re, we’re really trying to funnel content,  content about these companies and about these technologies to the right audience.

David Yakobovitch

And if I’m an everyday consumer who knows nothing about AI, it can seem very overwhelming whether I get started. I joined Welcome AI, and now I see these tools and these platforms and these products in my industry that can help me learn more and be more relevant but I still have this overwhelming fear, like is my job going to be replaced by these products next year? Or will they augment my working experience? So what’s your opinion there? 

Jerónimo De León

That’s one of the biggest fears that is out there at the moment how artificial intelligence is going to change industries or take jobs even to the smallest jobs like I saw it was last week or the week before how Walmart will not seem to be doing a lot in automation they, for example, introducing a suite of,  autonomous janitors, so in January, so that obviously takes the role of someone or reduce, or actually it’s more saving someone’s time but it potentially, it will take some someone’s role, but then they’re also introducing or chefs in the kitchen that can do the frying but the big thing is that we are going through what they’re calling,  the next industrial revolution and some jobs more the repetitive side will go but  from businesses have to think more from automated automation of activities first, rather than automation of jobs itself, they’re all going to be sent.

There are obviously combustion activities that AI is there to save your time like for a great example is in the legal field, there’s new tools out there. That’s going to save you so much time in digging through a lot of legal paperwork and that’s primarily, it’s going to hopefully free up legal people to do other tasks as well.

So there’s going to be a lot of automation from a task level, is definitely going to be some automation from a job level but  where businesses or businesses should be thinking about is what activities within my business can I start automating? No and also start preparing this stuff soft a big part of this is also preparing people of there’s certain roles that are going to be changing and there’s a big discussion of how do we prepare the education system for this and you see big universities from MIT to creating whole artificial intelligence colleges are so they’re investing big money knowing that the education system and the industries are going to change so we have to really start,  preparing and educating people about it. 

David Yakobovitch

And education is such an interesting point because what I’m hearing JD is there’s two types of jobs. There’s these jobs that are easily automated, such as going to your neighborhood McDonald’s and no longer having a high school student or flipping burgers but instead they’re called FANUC Robots. 

These are these robots that are just gonna automatically control them with vision sensors and infrared and move in and do that process and right now there’s startups in Silicon Valley that are actually experimenting with these robots for coffee machines and for hamburger joints and they’ve raised capital and it’s very interesting so those jobs that are more manual labor, if you will, and repeatable process like all marked these janitorial staff. 

Well, many of our homes and apartments, we have Roombas and these self-cleaning robots that clean the floor.  the argument is well why not a Walmart? Do we really need people vacuuming and mopping?

Jerónimo De León

It’s funny that the Walmart robot that’s still in the research phase is actually called flippy. So the whole,  flipping a burger thing is it something you’re already going to start to see in the coming year or two.

David Yakobovitch

I figured I could see how it could be scary, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t code and you’re not from development, you have a pension or you have benefits and it’s what do I move towards? What is my new specialized skill? And as you mentioned in the legal profession, now these new AI startups that help you analyze 500 pages of papers in seconds to help you understand the sentiment of a case and analysis, but then like that’s great for the lawyers who are making hundreds of dollars an hour anyway. 

This is only helping their field but then it’s well, what’s in it for me for the full-time single mom at McDonald’s or,  the retired professional making extra income or on their fixed income at Walmart. How can we get them into education and for our audience here today, I’m quite involved in JD noses in the bootcamp space teaching a lot so it’s such an interesting topic that I’m not sure if we know the answer just yet, but what’s your thoughts on bridging the gap here with AI education?

Jerónimo De León

This is what we’re slowly, and we should be starting to see new forms of roles coming into about as well we’re going to say oversee some roles go away, but just the same way. For example, we didn’t have a whole social media industry say 10, was it 10, 15 years ago? Now we have whole companies spring up that manage your social media or do manage your social postings or that type of stuff. 

You’re definitely going to start to see new roles that come about that will require a new level of education like the first one that comes to mind is like there’s going to be, there’s going to be a lot more voice assistance so someone to go through and help train those voice assistants or look through, where they’re not, or they’re not going the whole there’s also, and this is where you’re starting to see in China a whole bunch of,  what you’d call a company’s being set up more around data tagging and data tagging is starting to become big in other countries because,  AI realizing that so much.

So that’s not unsaying a role that people should gravitate towards because  but more around, we’re definitely gonna start to see new roles and probably advice I’d give out to listeners or people understanding, Hey, where is my  career changing? Go and have a look at what software or what technologies are  impacting your industry because of these new softwares, new technologies that are looking to change, there’s going to be businesses that need help with using the software they didn’t like that the same way.

Like I mentioned, we did there are agencies or companies that are there to help you, to help train people on social media or even other specific tools. There’s all this tooling that’s being created. There is opportunity there for people to learn the tools and become experts within the tools so they don’t have to get down to the level of say data scientists, cause they’re the their level, then they may not want to be at that level. That learning particular piece of software is potentially achievable to  everyone like the general public level.  So understanding what type of industry that your industry you’re interested in, how is AI playing or impacting that industry? What software is I’m moving into that industry and really understanding what that software is doing make yourself a subject matter expert at that particular piece of software.

David Yakobovitch

What is interesting that you’ve mentioned is like the spin-up of additional services and that this is part of the AI domain and a great example is Airbnb got started for us to get some extra income rent out our flats or our houses and then the new problem emerged is everyone was renting on Airbnb, but who’s going to clean the home and a startup that came out and recently exited was, and if you think about their whole purpose was to on-demand have cleaners by everyday people Airbnb or those who would have maids or other services for that but it begs that question. 

So this data cleaners are these data taggers that you’re mentioning that are in China and other parts of the world they’re taking these images and saying, this is a dog just as a cat because the machine often isn’t smart enough to do that. So this is a new industry that’s spawn up by the need to classify all these images and so that’s one example but I’m sure there’s going to be a multitude of businesses emerging.  

Jerónimo De León

As you mean convention with Airbnb and then other businesses  sprung up because of that, we’re still definitely in the early stages of these,  AI tools and technologies coming into business and similar to how  that cloud wave came about and the mobile wave came about. It took some time for businesses and then now there’s no  business that is that doesn’t, isn’t thinking about mobile or some sort of cloud strategy you’re see that also with AI and then other businesses emerge of how to support businesses with their AI.

David Yakobovitch

It’s exactly what you’re saying that it’s not just the growth of how the support in AI, but also how to distill the right information one of the golden sources I look to for good information in the AI industry is the artificial intelligence index and the 2018 annual report recently came out and includes on its board people from Stanford University MIT. McKinsey opens AI  and Harvard. So you have a lot of Intel and people on this committee and what has been mentioned is that the rate of growth of this industry is almost unprecedented.

I this year alone in 2018, almost 30% of all AI papers were written in this year it’s growing so fast and again if I’m a consumer, I going to read these research papers, PhD peer reviews, maybe not, maybe I want to go on welcome AI and say let’s take a look at both builders ir my company wants a chat bot, how can I implement that? So what do you is next also for welcome AI? Like w where are you guys in your journey of bridging this gap of so much information for the consumer?

Jerónimo De León

We were really at the sodden and that’s exactly there is so much information out there like and fortunately there’s a mix of good and bad there’s a whole ethics debate. There’s also the whole bias, debate, well not really a debate, but a concern. Where welcome AI plays into all this is we really want to help businesses or companies  make sure that here are the actual technologies and companies that are making a benefit to, to other companies, we’re focused more on the real world use cases of AI and less  about maybe opinions from leaders, but more and research wait, we want to be showing more. 

Here is actually how specific AI technologies are impacting or making a great return on investment for specific companies that’s  our main service that we want to be providing one man allowing you to discover artificial intelligence has company companies, and then showing you how are they actually benefiting or how they actually helping companies with their technologies. 

We’re really trying to stay more optimistic, focused and educate the well that, and educate companies that they do have to start thinking about this, that this area or this technology, really just stay in the game and to also provide additional value to their customers because they’re really will be a point where this is just the norm, that every type of company that set up has to be thinking about. 

Definitely from a data perspective. How do we collect out? How do we make sure it’s private, then? How do we use that data specifically to our needs?  and then what services or tools do we use with that data is it could be in-house tech, or it could be just tech that they get off the shelf so this is type of stuff or  businesses should be thinking about, especially from a leadership or strategy perspective and that’s where we hope to come in, where we show you the breadth of the companies that are out there in the industry at the moment and how they’re making an impact from a business perspective.

So we try to stay away or not get involved too much from a ethics or data, or more robots taking over the world perspective because those conversations are already happening. We just  want to have a viewpoint, but more around what we want to show in educate that this is changing the industries and the world so here what, here are the real things that you  have to be thinking about, 

David Yakobovitch

Thinking about AI becoming the norm and moving into the next couple of years, in New York where we both live,  there’s the new Cyber NYC institutes, partnerships of Cornell and Columbia of Cooney have a lot of these programs. There is the opening of Brooklyn Navy Yard there’s Amazon HQ2 there’s all these things coming to New York and so much information to discover from what you’ve seen on your platform on welcome AI, whether some of the trends in the industries or the companies that you’re seeing moving into 2019, 2020, that if I’m this small, medium sized business or this consumer. This is a trend that I should focus on, or this is something that should be especially of interest to me.

Jerónimo De León

Says like more from the small to medium they’re the services that are out there that are looking to save you time that’s probably where they could probably take benefits, just thinking from the top of my head, like good two fields that they use starting to see really growing and AI really moving into is really the finance and the legal space primarily there’s obvious a lot of funding in those spaces. Like people doing AI for finance there’s a lot of investors looking for that primarily because they could already see the benefits of potential prediction or how AI can help within markets.

So if you’re definitely starting to see more of AI and finance is definitely starting well more from the ROI and seeing a lot of that from a legal perspective, more because it’s like the perfect use case, there’s a lot of content there’s a lot of data that and algorithms sift through and then provide you here is what that does. Here’s the content that you’re probably looking for so those are the kinds of two areas that I see growing and, but then also seeing making the most significant impact initially, but you also start to see or hear or read about whole the transportation industry is starting to really, take notice or become more visible in the media of the things that are coming about.

In Phoenix more than more recently, they  recently launched and can’t remember the company name of it, but they’ve recently launched the Waymo which is a company,  underneath Google they recently launched their autonomous taxis there so and you’ve already got other cities with autonomous driving cars as well, but the whole the autonomous driving and the autonomous fleet, it’s doing some work recently,  content work for, about to promote,  Volvo Vera.

There you see that truck is definitely all those types of that type of thinking or that type of,  technology is just going to change, the transportation industry from transportation of goods, to transportation of people that’s the industry you’re going to start to see have the most impact probably from a country scalp perspective, because transportation is one of the biggest areas that people have jobs in.

David Yakobovitch

And therefore focusing on transportation where the most common job in the US  today is a truck driver very common here a lot of the goods being moved around. What should these truck drivers be thinking about, to change? Should they be going to coding Bootcamps? Should they becoming ethical officers? Should they learn to become these directors of auto moving trucks. I’m just curious,  what your take is on how we can rescale or up-skill.

Jerónimo De León

That’s a very interesting topic as well like  some companies, I tackling it’s supposed to assist the truck driver so they can rest to provide all of these autonomous driving vehicles a lot of the angle is a better, safer roads so the vision is if all the cars are autonomous, there’d be less deaths on the road and the truck industry is one of the first ones that they see opportunity with because of they’re just constantly driving lot long miles.

Some of the companies are tackling it more from a it’s an assistant to help with that but then I can mention the whole, if you look at the Volvo Vera Truck, there is no driver involved there it’s ACT that autonomous vehicle is one of the most, like it’s looking vehicles haven’t seen, but so that I didn’t think of a way that works is there’s going to be a control center. 

So maybe that’s maybe the type of thinking or that’s where they can there is still a level of software learning that they’re going to have to do, how to control these vehicles, you’re already starting to see that in major construction where a lot of the, or in mining where a lot of those trucks that are moving dirt from the mining up those mountains are sometimes autonomous or being controlled.

By someone in a control center so the whole, going back to the learning, the software, is less of learning how to code, because that may not be for them, but more learning. What is the software that is they’re going to need to know about, because somebody got to learn that software and so that’s them knowing how the trucks should work. They’re theoretically, the subject matter experts so them knowing how the trucks should work and how should drive they’re  the perfect fit to learn the software and  control how these autonomous trucks or these control centered controlled trucks should work and drive and maneuver so that’s probably more at the software level rather than at the coding level.

I would say some of these people ir because at the end of the day code being in front of code, constantly isn’t isn’t for everybody and you’re not going to see every type of business have a development team so that whole software level is the opportunity or the area people need to start thinking about with where do I need to take my career if, my role starts becoming more, pink taken over by robots or driving what is the skill that I need to uptick that it’s funny cause they say that the number one skill, people need to have going forward is learnability because. They, the world is constantly changing at a rapid rate of being able to learn something new is gonna, and that’s we’re only going to see that more right with the more technologies is is growing.

Like you’re saying the amount of research papers that were produced in the past year were enormous so being able to learn, maybe not at that research level, but at least at the software level of how, how particular pieces of software is changing particular roles and learning how to use that software is key.

David Yakobovitch

And for our listeners who are thinking about their industry and whether that’s trucking or another industry like to share two examples of a couple of startups in the trucking industry that are doing exactly what JD has been speaking about, about bridging the gap of humans and machines, which is what we’re here about at HumAIn.

The first one’s convoys so convoy it’s a billion dollars startup and if you’re a truck driver, they help you book where your freight is going to go from to and optimize those routes so very interesting startup that has grown to bridge that gap the second one is called keep trucking and keep trucking builds,  hardware and devices like dash cams and telematics inside your vehicle that help understand diagnostics and what’s occurring so that the vehicle is being optimized and minimizing how often it breaks down so no, I’m in agreement with you that,  we’re moving in that direction. 

The next couple of years of more augmenting jobs with AI, first technology on the edge where this technology will make stronger decisions that are informed by AI insights and that that’s my hope each and every day that yes we can train each and every person to go through a bootcamp and learn code but at the end of the day applications and applicability, the industries is the point of AI, how can we bridge that gap? 

Jerónimo De León

And you’re going to start to see the importance of subject matter experts, even more so because of the whole well businesses knowing, needing to know what to do with their daughter or someone helping to train the data or sorry, use the data to train AI. So subject matter experts becoming a subject matter expert in your field or knowing how AI is changing or what type of data points you need to think about or start cleaning about that’s an area people should be thinking about knowing how AI is changing your industry and how you can help businesses do that.

David Yakobovitch

I wanted to be a subject matter expert and I wanted to be a subject matter on welcome AI. So I found that super cool checking everything out on these chatbots and in different software that can be built the platform you’ve been building guys, is there any call to action that your team’s working on? Over the next few months or a year with the platform?

Jerónimo De León

Our main thing is really helping AI companies or helping people discover these ad companies so what we’re looking to build is from a product perspective is create efficiency for technology companies to create content and then for us to be able to tell her that content to the correct user, one thing that I found that like being in this space four and a half years originally on unwelcomed, there was over 4,000 companies and then cleaning, doing a lot of startup cleaning.  

We found a lot of companies have come and go over the past four and a half years, they’ve gotten funding. They could have find product market fit or a big prevalent that is they didn’t have the marketing sales power to be discovered enough and that’s what we’re trying to do also is helping the small guys one be discovered, but then also be able to create the amount of content or marketing content efficiently, with the teams that they have because a lot of the times you’re going to some of these smaller AI startups are more technical focus so we want to help them be discovered and also provide them tools to be able to easily create content that shows the benefits of the technologies. 

David Yakobovitch

These technologies are at the heart of AI, whether it’s enterprise consumer giving specific on databases or bridging the gap for an app that your team’s building in speech recognition or video recognition, the industry’s only heating up and now is an exciting time to start playing around with data playing around with open source tech stack or using some of the major platforms that are out in the about there’s going to be startups coming about every single day some will make it some won’t, but  one thing’s for certain is humans are not being replaced and the augmentation will continue and it’s exciting time to see a real technology industry growing with real products and real technology 

That’s it for this episode of HumAIn. I’m David Yakobovitch and if you enjoyed the show, don’t forget to click subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you are listening to this. 

Thanks so much for listening and I’ll talk to you in the next one.