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“Trust, transparency, accuracy, and ethical standards”: requirements for enterprise AI, say IBM execs

A recent IT World Canada interview with IBM’s Dave McCann and Frank Attaie looks at what it takes.

A recent IT World Canada interview with IBM's Dave McCann and Frank Attaie looks at what it takes.
A recent IT World Canada interview with IBM's Dave McCann and Frank Attaie looks at what it takes.

IBM Watson has been a marquee name in the AI conversation — especially after its headline-making turn on Jeopardy in 2011.

The technology has since evolved, and been deployed in a variety of settings and industries. As TechRepublic explains, “it has become the gold standard for purposeful analytics processing.” 

Its latest iteration — announced at the company’s annual Think conference — is watsonx, a full-suite AI and data platform for enterprise, meant to automate and accelerate workflows. 

But what sets apart a successful enterprise AI product from one that lacks customer confidence? IT World Canada turned these questions toward two IBM execs — Dave McCann, President of IBM Canada and Frank Attaie, General Manager of Technology, IBM Canada.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

Trust and transparency are more paramount for enterprise systems

“Trust, transparency, precision and accuracy, removal of any and all biases in a very auditable fashion down to the base code, and then raising the right risk, regulatory, and ethical standards. That’s really our view of what you need in order to push enterprise-grade AI out.”

  • Frank Attaie, General Manager of Technology, IBM Canada

“From a business perspective, we can’t really think about ‘touch, put our data in, include it within,’ without understanding how trustworthy it is, how transparent it is, how we can be able to say where every single thing comes from,” he said. “And it was almost like this driving force where businesses rapidly tried it – and stopped.”

  • Dave McCann, President of IBM Canada 

Shift from individual to foundational models

“As we think about what generative AI brings to the table on the productivity discussion, we’re finally at that place where instead of building ten individual fairly significant models to solve ten different use cases, we can build one foundation model, or we can benefit from an open source, secure governed foundation model that’s trusted and transparent.”

  • Dave McCann, President of IBM Canada 

“I think the shift in our discussion that we’re having with our clients you’re seeing prominently everywhere, and it gets me excited, is the conversation starting with AI plus something else. And that’s normally starting in a way where you can benefit from generative and foundation models. So to me, I think that that’s the big thing.”

  • Dave McCann, President of IBM Canada 

Read the full interview on IT World Canada.

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Written By

Veronica Ott is a freelance writer and digital marketer with a specialization in finance and business. As a CPA with experience in the industry, she's able to provide unique insight into various monetary, financial and economic topics. When Veronica isn't writing, you can find her watching the latest films!

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