[CONVERSATION] Juliette Mattioli: Artificial Intelligence, a new growth lever for economic intelligence? [2/2]

PIE: How does AI impact businesses in their day-to-day business and operations?

Juliette Mattioli: There are several concrete examples of the impact of AI within organizations. We have companies that use this technology to better manage call centers, their B2C inboxes and automate their mailboxes with customer complaints that need to be processed. For example, one of the first applications of AI in call centers was to be able to automatically sort emails to be able to send them to the right person depending on the issue (maintenance, invoice, etc.).

The difficulty today is found above all for SMEs and small businesses, which are not necessarily technology companies but which can nevertheless also benefit from this technology. In particular, it is worth mentioning the hub France AIan association that helps small structures understand and develop AI-based applications This can affect areas we would never have thought of before (optimizing a customer journey, marketing, fashion, etc.).

This discipline is applicable in daily activities: the management of a company’s knowledge, the optimization of processes. Another example, in the field of human resources, for the matching between supply and demand, in order to make a first sorting of CVs in relation to job applications, a bit like a “meetic” of employment . There are really a multitude of activities in which we can use AI

PIE: Are we able to measure the economic benefits of AI in a tangible way? Do you have examples?

JM: Yes totally, we can measure both the social and economic benefits. For example at Thales, we did a study for a maintenance system for a fleet of systems for which there were (regular) maintenance contracts. We have succeeded in optimizing the maintenance of these fleets thanks to AI and implemented predictive maintenance which makes it possible to optimize these maintenance schedules and reduce the cost of production maintenance by almost 50%. We can also think of using AI to optimize a process, in particular via machine learning in order to understand the non-quality of certain parts in production chains. Other uses make it possible to win new customers or contracts much more quickly. There are therefore many uses in which the economic benefits are measured quite quickly, particularly in terms of operations or industrial production.

PIE: How do you explain the gap in the progress of AI research between countries?

JM: It is a problem of both means and population. The countries that dominated the sector were once England and the United States. Today, China is beginning to overtake the United States, if only in the number of publications in major scientific conferences. The population plays an important role in these results, there are necessarily more researchers in China than in France given the differences between the two populations.

PIE: Will AI make it possible to compensate for the demographic weakness of certain countries?

JM: It depends on what is called “demographic weakness”. AI will compensate for this demographic weakness in some cases but not in all. AI will not replace humans but will supplement them as being of great help to aging populations. We can imagine solutions based on AI such as health monitoring systems, mini-companions for the household, the automation of certain tasks that will make it possible to take care of the elderly. In addition, new professions will appear while others will disappear while some will evolve. Nevertheless, the human and social relationship cannot be replaced by a machine.

PIE: How is the irruption of AI revolutionizing information warfare and how can France protect itself from this new emerging risk while having the weapons to respond?

JM: Information warfare is not new, the means to do so are increasingly via AI. This is particularly true for fake news (deep fake propaganda, distorted images, etc.).

To guard against this fake news, we must learn to be skeptical when using digital media where the emergence of these media allows the viral sharing of this false information and therefore to wage information war. Some big news agencies or media are starting to have AI cells to sort out the real from the fake. Three or four years ago, a journalist from TF1 explained to Vinatech that it was increasingly necessary to cross-check information to be sure of its veracity, we come back to the idea of ​​trusted AI. Indeed, accessibility to these means to produce credible false information and disseminate it on digital media is becoming more democratic.

PIE: In AI, we spotted computing power through quantum computing as a catalyst for its development, are there any lesser known ones?

JM: It is certain that quantum represents a major breakthrough in the sector of AI and digital technologies more broadly. As soon as we start to be able to do quantum computing, new algorithms can be created and we will enter another dimension.

On the other hand, digital technologies are anything but “green”. Their carbon footprint is not good because they consume a lot of electricity. To answer this problem, there is a movement around AI and machine learning, to think about frugal AI, in terms of energy (and data) going towards a greener AI, which consumes little energy. energy that does not pollute the planet. This research is notably carried out by a researcher called Julie Grollier, who designs very energy-efficient architectures (Beyond CEMOS).

PIE: What are the ethical issues of AI?

JM: There are very technical issues on ethics, responsibility and transparency. For example, when we learn, we inevitably have biases and we must develop tools, methods to qualify these biases in order to identify and control them. These biases are also present when modeling (cultural modeling biases). Indeed, a European or an Asian will not have the same way of solving a problem. Ethics is something quite complex, fortunately Europe has produced recommendationswhich allow you to ask the right questions.

PIE: Is the moratorium on AI in Europe a brake on France’s power in the field and in particular in geopolitical strategies for taking technological advantage? With the risk of addiction that this may include.

JM: Legislation is being prepared, with the AI ​​Act which will impose constraints or standards in the field of AI for critical systems or when humans are in the loop. This can be a brake because critical systems have been used for a long time and already have regulations or certifications (planes, cars, etc.). Adding additional constraints just because we are using AI can potentially slow things down and make companies reluctant. Thus, an AI-based critical system must at least respect the same constraints as a “classic” critical system. For example, some systems, such as video surveillance and their extreme uses, already have laws that protect us from possible abuses of use. So yes it can be a brake if we go too far in legislation and standardization, which is why France is structuring itself to become a player in standardization with pillar 3 of the Great National Challenge of Trusted AI .

PIE: Today, what are the next essential steps in the development of AI?

JM: For AI to thrive, it must increasingly arrive in systems, products and solutions available to everyone. For this, it is necessary to educate the population, like Finland, which has launched a very interesting initiative: creating a MOOC accessible to all to raise citizens’ awareness of the use of AI with the aim of training each year at least 2% of the population. The first step therefore involves educating the population about artificial intelligence.

The second stage focuses on scientific and technical training. It is important to train the population quite early, very quickly after the baccalaureate to have AI engineers and not necessarily researchers. Promoting this culture and making it accessible to engineers will make it possible to transform proofs of concept in order to revisit most areas of activity through the prism of artificial intelligence.

Interview by Yacine Ioualitene for the club data-intelligence

First part : [CONVERSATION] Juliette Mattioli: Artificial Intelligence, a new growth lever for economic intelligence? [1/2]

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[CONVERSATION] Juliette Mattioli: Artificial Intelligence, a new growth lever for economic intelligence? [2/2]

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