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Machines can free humans to do more creative work – Interview with Dagmara Lacka, Boldmind

This blog post is part of the Big Data Week Speaker interviews series.  In this article, Dagmara Lacka, Boldmind Founder & CEO, shares her thoughts on the positive changes advancements in IoT and big data are bringing to the modern society and about Pepper robots.

  1.  What inspires you to innovate at Boldmind?

I see advancements in IoT and big data bringing positive changes to the modern city, making it a better place to work in and live in. At Boldmind, we focus on how data generated by the city itself (buildings, transport and environmental sensors) can help improve the lives of citizens and helps businesses thrive.

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  1.      How interactive is Pepper? What are the potential uses that Pepper unleashes?

Pepper is learning all the time and gets better at processing images and natural language, but it is far from perfect.  However, even today Pepper is fairly interactive and it is possible to have a simple verbal exchange with it. Additionally, there is a tablet which can also act as an effective interface allowing precise commands  –  for example, a customer greeted at the shoe store can get Pepper to fetch a shoe size in a chosen style. Today Pepper is not autonomous and does not work well in a crowded environment, which means we would always have an engineer overlooking Pepper. I believe it is just a matter of time before Pepper robots become independent enough to be able to help us around shopping malls, supermarkets or in shoe shops, taking over basic customer service tasks like helping locate a product or service.

  1.      How did businesses adapt so far to the impact of big data?

Logistics businesses have made big data part of the day-to-day operations for quite some time now.  Fast retail, for example, is using predictive models to help determine what garments will be successful this season in which geographical location.

  1.      Why is it important for organisations to become data-driven?

Data is a true asset to any organisation. Not using it means ignoring potential strategic advantages brought with it. I envisage that soon, not using data will be viewed as wasteful as having idle machinery or unused piece of real estate.

  1.      What are the challenges encountered when trying to leverage data?

I can think of two main ones: Skilled personnel which can be hard to find. It can also be difficult to decide who should manage such person or a team and where to place them in the organisation.

Second, no doubt is the data extraction and all the security risk associated with it.

  1.      How do you see the industry evolving over the next few years?

I believe big data science will become integral with business operations in the same way as websites have in the past 20 years. No one today is questioning the value of a website. Just like a good website is a great tool for businesses, well designed big data strategy will really support sales, operation and investment decisions.

  1.      How do you consider the new automation wave and self-teaching AIs will impact the world?

I remember a story told by my grandmother about modern lifts that didn’t require an operator. At first, this was viewed as less safe, as inevitably people would get trapped in the door or between floors. It took many decades for people to get to use them and some jobs disappeared giving way to new ones. We observe the same level of fear and apprehension across different sectors from self-driving cars all the way to bots replacing call centres.

I am very positive about the changes before us. As in the past, it is those mundane, boring tasks that machines take on from us, freeing human beings to do more creative work.

  1.      Tell us a bit more about your topic at the BDW2017 London Conference. Why did you choose this particular subject?

I will be covering Real-time decision making powered by IoT. If AI is to truly support us it needs to be able to make informed decisions. I will discuss in my presentation challenges around information classification for the purpose of successful decision-making by machines.

  1.      Who do you think should attend your talk at Big Data Week? Why?

BDW is not a strictly a practitioner conference discussing latest advancements in data manipulation. It is filled with case studies of projects conducted by household names and inspiring findings shared by business leaders. Any one responsible for strategy and innovation should be there.

BIO

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As a CEO of Boldmind, Dagmara is responsible for running all facets of the business. Her track record in Product Development allowed to her to bring complex technologies to help non-technical teams in designing data driven decision processes. She passionately seeks opportunities and technological advancements in IoT and Big Data to help Boldmind’s clients increase sales and drive growth by employing machine learning.

At Boldmind she oversees development of AI-based solutions for Smart Cities, with emphasis on the retail environment.

The flagship product Flow.City – the first surge marketing platform, has last year earned recognition as Bloomberg Innovator 2016.

Don’t miss Dagmara’s talk at the upcoming Big Data Week London Conference, on October 13. Get your Early Bird ticket today!

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