Umbar Shakir, Gate One: Unlocking the power of generative AI ethically


Ahead of this year’s AI & Big Data Expo Global, Umbar Shakir, Partner and Generative AI Lead at Gate One, shared her insights into the diverse landscape of generative AI (GenAI) and its impact on businesses.

From addressing the spectrum of use cases to navigating digital transformation, Shakir shed light on the challenges, ethical considerations, and the promising future of this groundbreaking technology.

Wide spectrum of use cases

Shakir highlighted the wide array of GenAI applications, ranging from productivity enhancements and research support to high-stakes areas such as strategic data mining and knowledge bots. She emphasised the transformational power of AI in understanding customer data, moving beyond simple sentiment analysis to providing actionable insights, thus elevating customer engagement strategies.

“GenAI now can take your customer insights to another level. It doesn’t just tell you whether something’s a positive or negative sentiment like old AI would do, it now says it’s positive or negative. It’s negative because X, Y, Z, and here’s the root cause for X, Y, Z,” explains Shakir.

Powering digital transformation

Gate One adopts an adaptive strategy approach, abandoning traditional five-year strategies for more agile, adaptable frameworks.

“We have a framework – our 5P model – where it’s: identify your people, identify the problem statement that you’re trying to solve for, appoint some partnerships, think about what’s the right capability mix that you have, think about the pathway through which you’re going to deliver, be use case or risk-led, and then proof of concept,” says Shakir.

By solving specific challenges and aligning strategies with business objectives, Gate One aims to drive meaningful digital transformation for its clients.

Assessing client readiness

Shakir discussed Gate One’s diagnostic tools, which blend technology maturity and operating model innovation questions to assess a client’s readiness to adopt GenAI successfully.

“We have a proprietary tool that we’ve built, a diagnostic tool where we look at blending tech maturity capability type questions with operating model innovation questions,” explains Shakir.

By categorising clients as “vanguard” or “safe” players, Gate One tailors their approach to meet individual readiness levels—ensuring a seamless integration of GenAI into the client’s operations.

Key challenges and ethical considerations

Shakir acknowledged the challenges associated with GenAI, especially concerning the quality of model outputs. She stressed the importance of addressing biases, amplifications, and ethical concerns, calling for a more meaningful and sustainable implementation of AI.

“Poor quality data or poorly trained models can create biases, racism, sexism… those are the things that worry me about the technology,” says Shakir.

Gate One is actively working on refining models and data inputs to mitigate such problems.

The future of GenAI

Looking ahead, Shakir predicted a demand for more ethical AI practices from consumers and increased pressure on developers to create representative and unbiased models.

Shakir also envisioned a shift in work dynamics where AI liberates humans from mundane tasks to allow them to focus on solving significant global challenges, particularly in the realm of sustainability.

Later this month, Gate One will be attending and sponsoring this year’s AI & Big Data Expo Global. During the event, Gate One aims to share its ethos of meaningful AI and emphasise ethical and sustainable approaches.

Gate One will also be sharing with attendees GenAI’s impact on marketing and experience design, offering valuable insights into the changing landscape of customer interactions and brand experiences.

As businesses navigate the evolving landscape of GenAI, Gate One stands at the forefront, advocating for responsible, ethical, and sustainable practices and ensuring a brighter, more impactful future for businesses and society.

Find out more about Umbar Shakir’s day one keynote presentation .

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