John Deere’s Doug Sauder | Machine Meets World

“Historically, the most important sensor has been the farmer’s eyes themselves as they observe the physical environment,” says Doug Sauder, Director, Digital Product Management & Analytics at John Deere.

“And what we’re doing with camera technology is really augmenting those human eyes with cameras. We’re augmenting and supporting the human brain with computers, and then we’re augmenting the human hand with robotics. And so those things really come together to give farmers additional tools.”

Speaking on Infinia ML’s Machine Meets World, Sauder says “this is no different than the type of innovation that we’ve been doing for 180 years. It’s just different than the steel plow. Now we’re talking about cutting edge technologies like AI, but it’s all about helping farmers be more productive, more profitable, more sustainable.”

More interview highlights:

The Demand for Agricultural Automation

“Sometimes the conversation about automation gets into, oh, are jobs going to be replaced by robots, those type of conversations. In farming . . . there’s a real labor shortage globally, a shortage in skilled labor. Farmers, our customers, are asking us for more automation. They want the ability for a lower skilled operator to be able to operate a piece of equipment that used to require someone with many years of training.”

“And in addition to that, we’re really talking about automation doing for a farmer what they just can’t do without the technology. And so maybe to, I like to say that we’re helping farmers be better micromanagers. Micromanaging is also a bad word in business, but in farming, it’s a great word. . . . “

“Picture that your job as a farmer is to care for millions of [personal] gardens in a given season. You just can’t do that without technology that can automate and give the precise application of nutrients, the precise placement of seeds.”

Doing the Data Dirty Work

“Your AI strategy has to run on data. It’s easy to get focused on the exciting algorithm that’s going to be developed, the predictive model that’s going to be developed, but it’s the unglamorous work of collecting data, of assessing data quality, of building data pipelines and robust structures that allow for data scientists to get at that data.”

“Often you’ll find that data scientists will spend 70% of their time just wrangling the data to get it into a useful form. And so those investments in that foundational data acquisition and transformation pipelines, that’s really where the initial focus of a company should start. Because if you don’t have that data, you’re going to really struggle to create value on top of it.”

 . . .

Machine Meets World is Infinia ML’s weekly interview show with AI leaders.

You can watch on this page, listen as a podcast (AppleGoogleSpotifyStitcher), and email the show at mmw@infiniaml.com.

Full Interview and Transcript

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Lockheed Martin’s Chris Benson on Machine Meets World

“AI and ML are really about people.”

Chris Benson, Principal Emerging Technologies Strategist at Lockheed Martin, talks artificial intelligence with Infinia ML’s James Kotecki.

Machine Meets World streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded live on August 18th, 2020.

Watch Episode Highlight Clips on LinkedIn

When it comes to AI, “it is up to every citizen to be aware of what is happening.”

Why does Chris Benson believe humans will eventually figure out artificial general intelligence? Because humans themselves are computational machines.

“AI and ML are really about people.”

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Cognizant’s Bret Greenstein on Machine Meets World

Bret Greenstein, SVP and Global Head of AI & Analytics at Cognizant, talks artificial intelligence with Infinia ML’s James Kotecki.

Machine Meets World streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded August 11th, 2020.

Killer Quote

“Companies that delegate absolute authority for data science and AI . . . to a technologist [are] really missing the point of the responsibility of a business leader to ensure that systems behave without bias and that they reflect the values and the goals of your company.” (14:29)

More Highlights

“Most AI projects are actually data projects.” (5:14)

The value of AI that can quickly adapt as the rules change. (23:16)

AGI is an interesting thought experiment – and a confusing distraction. (25:21)

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Deepgram CEO Scott Stephenson on Machine Meets World

Scott Stephenson, CEO of the speech recognition company Deepgram, talks artificial intelligence with Infinia ML’s James Kotecki.

Machine Meets World streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded July 28th, 2020.

Killer Quote

“You can have a human listen to a conversation, you can have them infer what was happening, all of that… In the future, you’ll be able to have the equivalent of a much cheaper human do it, which would be the machine. And the cost of that will drastically reduce, and that will mean that we’ll have to come up with new laws and rules and ways of operating in society to deal with that.” [16:01]

More Highlights

How working in a “James Bond lair” led to the development of Deepgram. [4:14]

How doing particle physics is like doing deep learning for speech. [6:10]

How always-on recording can change human behavior. [19:58]

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Pryon CEO Igor Jablokov on Machine Meets World

Pryon CEO Igor Jablokov joins Infinia ML’s James Kotecki on Machine Meets World, the interview show about artificial intelligence.

The show streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded July 13th, 2020.

“Everybody’s going to have access to an AI that can help them do their jobs better, and we hope that that’s going to reduce the delta between the haves and the have nots.” [23:32]

More Highlights

Humans can’t grasp AI’s full potential [6:34]

Sci-fi predictions vs. business forecasting [9:54]

Accessible augmented intelligence through natural language [25:59]

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SignalPath CEO Brad Hirsch on Machine Meets World

Brad Hirsh, CEO and co-founder of SignalPath, talks artificial intelligence and medical trials with Infinia ML’s James Kotecki on Machine Meets World.

The video show streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded July 7th, 2020.

“There are so many levels of opportunity for automation in clinical trials and clinical research.” [5:16]

More Highlights

Why SignalPath automation doesn’t put jobs at risk [7:06 and 9:35]

The next frontier for automation in clinical trials [14:41]

The promise of less busywork and more helpful science [17:10]

Optimism for the future of clinical trials [25:32]

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Forrester’s J. P. Gownder on Machine Meets World

J.P. Gownder, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, talks artificial intelligence with James Kotecki, Director of Marketing at Infinia ML.

Machine Meets World streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Key Quote

“. . . for AI, we need to have more comprehensive governance that includes everything from ethics to explainability to accountability to bringing together all of the operational side of a model. Is it working properly? Is it being retrained continuously? Is it getting better? Does it need to be retired? But also, wedding that to some of these broader customer-relevant and employee-relevant issues.” [15:17]

“ . . . what AI is trying to do using probability is creating new conundrums that the business isn’t used to dealing with. And people aren’t very good at probabilistic thinking in the first place. So I think unfortunately, it’s one of these cases where you’ve got to bring everyone together to do this internally. My colleague Michele Goetz and I did a whole bunch of interviews around this. And we found that even some really large, sophisticated technology companies haven’t mastered every dimension of AI governance.” [16:09]

Other Highlights

A human-centered view of artificial intelligence [9:21]

The coming decade of job loss, job gains, and job transformation [24:49]

Gownder’s science fiction recommendations, which tackle inequality, climate change, and AI [27:24]

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Technovation’s Tara Chklovski on Machine Meets World

Tara Chklovski, CEO and founder of Technovation, talks artificial intelligence with James Kotecki on Infinia ML’s Machine Meets World.

The video show streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded June 23rd, 2020.

Key Quote

“Most adults don’t know how machine learning works, how the face recognition on the phone works, what’s behind all of this. And that’s the idea – kind of unpacking this black box of AI technologies because it’s everywhere.

“When you don’t know something, it can be very scary. You don’t know what the implications are and so you tend to sort of shut it down even more, and you’re resistant to any kind of re-skilling, up-skilling, which will have to happen no matter what.” [3:44]

Other Episode Highlights

A Focus on Grassroots AI [6:34]

How Technovation Demystifies AI [24:39]

The Technovation “Trick”: Adults and Kids Learn AI Together [26:51]

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Neo4j’s Amy Hodler on Machine Meets World

Amy Hodler, Director, Graph Analytics and AI Programs at Neo4j, joins Infinia ML’s James Kotecki on Machine Meets World, the interview show about artificial intelligence.

The video show streams live on YouTube weekly. It’s also available in audio form on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Recorded June 16, 2020.

Key Quote

“I definitely think we need a public conversation about what our expectations are for AI. So it’s not just ‘I want more accurate AI.’ It’s do we want AI doing particular things? We need to bring together, I would say, people from different walks of life.

“So you’ve got your scientists that we all think about, but also your ethicists and your business leaders, your citizens, your policymakers, and have more of a joint dialogue about what we want from AI systems. They are different than software we’ve had in the past because of the reach and the power that they really have the ability to amplify the best and the worst of what we can do.” [20:40]

Other Episode Highlights

Striking Examples of AI Failure [5:10]

Why Talking to Data Scientists Gives Her Hope  [18:45]

Bias Isn’t Always Bad [24:35]

See Also

Amy Hodler’s Speech on Responsible AI (November 11, 2019)

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