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Effective AI requires diversity and teamwork, says VP Caroline O’Brien

Last week, Caroline O’Brien, VP of Data Science at Afiniti, spoke on the artificial intelligence panel at the Vogue Codes Sydney Summit. 

Joined by Rachael Rekart of Soul Machines and Samantha Wong of Blackbird Ventures, Caroline and her fellow panelists sought to decode and demystify AI for the audience.

Four major learnings, as outlined by Vogue, were:

1. AI is being used in fashion
“Amazon’s fashion lab has machines creating new fashion. That’s right, machine fashion designers.” -Caroline O’Brien

2. AI finds tasks humans find hard, easy and vice versa
“Machines are better at things that humans find really difficult. But they can’t do simple things, like pick things up. For example, in finance, trading is now largely algorithmic. Creativity is harder to do away with.” -Samantha Wong

3. AI requires teamwork
“To make effective AI products requires many different skill sets. Diversity in AI teams is really important and there is a role for many different backgrounds within them.” -Caroline O’Brien

4. AI is moving towards reading human emotions better than humans
“Our digital humans are hyper-realistic. They’re really perceived as more engaging, more effective, not only because of AI and emotional intelligence but also voice, video, text, image in one interaction. For example, if I text my boyfriend that ‘I’m fine’ he doesn’t know if I’m really fine without my inflection.” - Rachael Rekart, on pioneering digital humans

All in all, it was a valuable opportunity to explain a topic that many still find mystifying, and to use Afiniti as an example of how a diverse, cohesive team makes an AI product successful.

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