The new digital frontier: Solving complex problems with AI superpowers

The new digital frontier: Solving complex problems with AI superpowers

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Generative artificial intelligence is still in its early days, but it promises a future where AI is accessible to all, unlocking creativity and innovation on an unprecedented scale and sparking a fundamental shift to problem-solving.

“It’s really about giving superpower to everyone, from all walks of life,” said Howie Xu (pictured, right), senior vice president of engineering AI/ML at Palo Alto Networks Inc. “Whether you are doing programmer, product manager, whatever the things you are doing, you are going to get superpower and then do something fundamentally quite different on top of what you have been doing.”

Xu spoke with theCUBE industry analysts John Furrier (left) and Dave Vellante (center) at Supercloud 4, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the profound impact of generative AI, from disruptive enablement to the challenges of the “last-mile” and AI’s transformative potential for enterprises and startups alike.

The power of gen AI: Empowering everyone

At the heart of the discussion was the question of whether the adoption of gen AI in enterprise software is merely hype or a tangible reality. Gen AI empowers individuals to accomplish tasks that were previously out of reach and provide access to AI superpowers for all, according to Xu.

“The boundary between data scientists and then machine learning engineers … is getting blurry,” he said.

One striking aspect highlighted by the panelists was the consumerization of AI. This shift brings AI directly into the hands of people who can harness its capabilities without needing deep technical expertise, Xu pointed out. This consumerization represents a disruptive enablement, sparking creativity and productivity, enabling individuals to think outside the box and achieve step-function improvements in various domains.

“All of us have the consensus at this point … can we land this technology so that it can be useful at scale and then people can consume that,” he added. “I think there’s still long way to go on on that one.”

The ‘last-mile’ challenge in AI adoption

While the potential of AI is immense, there is also the crucial challenge of the “last-mile” problem. Despite the technological advancements, connecting AI technology with the necessary data and solving various issues related to data quality, privacy, compliance and security remains a complex undertaking. This “last-mile” challenge is multifaceted, encompassing issues on both the technological and data sides, according to Xu.

“I would say solving any one of them is a big deal,” he added. “I mentioned this at Supercloud 3, the future of entrepreneur, they are facing a very different environment. Because of the power, because of the superpower they have. You know … we’ll see a lot more solopreneur.”

A recurring theme during the Supercloud 4 event was the potential for AI to simplify complex processes. AI can reduce complexity and has the power to eliminate the need for extensive teams and resources, according to Xu. This reduction in complexity can open up opportunities for smaller teams to innovate and thrive.

“The way we think about how we are working with this technology will take time,” he said. “It’s not like everyone still think the traditional way, enterprise software. I think that [would] take some time.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Supercloud 4:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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