Henry Hays – Synthesis of AI and Compassion


Join us in a captivating podcast episode featuring Henry Hays, an AI advocate known for integrating human compassion into technology. Dive into enlightening discussions as Henry shares his journey from curiosity to AI advocacy, and explore how AI is revolutionizing industries beyond the usual suspects like real estate.

Discover the latest breakthroughs in AI, understand its future trajectory, and learn about its unexpected applications in sectors like construction. Henry sheds light on balancing technological innovation with human values, the transformative role of AI in customer service, and provides expert advice for businesses eyeing AI integration.

Get inspired by AI success stories, confront common AI anxieties, and grasp the importance of collaborative innovation. This episode is a treasure trove of insights for anyone interested in AI’s impact, whether you’re a seasoned expert or just starting out.

Follow Henry on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/henryhays/

👉 See our Website: https://podcast.boomerliving.tv/
🎙 Boomer Living Podcast: https://hanhdbrown.com/
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Episode Transcript


Hanh: 00:00:00
Welcome to Boomer Living Broadcast, your go to source for the intersection of aging, AI, and the digital transformation. I’m Hanh Brown, and at AI50, in partnership with Microsoft Startup, we’re on a mission to democratize AI. Utilizing Azure’s capabilities. We focus on innovation that prioritizes safety, privacy, and affordability, developing an AI ecosystems tailored for

Hanh: 00:00:27
senior care and the aging population. But our mission goes beyond technology. It’s about people and creating AI solutions that are accessible, secure, and user friendly. We believe in technology that enriches lives, especially in the senior community. So each week, we bring you important conversations with experts and innovators. Exploring how AI is reshaping

Hanh: 00:00:56
the aging population in care. So, whether you’re a professional in the senior care sector, caregiver, or just interested in the fusion of aging, health, and technology, well, this is your place for learning, sharing, and being a part of a caring revolution. So, join us on this journey as we navigate towards a better, connected, and empathetic world of senior care.

Hanh: 00:01:25
So let’s get started. So today’s topic is AI empathy, and our guest is Henry Hayes. He’s the CEO and Co-founder of Disrupt Ready Affirm. At the forefront of empowering businesses with emerging technologies, disrupt Ready has made significant strides in ai. Particularly with closed source, large language models, reshaping

Hanh: 00:01:53
how businesses grow and adapt. So Henry’s journey also includes his remarkable experience in the pharmaceutical industry, where he led a groundbreaking sales force. Deeply understanding the healthcare sector’s nuances. His insights into healthcare have fueled his vision for AI’s potential in this vital area.

Hanh: 00:02:17
Also, Henry is nurturing future talents in AI at the Honors College at LSU, guiding students in applying AI to real world challenges. From healthcare advancements, like early breast cancer detection to agriculture innovations. So join us today as we talk to Henry in a thought provoking discussion on AI’s transformative

Hanh: 00:02:38
role in business and beyond. So Henry, welcome to the show. Hi, Ellen. Hey, how are you?

Henry: 00:02:51
I’m really well. I think my mom would be happy to hear your introduction again.

Hanh: 00:02:58
Well, hey, I appreciate your time and You know, sharing your expertise and sharing the journey that you’ve been on with AI and just, you know, encouraging people, people to learn and keep an open mind. So to get started, is there an aspect of your personal or professional life that’s not widely known, but you’d like to share with the audience?

Henry: 00:03:22
Sure. So I would say I’m 52 years old and where we sit today in 2023, I would say I’m a. I’m an analog sales guy that is sprinting to, to kind of be relevant in the digital world. Um, that’s kind of a weird statement, but what I mean to say, and what I mean to kind of have your audience understand is. I, by no means would say I am technically

Henry: 00:03:44
skilled in coding and some of those other functions of a lot of this very complex math that is artificial intelligence and machine learning, but I see the opportunity and I really do believe this is the greatest disruptive technology of our lifetimes. Um, I only, that thesis only gets cemented more each day and week that we do the work we’re doing.

Henry: 00:04:12
And so, uh, what a time to be alive and what a ti, what a time to have the opportunity to really make some changes. So, uh, that, that’s kind of the way I look at professionally and what we’re about to talk about.

Hanh: 00:04:27
Awesome. Alright, so it’s clear from your extensive background in both business and the healthcare sector and that you have a unique perspective on ai. So let’s. Start at the beginning of your journey. So can you tell us about the moment or experience that you first, that first drew you into the world of AI

Hanh: 00:04:45
and what sparked your passion for it?

Henry: 00:04:50
Sure. And it was an artificial intelligence, Hanh. So, uh, you mentioned that I was in the pharmaceutical industry for about 20 years. Uh, which means I would travel a bunch, you know, I was in airports and I’d pick up Harvard Business Review or Wired or Fast Company, always try

Henry: 00:05:04
to kind of stay a paragraph updated in what’s going on in technology. And we had an exit event in one of the companies I helped founded. In 2014, and it was right about that time that the Blockbuster video stores began closing in my town. And I was 41 years old at the time, and that was unusual to say the least, to see a giant like that, that had a

Henry: 00:05:26
place from my childhood to college life to early dating and as a young parent, Blockbuster videos, you know, everywhere. So to see them get taken out by something that we thought was cute. And then it wasn’t so cheap. So my thought was, well, who’s next? And I had some resources and time. So I really invested in learning from guys like Clayton Christensen,

Henry: 00:05:53
who, disruptive innovation. So at that time, I started my consulting company, Honda, really eight technologies that we call the essential and artificial intelligence was one of, so it got lumped into this talk track I had of saying, guys, this is coming. It’s coming faster than you think you need to get your head around. And then November of last year happened.

Henry: 00:06:16
And as you and I will know. OpenAI launches Chatsheet PT3 and we’ve, we’ve got all the BraveMX pieces and almost 100 percent of our work has gone to gap analysis, strategic advice, and then build it, large language model. So it started as kind of a, were this emerging techs faster than you think? And now it really got. Skinny down to the world of AI,

Henry: 00:06:38
because a year ago, um, you know, they announced themselves and they took a lot of oxygen out of the group.

Hanh: 00:06:48
And then the recent dev event that recently, I think it was about a week ago, boy, talk about even further transformative development, you know, and I think you’ll understand its impact when I believe one or two days after. Their API was down for, I don’t know, four hours or so. So that’s significant, the value that it, that it gives, but then we’re also

Hanh: 00:07:13
depending on it significantly, right?

Henry: 00:07:15
Oh, for sure. And you’re talking about OpenAI’s development day at the, you know, last week. Again, we simply haven’t seen, uh, breakthroughs and then the speed that the other breakthroughs that follow are coming. Thank you. At Disrupt Ready, we really stress today

Henry: 00:07:32
is the great day to get in the game. Even if that’s understanding what AI is at a central level and, you know, learning how to prompt on something like Jax GPT or Claude or, or any of the LLMs, great start. Because each day, a week that goes by, we believe you lose a competitive advantage and we don’t know what the future holds, which is another

Henry: 00:07:57
reason that today is a great day to continue to educate your mind. And we, they can’t. That this is the great leveler. If you’re the smaller fry or the under resourced company, or you don’t have the number of people that your competitors do, this is the great equalizer. We don’t have to know that to be true, but it’s, it’s he or she who puts the work in

Henry: 00:08:22
to understand, okay, well, where does it fit us and how do we start that journey? So, um, Again, with the brave X speed of the announcements, today is a great day to get in the game.

Hanh: 00:08:34
It is. It is. I think we all can just hit that reset button. It doesn’t matter how much we think we know up until this point, we can hit reset. We’re all, the plane has been leveled.

Henry: 00:08:46
It does. And I think this too, Hanh, I’ve done a lot of speaking to different industries and executives on this matter. And I’ll say this, I think there’s a subconscious pushback internally in the front of our brains that we give ourselves when we don’t understand a change. I think it’s fight or flight. So it’s Hanh, run, you know,

Henry: 00:09:04
and this is the inner voice. You don’t understand it. You’re not a tech person. You look foolish. I think that’s a much more powerful stimulus than we, than we understand. Because what happens is you quickly come up with a way to say, wait a minute, there are privacy concerns or there’s other issues.

Henry: 00:09:25
I’m going to take a backseat. And it’s a, I think it’s a safe excuse. And we go to where safety is. How on that, if you run a small to medium sized business and you’ve done well. Let’s say that profits are good and, um, your employees are, are doing well. It’s even a tougher thing to overcome mentally because you’re telling yourself, Oh, we got this.

Henry: 00:09:48
Yeah. Who needs this? Who needs more? Right. Just like Hanh, the board of directors of Hilton and Marriott took less than 30 minutes both to figure out that no one wanted to rent our unserved bedroom. And so Airbnb would never work, you know? I think they’re doing okay.

Henry: 00:10:05
Yeah. So, I think this begins with looking in the mirror and saying, do you have the flexibility and ability to lead through this innovative change? Because we’ve simply never seen the sea. So, I think there’s also a competitive advantage here, or a competitive nature. I. e., if you, if you say to yourself

Henry: 00:10:21
to be competitive, maybe you’re a former athlete, or Um, you know, you have that shriek in you, guess what, your competitors aren’t in the game. So the game is afoot. So all of this is very real, but I think that a voice inside our own heads to say, um, I’m holding me back. No, what else? Don’t do this.

Henry: 00:10:45
Do this. It’s a very real thing.

Hanh: 00:10:47
It is. You know, and you know, it’s easy. Like you said, when you come up with all the reasons why things don’t work, but then what? Guess what? You don’t have to do it. You’re safer that way. And you’re less at risk of failing because here’s the thing for AI to

Hanh: 00:11:03
work, my opinion, first and foremost, you need to have an open life learning attitude because not likely it might work right away for you as you are, you know, learning your prompts, learning different, uh, GPT personalization and so forth, right? There’s so, so many, but my point is. It may not work right away. You have to navigate, you have

Hanh: 00:11:27
to go through a learning curve. You’re so right. It’s humbling to go through a learning curve when you’ve been doing pretty well. Who needs it? You see?

Henry: 00:11:37
That’s right.

Hanh: 00:11:37
So lifelong learning attitude in, I just think it’s so crucial in this advancements of technology.

Henry: 00:11:44
Yeah. So two things you bring up there. I think it’s interesting as adults. We’re taught, hey, high school, college, if you do a little post grad work, that’s great. And then go work and come to my retirement s’more. Like that’s what we’re led to, right? Well, that’s not going to work anymore.

Henry: 00:12:04
And the second thing that swirled to my mind, you bring up is there was a point when this right here was the ultimate disrupt, a pen that you did not have to dip into a jar of ink with a feather on it. Obviously, that’s patently absurd now, but there was a day when that task was removed. So Benjamin Franklin, as he’s keeping

Henry: 00:12:24
his pen back into his ink reserve, what a, what a disrupt, right? Whether it’s the accounting world with the calculating or think about what the computer has spawned. All those things we look back and go, of course, we use those. Um, there’s a reason that folks don’t send snail mail as opposed to email because it’s a lot easier and it’s ubiquitous.

Henry: 00:12:47
Well, you and I are telling folks, this is that times a hundred. Um, so.

Hanh: 00:12:54
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you’ve highlighted AI’s impact in real estate at the NAI Global Conference 2003, this year’s conference. So can you name other sectors where AI is making significant difference?

Henry: 00:13:11
Yeah, the better question would be, can I name a sector where it isn’t making? Yeah. Um, so let’s level up your home because I think where I get lost is we obviously I’m passionate about this. We could talk about this for days, but a lot of folks are at like one, it turns up, you know, they could spell lines and she won’t tell.

Henry: 00:13:29
So let’s speak to them for a moment. If you take your 168 hours a week, we all have the same number of hours in them. Whether it’s Hanh Brown, Henry Mays, or Elon Musk. So how we spend them is important. If you break that 168 into tasks that help you accomplish a goal at your job, and then you start to say, which of these tasks are a bit laborious or could be set

Henry: 00:13:56
up, that’s a great way to begin to think how automation and artificial intelligence might be able to step in and help you. And I mentioned a moment ago, nobody writes a letter Licks the envelope, puts a stamp on it, walks to the mailbox and comes back to get an answer. You send an email in five seconds and you probably will get a reply shortly. That’s an example of a task

Henry: 00:14:17
that once took a long time and was truncated with technology. So I think the way we look at your question is to say, all right, industry, let’s say your industry that you chase, the longterm peer industry, senior living, where are there examples of tasks that are, that are time intensive that can be maybe shrunk by automation or artificial intelligence.

Henry: 00:14:41
And when you do it that way, you work finish line first, the business owner, Hey, what would great look like? If you’re a salesperson, what if I could pull out a lot of the research you have to do or whole reach outs? A lot of, a lot of salespeople light up and say, that would be wonderful. And we say, well, that’s possible right now.

Henry: 00:15:00
And so the answer to your question is, uh, we need a lot more time to walk through that, but the better question is which industries aren’t being impacted because everyone has solvability of the task being shrunk down such that they can get in what we call their hot zone, whether it’s, Hey, I really. And in my flow, I’m in front of people. Great, let’s get you in

Henry: 00:15:22
front of people a lot more. And I think when you start to think about it that way, you think of this as the greatestness. Hopefully it’s that share that sits next to all of us where you’ll never ever give it away because it does so much for you. Um, you’ll say back to the day when you didn’t have it and you’ll rue that. So that’s the way you

Henry: 00:15:42
look at that question.

Hanh: 00:15:45
Very true. Very true. And you know, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. I want to just comment the fact that. It’s about personalization and there’s no better tool than AI to offer personalization. Whether let’s say sales and marketing, right?

Hanh: 00:16:00
Personalized to the individual’s unique interests, likes, and needs. Very readily available nowadays. And then customer service, golly, right? Every business will have a set of FAQs for instance. So you can have your prospective clients or current clients. Speak to those FAQs, whether it’s externally on your website or internally,

Hanh: 00:16:26
if they’re already a customer. So those are just very few. And then not to mention, once your time is freed up, you can get into the heart of the business, truly what you enjoy and not the mundane administrative type of work. I mean, even for this preparation, I try to prepare, but there are certain things that I feel like. I’m going to be doing a lot of

Hanh: 00:16:49
research on my guests, which I do, you know, I research their work and in previous speaking events they were in. So, so again, I’m a believer of streamlining work processes so that I can look forward to having, enjoying this conversation.

Henry: 00:17:12
Yeah. I mean, look, if we look back to the, uh, a lot of historical precedents, cause it helps people get their heads around it. In no world would you ever take a tractor away from a farmer because the mule or the horse that he used to have to use was literally back breaking work that took X number of more human beings and slowed it down.

Henry: 00:17:35
And so now Jadir has a. Autonomous tractor that the farmer drives from his lazy boy in his home if he chooses to. And so if you think of it that way, again, it’s, it’s just, we’re reading the things as humans that we really don’t want to do. Um, but this is, I think this technology is so much more powerful than a tractor or a pen or a typewriter or the computer.

Henry: 00:18:05
Um, so yeah, it’s, but, but people have to get around the corner to say, Hey, this is your friend. This is not your friend. Exactly. We’re going to come to that realization. You will be at the front of the wall.

Hanh: 00:18:19
Yeah. No, I, you, you hit it right on the dad. It’s your companion. It’s your co pilot, right? It’s your teammates, so to speak. It’s not just a technology in my opinion. I mean, it’s a little bit odd, but I feel in some ways it’s becoming my digital twin. It knows my, it knows my problems.

Hanh: 00:18:38
It’s becoming very personalized. And that’s okay. It saved me a lot of time. So I think that once you wrap your, your thinking that I’m going to create something that’s going to add value to my day to day and also my workflow for, for my, you know, professional and your clients. So you know, proceed with caution, but at

Hanh: 00:18:59
the same time embrace, seize the moment. And innovate, right? There’s no time to sit back.

Henry: 00:19:09
Yeah. Because Hanh, you mentioned, so it’s so interesting. You just said that I use this a lot. The movie Iron Man with, um, Robert Downey Jr. They had Jarvis in that movie, which was futuristic. Jarvis is his avatar. His, his.

Henry: 00:19:23
And a personal assistant now up again, its Hollywood. So we know about Hollywood, but he trusted Jarvis because it’s him. Jarvis is smarter than he is, and he knows that. Jarvis also does things like order the 2 percent milk and. Um, does all the mundane things that Tony Stark used to have to do.

Henry: 00:19:45
So it’s funny that you said that, and I can hear it at your voice to say you’re beginning to really trust. And then a lot of your guests that are watching this tonight might say, okay, what’s an example? Well, if you have Gmail and you know it, so you go to write an email, that predictive text, that’s, that’s the very beginnings of a relationship with Hanh.

Henry: 00:20:04
So learn her voice, how she types, how she thinks. And most of the time when I probably say it’s probably correct and it saves you time. So the trust level is building. So he or she, uh, executives of business that can step into this idea. It’s a lot of blue ocean out there because it just makes

Henry: 00:20:24
life a lot better for everyone.

Hanh: 00:20:27
Yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s relationship building. And I always say, you know, start small, keep an open mind. When I say start small, what I’m saying is learn the language, learn the prom. And by the way, the best language to learn right now is English, right? It’s not Python. It’s English.

Hanh: 00:20:47
You know how I speak English? You’re you’re, you got the edge and then learn how to prompt and that takes time. And the end of the day, you want the AI to be you. I know it sounds a little, you know, but that’s really, it’s your companion that represents your values, your, your, your brand, your language, and how you would Communicate to others.

Hanh: 00:21:13
And I understand the fears are legitimate and I always keep it simple. You know, if your directives or proms leads to an output and you have to think in terms of, does the output impose on, let’s say your children or your family? If, if the answer is like, if, if it would create harm, then, then, you know, you just don’t do it, but if it’s as value to your loved ones, I say, go for it.

Hanh: 00:21:38
Right? It sounds a little too simple, oversimplified, but that’s how I measure privacy and ethics. How does that influence your loved ones?

Henry: 00:21:49
Yeah, I think it’s an interesting way to look at it. Look, there are a lot of issues we need to figure out together as a society. On what are the rules? Where are the barriers? What are the guardrails? Um, and so I’m not naive to that. I will say again, I think what I see happening is a lot of people put

Henry: 00:22:09
that up as a reason to not engage. I think it’s exactly the opposite. I think we need to be educated and informed so that you have a seat at that table to help make those decisions. Um, it’s a little bit akin to a person that complains about I pollute it with system inevitable votes. Yeah. You walk, you don’t, you don’t really

Henry: 00:22:27
have a voice there, so lots of work out, but be a part of that solution. And, um, I think the way to do that is, is to get as much education as you can.

Hanh: 00:22:38
Yeah. Yeah. And you know what, like you say, be a part of shaping it as opposed to one day saying, well, it just happened to me or better yet, you know, my business is going down because I didn’t keep up. So, all right. So we’re going to shift gear a little bit. Let’s talk about education and, uh,

Hanh: 00:22:53
specifically your teaching role at LSU. So can you elaborate, tell us what you’re doing there?

Henry: 00:23:02
Yeah. So it’s a pretty good story. So, um, we do a lot of education on what AI is for CEOs and kind of C level executives, people who aren’t technically savvy, quote unquote, um, but need to know what this is. And so I’d met the provost and all the, she, Dr. Roy Haggerty at one of these

Henry: 00:23:21
events in late June of this year. And he was very engaged and, um, had a lot of questions. He, he knew, he knew a lot about the technology. We asked him to meet with me after, and I, you know, took him on because that’s where I went to school and live in the town that, you know, I always share with Baton Rouge.

Henry: 00:23:39
So I have a, an affinity for the university. And, um, from that time until really late July, him and I kind of developed and began rolling kind of a state of the art course that would teach artificial intelligence to a dozen and their top computer science kids on the campus, and then for their top business students. The twist was, and this is why I

Henry: 00:24:04
agreed to do it, was those kids were put into teams of four. And each team had a real world task, a real world challenge that they’re trying to solve. So right away you’ve got private meets public, um, intersection of opportunity, which I love. And they’re, so the class is designed to teach these students how to build

Henry: 00:24:27
a private large language model. Um, which is technical, uh, and then it’s the business students are working with the sponsors at the four, um, the, the, the four project, you know, businesses to work on what are the challenges and when the outcomes and how do we, how do we intersect with you to get this data and all those different things. So we’re, we’re literally, I have class

Henry: 00:24:46
site, uh, as we speak and, uh, it’s cool. Great. It looks like all four of these projects will, will be deliberate on time, and this is not a pat on the head. textbook undergraduate project. These are projects that will move markets. I’ll give you an example of one of them. So here, here in the South, agriculture is a big part of our economy and

Henry: 00:25:11
farmers and wheats are a problem. And so different weeds call for different pesticides at different doses, and these things change as soil yield changes. So there’s literally a large book on that says which, which pesticides to use at which dose way. The problem is, that needs to be on a device like this in the field and it needs to happen instantaneous.

Henry: 00:25:36
Well, that’s what this group, one of the four groups is doing. And so, talk about task shrinkage. They’ll go from today, a farmer placing a call or sending an email or a bit of a laborious task to get the question answered, two seconds on his or her phone, um, by, by virtue of a multimodal discipline. And so, that’s an amazing.

Henry: 00:26:01
Um, insight and an amazing kind of improvement in that task management for a farmer and that’ll be ready in probably three weeks. So, um, the real, this is a great example of the ripple of AI. Why? A, most students are getting introduced to those executives in the agricultural world very quickly.

Henry: 00:26:22
And I dare say they’re probably going to want to follow up with them once the project’s done. So we’re creating opportunity for our students locally. B, it ends what I call rise to new job types. So a data cleanser, for example, there was a period where the students learned what that digitization of that book and the

Henry: 00:26:40
OCR and the NLP, it’s a little technical, but how all that information was sent into the large language while we were building. That’s a data cleanse, uh, responsibility that a lot of young people will have opportunities to separate it. Because. A lot of the data we have in corporate America today is unstructured and we call it dirt.

Henry: 00:27:03
Meaning, if you want to play in this deep space, you’ve got to get your data, right? Okay, well, that’s, that’s going to give rise to a bunch of new jobs where all they do is date. Uh, and then number three, I think for, for LSU itself, which is the state, the flagship of our state. So they have an opportunity to now take this learning to the businesses and

Henry: 00:27:24
the alumnus that run those businesses. So they could give rise to a new vertical revenue. So it’s really fun to see the new ripples come out of this. And I can tell you in the spring semester, it’s going to be four or five X. So we’ve already got plans to dramatically increase it, and that’s going to be fun to be a part of too.

Hanh: 00:27:46
Wow, it’s great. It’s great what you’re doing, giving back to the younger generation, and then building that gap to corporates, positioning them. You know, potential job opportunities and also like getting them on top of latest technology. So that’s awesome. So now,

Henry: 00:28:03
Well, Hanh, I hate to cut you off, but listen, there’s, you’ll love this. So last Tuesday it was right after the Dem day and one of the team looked a little morose. So I said, guys, what’s, what’s going on? And he said, a lot of the work we just did. Yeah. And I said, okay, well, let’s

Henry: 00:28:20
talk about that because what an awesome way to learn, right? So in other words, I would not have given back with what they learned up here to get to this point. And yes, there was a technological advancement that could speed it up, but that’s the whole point. They got going on this in late August. So they now saw, wow, okay,

Henry: 00:28:40
this stuff is moving quickly. So it was a real world example of. Um, Hey, this is the way the market’s going. So choose to be a permit or, or feel sorry for yourself. But the choice is pretty clear. So I’m sorry to cut you off. That happened last week.

Hanh: 00:29:00
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s true with the dev event day. I mean, that’s you, you either embrace a lot of those innovations, but I’m sure there are many that are in sorrow, right? And, but regardless, I think a lot of the learnings like you described have positioned them to where they are,

Hanh: 00:29:19
that now it’s going to be replaced by the GPT 4 Turbo, for instance. But still there’s a lot of learnings in that process. So I guess I’m not saying it’s, it’s not a complete loss and there’s more to come from the people that perhaps created those plugins and those. One off type of services. So I think regardless, there’s a

Hanh: 00:29:42
lot of learnings along the way. So as you communicate with the students, how do you go about advocating for a balanced approach that ensures. Innovation without compromising human values?

Henry: 00:29:57
That’s a good question. You know, I think, you know, young people today, I think, want opportunity. And they’re different, their generation, Harvard Business Review data says that that generation would rather have a root canal than step into a bank. Um, a lot of people think that’s funny. I’m more interested in why, what’s the thinking that makes

Henry: 00:30:17
them pull that lever, right? And so I think when I try to stress to them is your youth should be a plus, meaning all these businesses that we work with on a day to day basis, it disrupt, right? They’re trying to be dragged into innovating themselves, which can be difficult, but they’re going to need some help.

Henry: 00:30:39
So they’re going to look to the younger generation to give that help. So if you’re young and you’re not equipped with the latest and greatest head, as, as Desi Arnaz would say, you’ve got some splitting to do Lucy, uh, it’s just, why would you give away that competitive advantage decision on, especially when the carousel is only getting fast. So I think the learning to them

Henry: 00:31:03
on is a combination of guys, here’s the market opportunity. Um, and then here’s what you need to do to be equipped to, to not only step into it, but potentially help lead the way, uh, in this, because you and I both well know on none of us that are in AI could tell you what six months from now looks like none of us and anyone that says they do are making it up and

Henry: 00:31:29
shouldn’t be able to be, we can take the best guesses, but nobody has a full clear roadmap on where this is going. And so that back to our statement a minute ago. If that’s the case, I want to sit at the table. I want to be able to help influence. I’m certainly watching, um, because I want to decide my future.

Henry: 00:31:49
I don’t want it decided for me.

Hanh: 00:31:53
I really think the key skills to have nowadays. Is, uh, adaptability and lifelong learning again, you know, we can just hit that reset button because whatever we thought we knew in terms of technology and, and, and digital transformation, it’s exponentially potential growth now. So, so let’s do a little bit deeper dive on the ethical dilemmas.

Hanh: 00:32:19
So what have you seen or what do you think that’s most pressing ethical dilemmas in AI today? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for watching. Bye for now. And what do you think? How should we address it?

Henry: 00:32:28
Yeah, so, I have a lot of thoughts. One is, I think anytime you have a new technology like this, it’s, I mean, to be frank, it’s an easy target. For what you just said, right? Like, um, because I think a lot of people don’t understand what this is. Now I’m not naive. So I do know that, um, are there bad actors who will use this

Henry: 00:32:53
technology for, for bad things? The answer is full. Yes. Eve took the first bite of the apple and it was all downhill for, you know, for mankind since then. Um, people are going to do bad things, but that’s like saying, you know, the automobile will someone choose to drive an automobile into a crowd?

Henry: 00:33:08
Yes, we’ve seen that. Um, I think where the struggle lies is it’s gotten here so quickly and it’s so powerful that our brains go to default, well, you know, was Arnold Schwarzenegger right? Will the robots get to a point where they decide that humans are necessary? I think that’s much more Hollywood than not, but I do think we need a

Henry: 00:33:34
place and a stage to ask that question without judgment, without fear. And as humans say, let’s figure this out because we can really use this. We could step into this to really make this world a better place, not to sound cliche, or we can let it run by itself and. We kind of know how that’s going to work out.

Henry: 00:33:57
So I think it’s a blend of, you have to be educated to know what this is. And then I think hard questions have to be asked. I’ll give you an example. This summer, there was a letter signed by tech executives that the U. S. should slow down for six months. I think that’s Pat Muser.

Henry: 00:34:13
And I think, frankly, we saw a lot of motivation on those folks who are already in the market. I think that’s a, I think that’s a, I think that’s largely a business advantage move. And so to think that the rest of the world, China, India, a lot of Europe, um, are, it’s going to slow down because the United States is, is a Jew.

Henry: 00:34:34
And it’s, it’s patently absurd. So I think that again, in my perfect world, we build places where we can have these discussions and I think a consensus can be drawn from all viewpoints. From the most skeptical to the most positive, everyone in between, everyone who wants to have a voice. Um, what does that look like? It could come in a lot

Henry: 00:34:57
of shades and colors. I don’t know. But, um, I do know that the default headline, which is clickbait, I don’t think that’s very instructive. Um, you know, I think of Khan Academy, for example, and Sal Khan who founded that really also disrupted our education. When they came out with Khan Rigo last month, Hanh, uh, you know, Sal

Henry: 00:35:18
Khan said in less than 10 years, every student on the face of the earth is going to have an assist on that Khan. And so that will be, I would think that’s a 10 years. But then I thought, what if we allow kind of a, one of these ethical roadblocks to limit that, that, that improvement and that, that speed to market. Shame on us if we.

Henry: 00:35:39
Kind of don’t give every student in the world that opportunity to use it as growth. I think that could happen. So, lots of, lots of questions to be answered. I think the right people need to be at the table. Um, in a methodical sense. And so, that, that is a concern.

Henry: 00:35:58
So, my concern is more the humans making these decisions than the technology itself.

Hanh: 00:36:05
Mm hmm. So true. And, and to add to that, I know that high school levels, you know, near me, my kids are older, 26, 23, 21, but I’m still close in contact with some of the, the staffing there. It’s still frowned upon. It’s considered to be cheating, even almost a year later.

Hanh: 00:36:24
It’s unfortunate, you know, somehow we have to package an AI integration into school, whether it could be elementary, middle and high school, but it’s very necessary. And that packaging consists of the superintendent, the staff, the students and the parents. So we have to innovate and keep pressing on and not see it as

Hanh: 00:36:48
cheating, frowned upon and so forth.

Henry: 00:36:51
So Hanh, I’ll break it back to a historical precedent real quick on what you just said. Early 2000s, if you remember, Napster showed up, and all of a sudden, I remember you could rip music and you could do it for free. And what, what, what, what is your memory in honor of the way that the big bands at that time reacted?

Henry: 00:37:11
Do you remember?

Hanh: 00:37:12
Wait, I’m so sorry. You got to speak. You, ask me the question again.

Henry: 00:37:16
Yeah. So, so the, the, the kind of the X of the time thought that in the Napster technology. Yeah. Would put them by business. And so there was a very negative reaction. Yeah. To a Napster type of technology. Well, fast forward to today.

Henry: 00:37:30
Yeah. Um, touring, right? So the Taylor Swift, and that’s, that’s a different level, but the, the receipts from bands on tour have never been higher than they are today. Why do I bring this up? Because the, the, um, argument can be made that by sharing your music, in some cases, it resets.

Henry: 00:37:53
You as the band get multiple more opportunities to make revenue. And so just because it’s not stamped out on a CD that I’ve got to go to Tower Records to buy, doesn’t mean you still can’t make revenue. In fact, that black t shirt that you tried 50 for, but now is much more. Of a revenue driver at your concert than it was when Napster came out.

Henry: 00:38:15
So in answer to your question about school districts struggling with how to use or aren’t to use at all ai, I think we can look to where we’ve been in the past. To give us a run back on how to deal with this because again, the receipts of concerts have never been higher than they are today. So it was attitude, not subtract.

Hanh: 00:38:37
Thank you for, you know, reiterating that. Think about it nowadays. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t have Apple music or Google music. It’s so affordable and it’s available to the mass worldwide. So, you know,

Henry: 00:38:51
Well, Hanh, idea that you and I had to buy a whole CD in 1998 today, you want to buy one song, you can buy one song. It just, again, these are advancements. And look at the end of the day, the customer will decide about the customers, like what you just said. And so the market is shifted. And so you can either stick your head in the sand on what gets better or not, or.

Henry: 00:39:16
You can judge what’s going on with no motion and figure out how it works for you and your business.

Hanh: 00:39:21
Mm hmm. Very true. So let’s say, um, with a proliferation of AI tools and platforms, can you give some advice to businesses who are on the fence about incorporating AI into their operations? What’s your take?

Henry: 00:39:37
Yeah. Okay. So if you’re on the fence, I would say do, do a, do a shallow dive on. What it is, where it comes from, um, get educated on it. We have, we have a product at my company heart called Digital. It’s setting up a Digital Assets Team. We call it a DAT, a D A T.

Henry: 00:39:59
And then we have a DAT University for short. Because we think we’re building what we think college should have been. So, um, what’s the reason for a Digital Assets Team? Well, a couple of things. One, I said a minute ago, look, these, these technological advancements are coming much faster.

Henry: 00:40:18
So the blockchain will be here before you know it, trust me. Um, things like drone delivery of your Amazon order, that’s coming. Self driving cars, robot in long term care facilities, um, augmented virtual reality. We see this steer in Las Vegas. This stuff is coming and it’s coming quick. So if that’s the case, you

Henry: 00:40:36
have two choices as a business. Choice A is to do the work up front, construct your digital assets to a small group that has a tech focus, resource it, and they keep you two steps ahead. Okay? Choice two is you are beholden to an expensive consultant that you may or may not get the right one and it’s going to cost you.

Henry: 00:41:01
I’ll go with choice one. Now, if you’re not, you can go with choice one. Everybody that we talk to at IAHON says they have a tough time hiring young people. And when they do IRM, they have a tough time keeping it. I think, we think it disrupts reading. If you spin up a digital assets team

Henry: 00:41:14
the right way, I would say to young Hunt Brown, Hunt, not only are we going to give you this job offer, I need you to voice in your brain on our digital assets team day one. Because I want to know what your generation thinks. You’re on my next sleeve of customer, so why wouldn’t I tap into your brain power? To help feed our ideas on how to reach

Henry: 00:41:34
the next generation of our customer. We think that’s a very attractive way to get into the marketplace as a young person and when you keep a prouder though Well, we think that um a shot in the arms of the business like a digital assets team is really, uh, additive across many, many layers. And so, I think that’s a great way. And by the way, Hunt, when we do that,

Henry: 00:41:59
um, we teach what’s coming up with, with, it’s called a house thesis. It’s, it’s a one page, and it’s, this is artificial intelligence, here’s where it came from, here’s how it was built, here’s what it is simplistically, here’s our industries using it, and then here’s what we’re dealing with. Which may include… Then saying we’re going to watch and

Henry: 00:42:19
we’re going to wait and that’s fine. I’d rather them say that to the market than say, we don’t really have it. We’re afraid of, or we haven’t done the work, right? Because when a company gets in the habit of exercising that muscle on, when augmented reality comes, when robotics comes, when drones are here. They’ll have that memory, muscle

Henry: 00:42:41
memory of, okay, we know how to adjust to new technology. We’ll go get resources. We’ll not be experts. Oh, we’ll love a four paragraphs. I just think it’s a, it’s such a positive to your point, a mindset shift to communicate to their employees, to their vendors, to their customers, to their future customers.

Henry: 00:43:03
And that can be, Hey, we know what it is and we’re going to wait. That’s what we had. But the alternative to say. We don’t really have any idea, and we’re going to be more of the next blockbusters than, than Hex and Netflix. I don’t think that’s very attractive.

Hanh: 00:43:18
And you know what? I’m thinking in terms of consumers, they’re going to expect that, okay? They’re going to expect that readily customer service to help them answer questions, to dig in deeper and to provide them something that is prompt. Okay? So in other words, users come to your business, whether online, your

Hanh: 00:43:37
website, social media and so forth. They’re not going to be surfing around taking too long to get their questions answered. They expect like I ask something, there should be, you should already have a library, large language model of your business, of your brand, of your FAQs, you know, and everything else you want to include in there.

Hanh: 00:43:54
But here’s the thing. I come to your business, I ask a question, I want an answer. I’m not going to be surfing, you know, 10 different pages, read a whole bunch of words. We’re very short, you know, but rightfully so, because that’s the world that we’re in. Let’s say, as a business, you

Hanh: 00:44:08
don’t want to adapt, but your customers will expect that. So, I would be, be very mindful. Now, what common pitfalls do you recommend businesses to avoid, you know, when they start incorporating AI to their operations?

Henry: 00:44:26
I think that what I’ve seen that’s most injurious, Hanh, is thinking like they traditionally have. Mmm. Me neither. Decades upon decades, right, where their market has been somewhat complacent. Um, I go back to the example of the board of directors from Hilton and Marriott, thinking these aren’t stupid people.

Henry: 00:44:46
These are people with decades of not only experience, but. Well paid, successful runs in these businesses, right? The trap is what got you is not going to keep you. And so you take your eye off what the customer wants. You know, Henry Ford said if he asked his customers what they wanted, they would say

Henry: 00:45:06
fast from horses and he knew different. So I think the biggest pitfall is to just stay the way that you’ve been thinking traditionally about your business. Because we’re moving too quickly to have that work. And there’s too many examples, including got hung with this technology. The barbarians at all of our gates, the people that are coming to disrupt

Henry: 00:45:30
our businesses, do not look like us. They don’t have our experience. They purposely have not had a 20 year career in industry X. They’re looking at it very, very different. What are the customer frustrations? How can I speed it up? And maybe how can I deliver it more efficiently and cheaper?

Henry: 00:45:49
Those are things that they’re taking a direct look in at to say I can do those three things. I’ve got a really good chance of having a pretty prosperous business that customers will line up for. You know, take a look at what Amazon has done to put these on our doorstep. No wonder the retail outlets in America are closing their doors.

Henry: 00:46:10
Because Amazon figured out a better way. And so, I’d say the biggest thing is looking in the mirror and saying, What got me here is not going to keep me here. And I’ve got to push myself to be flexible enough to make that change. And that includes, by the way, all the changes they make are not literate. And that’s okay. We say at Disrupt Ready, skin your knee.

Henry: 00:46:32
Put aloe and a band aid on it and move on. Do something different. But if you don’t skin your knee, you’re not going to have that alert. And it’s not all, then shouldn’t be, that’s not the way it works. So again, today you got to get in the game, uh, but I think it’s traditional thinking that is the most, uh, it’s the biggest pitfall.

Hanh: 00:46:51
Very true. That goes back to adaptability and lifelong learning, right? Cause We’re all going to go through a learning curve, doesn’t matter where we are, what phase we are in our business and types of business and what we think we know of technology, we’re all going through a learning curve. So all right, now back about chatbots

Hanh: 00:47:09
because the role of AI in customer service, particularly in chatbots is gaining a lot of traction. So how do you see that evolving? And what do you think businesses should know or should be aware of?

Henry: 00:47:26
It’s a great question. So first I’m going to point the finger at the tech industry. We have got to do a much better job of informing the public that these ain’t your grandfather’s chatbots because I think what people think about a chatbot today, Hanh, it’s, it’s clunky. It doesn’t serve them the way they want. And it’s, it’s a waste of time.

Henry: 00:47:45
And that is fair. I think the large majority today are still kind of in that camp. The chatbots that we built at Disrupt Ready are quite the opposite. They are trained on our, our customer’s data set. Meaning it’s two point a minute ago. It’s question answer quickly, no human in between.

Henry: 00:48:05
I want it and I want it now. So he can deliver that where the customer says, wow, that was much better. Let me give you an example. Can you imagine having a banking product today on that did not have the ability? to have mobile. Of course not, because Hans is not going to leave her office, get in her car, drive to the bank, sign a check, put it in the

Henry: 00:48:25
vacuum, but it just takes too much time. Those days are gone. Right. When you know this is available. So you will never do that. So chatbots can be built and constructed on a private company’s data set. And we’ve done this and you just save your customers so much more time, but the tech folks have to do a better job educating

Henry: 00:48:47
the public to saying, get us another shot. Try this because the chatbots have so far, most of them have been pretty clunky. Now, here’s where the fun starts. Because it’s a private or a closed source, large language model, Hanh. It could begin to learn the question, questions Hanh asks and be proactive and play offensive as opposed to defensive. Right.

Henry: 00:49:13
Right. That’s when I think businesses will have a whole new way that they think about servicing their customer because the data will rule the day. The data will tell us, you know, and so. If the company’s flex will up, but think about this differently. You can talk about things like customer churn, potential new customers in a

Henry: 00:49:31
totally different light by virtue of the industry, a chatbot is going to be able to create, and so things like even like mobile, um, we’re pushing the bounds of what mobile is going to look like. There’s been no disruptive add to these things in. 15 years. And so all this is changing.

Hanh: 00:49:52
I think in terms of chatbots, well, my personal take is, first of all, I don’t like the word bot because it has a negative connotation to it. I use it in terms of a concierge because that’s what it is. It’s a concierge. It helps answer questions, guide you along the journey to see if it’s a fit of what you’re looking for to the business online.

Hanh: 00:50:11
Okay. So that’s kind of the front end, but then the back end for your current customers or your employees. There’s a plethora of things that you can help boost efficiency for it, whether it’s a training, FAQs, or insurance, something that’s pretty standard all the time. And you don’t want to have a dedicated person to answer those questions.

Hanh: 00:50:35
Why not create a large language model for yourself? And when I say this, I, I’m not an advocate, I’m actually not in suggesting for people to subscribe to a third party generic chatbot. I’m saying create your own because here’s the thing, you are unique in your brand, in your own FAQs and your clientele. So don’t subscribe to a generic one, okay?

Hanh: 00:50:59
Create your own, customize it. And I agree with what you said earlier because it’s very proactive. The user can ask one questions, but you can also train your assistant to suggest what the potential next three, four or five questions that it might ask. Right? So now you’re opening up, wow, a list of questions that perhaps the user

Hanh: 00:51:24
didn’t think of, but later it’s like, wow, you’re really educating me. You’re proactive. You’re, you’re enhancing my knowledge. About your business, I think the key is you want your prospect to be empowered and you were key to their empowerment because if not, they’ll go elsewhere to get their questions answered.

Henry: 00:51:45
You could not be more correct. And I think, you know how I think this too, I think a business today can try things on behalf of the customer in media. They’re trying to make your experience better. Let’s say it fails. I’m not a consumer of that business and they tell me, hey, look, this is what we’re trying.

Henry: 00:52:04
Trying to make this better for you. Here’s where it didn’t work out. I would tip my hat to them and say, at least you try and I’ll stick with you. As opposed to, you know, there’s so many examples of. We know that, um, the way they’re doing business today just, it frustrates us, and so we will leave. And so I think you could

Henry: 00:52:27
actually play offense with your customer, even when you fail. As long as you communicate that in the right way, saying, we’re trying to bend over backwards on your behalf. There may be some bumps and bruises, but stick with us. As opposed to saying, this is the way you did it in 1995. This is the one that I continue to do it.

Henry: 00:52:46
I don’t think that’s a winning strategy.

Hanh: 00:52:47
Yeah. Well, that’s great. You know what? With this type of conversations, we could go on for hours, but we’re at the tail end. So is there anything else that you would like to add before I close up?

Henry: 00:52:58
I would just say the fear is much less than the opportunity here. And this is not, guys, this is not the headlight of a month. This is not. Um, a pass and fancy of the flavor of the month. This is your chance to, to really change things, um, with what we’ve seen coming and what we’re kind of a part of.

Henry: 00:53:22
So again, yet in the game today, um, just a little bit of learning. And I think the snowball begins to roll down the hill and you will become very, very powerful.

Hanh: 00:53:31
Well, thank you so much for the listeners or the ones watching and. Thanks to you, Henry. So we, we covered how AI is revolutionizing industries, business, healthcare, and many more. And in Henry’s journey, spanning from his career and then teaching at LSU, it really highlighted the AI’s huge impact. And we hope that you found our exchange

Hanh: 00:53:55
thoughts and very evoking, um, and that perhaps you talk among yourself. And if you’re thinking AI in your business, And concerning about his ethical side, you know, reach out where we would love to have an exchange of thoughts and, uh, we can learn from one another. Okay. So, and, and it’s exciting to know that we can be a part of each other’s

Hanh: 00:54:19
shaping the future where innovation and humanity go hand in hand. So a big thanks to Henry for his valuable insights and thank you for our listeners and viewers to keep exploring AIs in your potential. The potential in your field. And join us next time on Boomer Living Broadcast on how tech and aging intersect. So until then, stay

Hanh: 00:54:45
innovative and connected. And as a reminder, our next live topic will be “Data Alchemist, Transforming Numbers into Insights.” So stay tuned and thank you for being here. Take care.

Henry: 00:55:00
Take care.

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Innovating Responsibly in the Age of AI

In this podcast episode, Hanh Brown takes listeners on a journey through the history and evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI). From its beginnings in…


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