Analysis, Education, Empowering AI, Executive conversations, Events, Interviews

Decision Making with AI – James Taylor

Leo Gretzinger / October 1, 2021
james-taylor-decision-making-with-ai

Intro

Never enough time to make all the right decisions? Ask Decision Management Solutions. Recently, Francesco Rulli, CEO of Querlo, talked with James Taylor, CEO of Decision Management Solutions and Professor at University of California – Irvine Extension. They had an interesting conversation about the power of artificial intelligence in decision making at large companies via data models; how decision making with AI is changing the business world.

Overview

Decision Management Solutions, as CEO James Taylor describes, is a consulting firm that helps companies adopt AI technologies to automate decision making. Gaining an intimate familiarity with the space over two decades, Taylor has explored education too through a similar lens. He played an integral role in developing a class offered through UCI Extension; the class helps students create possible solutions and also choose the correct approach to operationalize data analytics. The company helps automate decisions/processes to autonomously and intelligently make decisions. Taylor also values educating people about these topics – he runs classes and speaks at events constantly to teach those interested. The most important step, he says, is to specify a business problem. Then having articulated that with a data model, to deploy and attain value from that model.

Two Groups

To offer, context, Taylor outlines how the industry of artificial intelligence has largely split into two groups. The first is ‘interact’: via text, voice and image recognition software, this section allows users to interact with their computer more intelligently and gain access to more computing power. The second section involves decision making for business faculties – call center representatives, systems, mobile or web app – about claims, policies, underwriting, loans, marketing. Taylor outlines how now, large companies use BI tools and software analytics, simply throwing data up to those who ask. With AI/ML/Neural Network models, however, the algorithm needs to understand the business context its operating within. This involves relevant regulatory, policy, contractual, or even brand image constraints. These algorithms enforce policies and one knows that there is enforcement as there are rules in place to enforce.

There is the person-driven side of AI, where an expert in a given field embeds all that they know into the knowledge base of the AI. The AI then takes that knowledge and grows exponentially in ways a human could never understand. Additionally, though, there is the mathematical- and data-driven side of AI. This field is concerned with machine learning, using vast amounts of data to predict the risks involved in a decision and how to apply these risks to a top-down approach. Taylor states, however, how companies do gain insights “in one go”. It is a continuous improvement process that must be completely transparent in order for the algorithm to learn from previous mistakes and improve.

AI Journey

Rulli and Taylor relate on the AI Journey that they have both been navigating for many years. Taylor explains the challenging part of the field where executives see AI as a one-and-done tool. Executives definitively ask “What time investment is required to gain certain intelligence or insight?” But, in truth, AI is not a fixed or proportional tool to with any specific, constant growth rate. Artificial intelligence learns in a probabilistic way that is not predicted in a straightforward way. Rulli compares this same struggle he has had with company executives to dropping kids off at school all day and just letting them be while expecting a fixed result.

Conclusion

Taylor wraps up by painting one final picture of what Decision Management Solutions does. They do not go out and help tiny startups acquire data and then analyze that. Instead, they are hired as consultants for massive companies that have contracts, customers, histories, policies, legacy systems; these are all navigated when implementing state-of-the-art AI technology to boost company productivity. If an interested reader, or Querlo user would like to learn more about Decision Management Solutions or Decision Making with AI, Taylor can be reached at Linkedin, his email, or through his book Digital Decisioning: Using Decision Management to Deliver Business Impact from AI.