windmills on a curved road, Autonomous Enterprise

What triggered AI to take off at such scale, all of a sudden? What are the latest trends in AI? What will the future of work look like? What impact did COVID have?

These are just a sample of the thought-provoking questions on responsible AI and the future of work that came up during Accenture’s ‘UKI Alumni Network Data & AI Webcast’ with 108 alumni on July 8. These questions inspired me to convert the exchange into a blog because we all need to embrace these changes and manage the potential risks as we build ‘windmills.’ Just like good citizens in a democracy need to protect their democracy or they end up bearing the consequences, we all need to upskill ourselves so we can understand and embrace technology to better manage its risks.

As most of us — at least those on channels such as LinkedIn and Medium — are aware, the advances in cloud technology, accumulation of massive amounts of data in our organizations and the recent innovation in AI/ML have ignited an infusion of AI everywhere — every industry and function. Similar to how our five senses empower our brains and bodies, AI/ML and robotics have become more competent with their new “senses” — vision, speech recognition, reading and comprehension, dialogue, context awareness, sensor insight and, of course, machine teaching.

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Didem Un AtesAbout Didem Un Ates

Following my Electrical Engineering and Management studies at the University of Pennsylvania, I started my career with management consulting at Capgemini and then Motorola. After graduating from Columbia Business School (CBS) in 2005, I continued my career at Greenwich Consulting (now part of EY), British Telecom, and Microsoft in London, UK. In my current role, I lead Accenture’s Data & AI business for our Microsoft Business Group in Europe.

As a passionate Diversity & Inclusion and STEM champion, I led a global team of volunteers to host ‘Girls and Women in AI’ hackathons and boot camps to improve gender diversity in AI/ML, starting at Microsoft and now expanding to Accenture. These efforts brought me several awards, including TechWomen100 Champion, Future Leaders Award, Diversity Role Model, and Top 50 Most Influential Turks in the UK.

I am a Non-Executive Director on the Board of ‘Creative Education Trust,’ which oversees 17 high-schools and 16,500 students in underprivileged regions in the UK.


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