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  • Elsie Russell

FinTech Female Fridays: Benita Mordi, Artificial Intelligence and Edge Strategist, DellTechnologies

Tell us about your current role as an Artificial Intelligence and Edge Strategist at Dell Technologies.

What is your main focus in this role?

In my role, I help Dell’s customers navigate where and how they deploy AI/Edge technology to address

pressing business objectives and improve overall operations. You’ll notice I say Edge instead of what

most of industry calls IoT or Internet of Things. At Dell, we see IoT as a use case at the Edge which I’ll

define in my next question.

Can you explain AI and the Edge domain?

In AI, machines are trained to think and process information the way humans do, and act on what’s been processed. This implementation comes in the form of algorithms and mathematical formulas that use available data to make decisions, or provide humans with information so that we can make decisions or take actions ourselves.

The Edge is wherever the physical world and the digital world intersect, where data is generated, collected, and processed to create new value. Think about where intelligent devices process data that they collect about physical environments. The analysis carried out can be translated into real time action and response, used to inform real-time decision making, or shared with other intelligent devices. Devices don't have to be 'similar’ as sharing with disparate device types can yield the most interesting results.

Where AI meets the Edge, called Artificial Intelligence at the Edge, is where physical things otherwise created to fulfill some other primary function (like a refrigerator) can gather, process and analyze data and share relevant pieces of information with other things, or over the internet.

What are some interesting Edge use cases that you are monitoring and are excited about?

I’m very interested in the Smart Cities space, where AI and Edge technology can be deployed in communities to create ecosystems of intelligence that inform decision making, city planning, emergency response, safety and so much more. I’m also curious about how far Smart Home technology will go in creating new lifestyles as a service in the comfort of our homes. That’s definitely something I would subscribe to.

What are some current trends in AI that you’re excited about?

The application of AI in the manufacturing and supply chain space monitors the health of manufacturing assets, reduces product defects and manages waste in the manufacturing process. Predictions in demand and supply determine the right amount of products that need to be produced and how external factors will affect production in manufacturing. In retail, AI can be used to enhance customer experience, for inventory management and monitor customer behavior at checkout kiosks to prevent loss at checkout. Commercial real estate is seeing benefits of edge and AI in monitoring real estate assets, as well as driving tenant engagement with real time information sharing. AI and Edge computing can help build cities that improve governance and citizen experience, by creating integrated ecosystems of data across city services like emergency services, predictive policing, public safety, sanitation, water service, environmental and many others.

What would be your boldest prediction about Edge and 5G changing the way our society operates?

We already experience edge solutions everyday with our mobile phones, connected devices, automated vehicles, recommendation engines, biometric verification and more. What we’re

starting to see with emerging Edge use cases and 5G will be an evolution, the next phase of what we already experience today. As 5G and Edge become more proven in their operations, I’d predict that we’d have a shift in control, where we trust more technology to make critical decisions and act on behalf of humans. We’re still some time away from this, however.

What types of projects are you currently working on to push further advancements within AI and Edge?

These technologies have the potential to transform any business but deploying them

successfully is not a simple 3-step process. It involves delicate and well thought out balances between people, processes, and technology. So, a lot of the projects I’m working on, and where I spend most of my time, is in helping customers work better with themselves, their processes internally and how those can seamlessly and efficiently tie into making their AI and Edge projects successful.

At Dell, we use natural language processing to predict possible steps to resolution, leverage reinforcement learning to understand actions that would result in improved sales results and deploy augmented reality assistance to show our customers how to make platform changes through a mobile app. We’re really doing some exciting things!

Reach out to Benita on Linkedin.

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