AI for Good blog

Generative AI’s Transformative Potential

Global Summit

by Celia Pizzuto

The AI for Good Global Summit 2024, held in Geneva, brought together leaders and innovators from various sectors to discuss the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI). Among the distinguished speakers was Costi Perricos, Global Office of Generative AI Lead at Deloitte. Perricos provided deep insights into how generative AI is transforming industries, enhancing societal outcomes, and the importance of trust in AI development.

Perricos began by highlighting the immense potential of generative AI to drive significant advancements in humanity.

“AI, particularly generative AI, has the potential to unlock huge advancements in humanity and to improve us as humans, but only if we can do that in a trustworthy way that manages the risks […] and is consistent across the world,” he stated.

Discussing the broad applications of generative AI, Perricos emphasized its pervasive influence in business and society, noting that the possibilities are nearly endless. He pointed to the numerous United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that can be enhanced by AI, illustrating the technology’s transformative power He explained that AI is clearly transforming any business related to knowledge work, noting that businesses face an existential challenge to integrate AI to improve life for workers, customers, and stakeholders.

Perricos also highlighted AI’s impact on addressing major global challenges. He cited examples such as climate change, where AI algorithms can predict weather patterns and catastrophes more accurately than existing models. In biology, he mentioned the revolutionary advancements in protein folding, which have significantly accelerated research processes, unlocking a billion hours of PhD time and reflecting the technology’s profound impact on scientific research.

The mental health sector is another area where AI is making significant strides. Perricos explained that numerous use cases demonstrate people facing the current mental health crisis are turning to AI for help, and it has proven to be highly effective, underscoring the technology’s potential to provide accessible mental health support

Perricos then discussed how generative AI is impacting Deloitte and the broader knowledge industry. He highlighted Deloitte’s dual focus on transforming client operations and internal processes using AI, pointing at the fact that the biggest barriers to transformation are not technological, but human and data-related. According to him, trust plays a critical role in this transformation.

“What we did very early on is that we didn’t ban the use of these tools, we put some guardrails in place as to what people should put into these open tools and what they shouldn’t, and then we developed their own platform” he said, noting that over 200,000 Deloitte employees, particularly younger generations, are now using these tools.

The emphasis on empowerment, training, and leadership is crucial. Perricos noted that by encouraging employees and setting an example, there is a significant increase in understanding and fluency around these tools, as well as a substantial boost in innovation.

When asked about the recent developments in AI that excite him the most, Perricos pointed to multimodality and anthropomorphism, noting the ability to not only type but also talk to these models and receive very human-like responses, with voices that are incredibly human and not robotic. He emphasized the potential for these advancements to transform areas like mental health counseling, making interactions more natural and effective

Perricos views this as a pivotal moment not just for technology but for humanity.

“I see this as an inflection point in humanity. If we can work together to use this AI technology for good, we’re going to see incredible advancements in humanity in the next few years,” he said.

Concluding the interview, Perricos stressed the fundamental role of trust in unlocking AI’s potential asserting that trust is the key to unlocking the power of AI.

“Without trust, there is no advancement in humanity,” he concluded.

Costi Perricos’ insights at the AI for Good Global Summit underscore Deloitte’s commitment to leveraging AI for societal benefit. By focusing on the transformative potential of generative AI, Deloitte aims to enhance business operations and address significant global challenges. Perricos’ contributions highlight the importance of trust, ethical considerations, and international collaboration in shaping the future of AI. As AI continues to evolve, the strategies and innovations emphasized by Perricos provide a roadmap for harnessing technology to benefit society at large. His vision combines technological advancement with a strong ethical framework, ensuring that AI developments are both secure and beneficial for all.

Watch the full interview here.

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