AI, its issues, and innovation | Leonardo Benuzzi | IBS Americas MasterClass
[Music] Hi, I'm Leonardo Benuzzi and I teach creativity and innovation in the short term program at IBS Americas, at CUOA Business School. Our agenda today is: who am I, I'm going to introduce my experience and why am I here. The context of innovation, so I'm going to give a general overview of what is innovation, what is creativity. And then we gonna dip down into artificial intelligence. Are you scared of artificial intelligence? What is actually artificial intelligence? Where and how it is used today? Legal and ethical point of view. And, probably the most important
question of them all, how do I stay relevant in a world that is changing so fast? Who am I? I've been scouting and coordination at the MIT Design Lab for a few years. I did that, I would say, for eight-ten years. It's a long time in MIT years. I was not a researcher, I was the middleman between companies that came to the lab with problems and researchers.
Actually, my boss used to call me Mr. Wolf, between the customer and the researchers. Mr. Wolf is a person, that in a movie, from Tarantino, solve a problem, so I was the project manager slash problem solver of the teams that were developing Innovation at the lab. My point of view is that, I'm usually not a teacher. I've got experience in consultancy, I founded three startups. Right now, my field of innovation and of consultancy is future proofing, so basically helping the companies to develop concept of products or services in order to stay relevant in a world that is changing so fast; and my role now, as innovation manager, in Sartori Ambiente, which is a company that provides top of the market result for cities that want to implement recycling action into their infrastructure. So, I help them innovate and propose the
market the solution that will help them get to the best KPI possible. You can see here, with part of my team, I helped to develop this transportable modular house, with a lot of interaction between the inhabitants and the house itself. I helped develop this project, that was related to the safety of the refinery worker for a huge refinery company. I helped a train company revolutionize their approach to selling the tickets. This is one of the company I helped found, that was deemed by Wired Italy, one
of the best Fab Lab in Italy. So, this is a part of my background and this is the company for which I work now, Sartori Ambiente, that is strongly connected to, as I call them, being part of the solution, not being part of the problem, in the environmental terrain, of course. The contest of innovation. The first question and the first issue that I want to address is the difference between creativity and innovation. For me creativity is like this fork. Something that is new and it has not yet proven its value. Value in terms of economical value, environmental value, social value, that is an aspect that I don't focus now. The idea that has
to creativity is just something new, but innovation is the same fork, that now becomes a bracelet, and is useful for some. So, basically, the main difference is that innovation has some intrinsic value for someone. Who can be creative? Usually, people thinks that either you are born creative or you aren't. But, and that is true, you can have, let's say, a predisposition to be creative, but I found that everyone can be creative with the right approaches, experience and knowledge, creative techniques, and the dictionary of the present. We are going to go through those. The approaches: having a multicultural approaches means working in a team that has people that come from different backgrounds. Hands-On approach
means that, when you are developing something new, you have to keep moving from the theory, so you are building something new, you think that that is the reality, and the reality. So, to move as fast as possible from the desk to the outside world and back, in order to find, as soon as possible, all the issues with your ideas. And antidisciplinarity, which is the idea that inside your team, you will have people with different background at the same time; not people that have different backgrounds, not only that, but people that inside themselves have different approaches. So, an engineer that also is a singer. So, people that are able to combine different worlds within themselves. This allows, these approaches allows, team to be
much more visionary in their work. So, the approaches. Experience and knowledge, how do I get them? You go and get them, there is no easy way. You travel a lot, you see a lot of different places, you deep dive into the culture, and you study a lot. What kind of topic? It
doesn't really matter, as long as you try to go as deep as possible, in as many fields as possible. Experience and knowledge are crucial because most of the time, innovation means stealing from someone else, in some other places, in some other fields, a good idea and apply it to your field, to your country. There are a few geniuses, and a lot of people that steal good ideas, and it makes sense to know a lot in order to be able to have a huge variety of sources, from which you can be inspired. You know, in innovation stealing and being inspired are synonymous. Creative techniques: this is something that, usually, we teach during my course, in Creativity and Innovation. It takes quite a few, a long time to master them. There are a lot of creative techniques that allow people to produce between 10 and
20 ideas, per person, per hour, and these allow to start the Funnel of Innovation, with a lot of ideas. The Funnel of Innovation is this concept; you start the first phase of creativity with a lot of ideas, and along the journey, from the idea to the actual reality, you lose a lot of them. How many? Usually, our statistics talk about one-three percent of the idea that you conceive at the beginning, will see the light of reality at the end of the funnel. That's why the methodology allows you to have a lot of idea at the beginning, so you can be ruthless in killing them along the way, in order to get to the one-three percent that really matters. Then, the last element of creativity is the Dictionary of the Present. Imagine that you are a cook, that you want to improve or imagine a new dish. If you are aware of more ingredients,
it's more probable that you can come up with something innovative. And, the Dictionary of the Present is a list of words, that are important nowadays, and that it makes sense for an innovator to know. Artificial Intelligence in is one of them and, in this context, I will be gladly explaining in a few minutes what it is, but keep in mind that there are a lot of words.
I don't know, GS1 Digital Link, the future, it's basically the the future of the bar-code. Concepts like Lock-in Vendor and Open Source. Open Banking through API. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's crucial that you start to dive deep into these topics and words, in order to have the ingredients that will allow you to cook innovation in the best way. So, in this context what is Artificial Intelligence? First of all, are you scared of Artificial Intelligence? Because this is what the media is giving us, "Oh my God, Artificial Intelligence is coming for our job." "AI has potential to be 'destructive' to journalism...." Yes, to a lot
of different fields. "The dramatic influence of generative AI on the space industry." Basically, every single industry is scared right now. "Google AI pitch is the recipe for email hell." Every single field. Education! Article like this one, which the "'Godfather of AI' leaves Google..." and he's scared. So, you
know, when the father of someone is scared, you start to be scared as well, right? "Could AI disrupt economies or transform them?" So, we have a lot of, we are feeded with a lot of information of what is going to happen. We don't really know what is going on. Another interesting part is that the speed and the performance in which they are improving. So, if we have the base line, which is here, of the human performance, you see the speed at which Artificial Intelligence model are getting better and better and how fast the new models are learning. It's basically a vertical line here. Usually, it took time, this is the time, of course, but nowadays the new model, look at this, is going up straight. But, what is Artificial
Intelligence? I'm going to explain it using the methodology that in the past I would have used to answer the question. So, from around 100 BC till 1994 AC, I would have used, probably, an encyclopedia, right? Either talking, I mean, in the very past talk with someone because books were, of course, scarce. But, an encyclopedia would have told me that: Artificial Intelligence, is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. So, this is the standard question, till 1994. And then, Google came, the Google Era, 1998, this is the first iteration of Google and, actually, this was the first setup. You Google because, of course, now we have the verb 'to Google', "what is Artificial Intelligence?", and you get some definition and some articles: "the theory and development of a computer system able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Nowadays, we can do the same
with, so this is the search, with Google; and this is the search with ChatGPT. You see that the answer is longer, "Artificial Intelligence refers to development of intelligent machine that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning, problem solving, decision-making, and so on and so forth. We run into the first issue. There are no sources for these information or, more correctly, the sources are so big that there is no specific source from which we can refer to. So, as we were saying, AI is the ability of a machine to display human-like capabilities: reasoning, learning, planning, creativity. It's very famous lately because it was
launched the ChatGPT, in 2012, sorry, 30 of October last year. As I was telling you, ChatGPT, it was based on an analysis done on 300 billions words. So, basically, what is interesting to know is that artificial intelligence is not really intelligence. AI is a program that is able to estimate the next word. but it does not really understand what it's writing. They can mimic human speech because they can forecast the next right word, but we are not in the presence of intelligence. It's a very smart 'shortcut' that allows people
to think they are interacting with intelligence, but is not intelligence. Actually, the model is trained on billion of words, as I was telling you. There is a website, on the Washington Post, that analyze, so you if you write down the website, it tells you if the AI was trained on your website and; for example, I used cuoa.it and a tiny percentage of the model
is trained on the website of this institution, as well. The model; on the other hand, has issues. Since it's trained on all the web, it has a lot of, let's say, 'bad education', so it was trained, also, on articles or websites that use profanity, any kind of very dark situation, and in order to solve that and, you know, take out from the model violence, hate speech, and also sexual abuse, there was this interesting article about how the model was 'cleaned' using human intervention. So, basically, there were these Kenyan workers that were training the model, in order to clean the system. Where and how it is used today? Basically, every major technological institution is working on it. And from everything, from AI generated portraits; this is a website that allows you to write what you want. In this
case, "portrait of a woman with colorful hair and background resembling a paint spill," based on your picture. So, you can have any kind of background or situation only by describing it. So, this is a guy who wanted to the first World War Soldier and is always the same person. So it starts with a picture and then the AI puts in different scenarios. This is a website stability that allows, using the same basically platform, allows different, let's call it plugins or different opportunities, Photoshop plugin, Blender plugin or, in this case, a wide array of different fields in which using the same model, you can apply the Artificial Intelligence. In this case, stunning visual in seconds. So, it's basically used everywhere.
Let's talk about the legal and ethical aspects of this system. Is any of these actually legal? Nowadays, this system is out of the context of the legal environment because most of the legislative body didn't put out any kind of new laws. So, we have situations like this one, Deep Nude, that use AI to undress pictures of women that you upload on the system. You have Steve Wozniak, one of the co-founder of Apple that says, "AI is killing people, just mount on a Tesla" because the AI system on a Tesla is not safe. Moreover, is not only legal, but ethical to train an Artificial Intelligence on a huge corpus of copyrighted creative work, without permission or attribution? In the copyright legislative body in all over the world, which is, of course, very big, there is example that thinks, that I think are significant. If I ask this model, "realistic 3D rendering of Mickey Mouse working on a vintage computer doing his taxes," we don't see Mickey Mouse here because they are trying to protect themselves from copyright infringement. In this case, the model is not so smart and it puts a real Mickey
Mouse. Of course, from an ethical point of view, and in this case, I think also from a legal point of view, we are outside the law. But, how about the ethically of allowing people to generate new work in the style of the photographer, or illustrator, or designer, without compensating them? We have example of this, we have AI that win prize. This was a provocation done at the Colorado State Fair, in which the first prize was, in large part, prepared by an Artificial Intelligence. So, a lot of questions and a lot of people that are worried. What we are talking now is probably, and this is the main part of my presentation,
how do I stay relevant today? How can I be creative in a world that is moving so fast? And, actually, this is probably the main topic of my lesson, usually, Creativity and Innovation here at CUOA, as well. It's an old story. This is an elevator operator's license 1931, so 90 years ago, in order to operate an elevator, you had to have a license. The first popular home refrigerator was introduced in 1927. Before, people were sawing ice, transporting it,
and there was an entire industry dedicated to that. So, it's not new that the innovation is killing the old industry. The only difference is how fast this is going. So, what's next for me, as a professional in world that is moving so fast? Let's go back to the basic, who can be creative? Approaches, experience and knowledge, creative techniques, and Dictionary of the Present. This is the first solution, in order to be creative and innovative, being informed, being up to the news in the technological world in the social and economical world, being from the side of the books, in this case represented by the books, but from the part of the culture. When you read an article on this,
"OpenAI API, we're releasing an API for accessing new AI models developed by OpenAI," the important part of this is not the OpenAI new Artificial Intelligence, the news is that the API is the crucial order. So, if you are worried about Artificial Intelligence, my suggestion is, are you able to explain what an API is because the crucial part is there. As I mentioned before, if you work in a bank and you're worried about Artificial Intelligence, probably you should be worried about Open Banking and how Open Banking is changing the future of the banking system because that is happening today. Artificial Intelligence is something that is happening tonight, tomorrow, focus on today and then you can think about it tomorrow. It's like building a house, start from the first floor.
Elon Musk, that says, "OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it "Open" AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft. Not what I intended at all." The crucial part is 'open source' versus 'closed source'. If you are worried about Artificial Intelligence, and you don't know exactly what is the difference between the two concepts, close and open source, that is an issue because; for example, the right to repair law is changing how companies are protecting their intellectual property on hardware that they're selling. So, if you are a producer of hardware that has a business model of locking of some sort, you should pay attention to that word, not to the Artificial Intelligence. Another article, "The EU Artificial Intelligence Act will have global impact, but a limited Brussels Effect. What
is a Brussels Effect, how is proven to be effective in the case of the GDPR law. The Brussels Effect is the key word here, in order to understand the next step. When you get that, then we can talk about Artificial Intelligence. And this is what I'm looking for, a student that will
come to the course, with all the knowledge of the words that make up innovation today, so we can use them with the methodology of creativity that I will teach you, in order to further allow you to be the innovator of tomorrow. In the course, that we will have here at CUOA, I focus on hands-on approach, I like to interact with students that bring their problem to the table, in order to apply the methodology to their problem. So, I will leave you with the last thing, a provocation: [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] So I will leave you with the question: who prepared this presentation? There are some links, I will leave in the presentation, as well, and I'm waiting you here for the course Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CUOA Business School, that is prepared in in collaboration with IBS. So, thank you very much and looking forward to have an in-person discussion about the topics we just went through. Thank you. [Music] [Music] [Music]