Interop 2019: CIOs, Security, AI, and More

Day 3 of Interop 2019 features four CIO keynoters and several dozen educational technical and leadership sessions.

May 22, 2019

3 Min Read

It's Day Three of Interop 2019 at the Mirage in Las Vegas, with four CIO-level IT leaders discussing innovation and the new paths that IT can take today, some of them unheard of a decade ago.

For example, what possible connection could IT have with the need to demolish a few thousand abandoned buildings? Beth Niblock, CIO for the City of Detroit will provide some detail on that subject. But think about it, the operator behind the wrecking ball had better be at the right address, a location that definitively needs to be cleared.

Or, consider the ever-entertaining March Madness, run by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. NCAA CIO Judd Williams can talk about how technology can play a bigger role in the selection of the teams.

Joining Williams and Niblock on a CIO panel discussion is Renee McKaskle, CIO for manufacturing company Hitachi Vantara. She will highlight a project that exemplifies the approach, sharing how her organization created and introduced a chatbot to automate repetitive, tedious, and redundant IT tasks. What will this mean to IT jobs within the organization? Can the technology be used by other departments? McKaskle will have the answers about how IT pros will be welcoming the changes enabled by this bot and how this automation technology can help other departments, too.

Then Stacey Halota, vice president–information security and privacy for Graham Holdings Co. (formerly known as Washington Post Co.) to discuss how the growing demands of cybersecurity and personal privacy are changing the role held by her and her peers.

If you can't make it in person, a live stream is available here for the keynotes scheduled for today and tomorrow's keynote program.

Unbiased education

Today's Interop schedule is packed with technical and educational sessions as well.

Since the conference, organized by Informa and the teams at Informa's InformationWeek, Dark Reading and Network Computing, opened on Monday, much of the activity has centered on a series of summits, workshops. Those included Dark Reading's Cybersecurity Crash Course, the DevOps Certification program, tutorials on cloud and enterprise infrastructure, and the IT Leadership Summit, focused on IT management and careers.

In addition, the IEEE Computer Society and Technical Committee on Semantic Computing (TCSEM) hosted a morning program yesterday on the past, present and future of artificial intelligence.

Phillip Sheu,  IEEE Fellow and professor at University of California, Irvine, told attendees that he has been observing AI since the 1980s, and that he doesn't want today's AI initiatives to stumble the way projects did before, over promising on what AI can do.

He noted that 80’s, plenty has happened to make AI more achievable: faster computers, cheap memory, the growth of the internet, cellphones, IoT connectivity, and big data. He said that modern AI is now about machine learning, data science, deep learning (and deep mistakes), and highly cognitive systems with association rules.

We’ll also see AI go from general problem solving to domain specific problem solving, that natural language understanding will strengthen; and that we need to keep humans in the loop. He commented, "AI shouldn’t be better than us…it should be like us."

(InformationWeek staff members Cathleen Gagne, Jessica Davis and James Connolly contributed to this report).

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