In this special guest feature, Alex Hoff, Senior VP of Product Management & Marketing at Vendavo, believes that if you want an AI or ML solution that will be of any practical use, it needs to be a white-box model that is explainable, interpretable, and it will be both more usable and effective if it allows for human insights and intelligence to be combined with the artificial intelligence and insights – a centaur, or perhaps a cyborg. Alex brings enterprise software solutions to market that enable B2B corporations to operationalize their commercial excellence strategies. He has been with Vendavo in various roles for over ten years, working with customers in industrial manufacturing, process industry, consumer product manufacturing and business services.
For the last 18 years, I have been using, explaining, and now building AI-based software solutions for use in the business realm, mostly related to the use case of price optimization. I’ve had to deploy an AI-based solution at my own company & sell the outputs to our skeptical executives, convince potential customers to buy and deploy our software solutions in a later role, and now I get to build these solutions alongside my data scientist coworkers. I’ve even picked up the pieces from previous, failed projects – mostly from my competitors or well-intentioned “do it yourself” internal projects. I offer here two key learnings from these experiences.