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Ed Thompson, Jonny Badrock & Juan Murphy Discuss the Future of AI

3 min read
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Conga recently had the pleasure of hosting Bringing Dreamforce to You, a panel discussion inspired by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s main keynote at Dreamforce.

Guests watched the keynote live and engaged in discussion with the attending speakers, Ed Thompson, Senior VP Market Strategy at Salesforce, Jonny Badrock, SVP, Chief Legal Engineer at Syke and Juan José López Murphy, Head of Data Science and AI at Globant.


The rise of AI

AI, with its extensive applications and far-reaching opportunities, is a fast-growing market. Generative AI, being AI that can generate content such as text or images, is projected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2032, up from $40 billion in ten years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Undoubtedly, AI makes headlines - this year more than ever. From ChatGPT - the “fastest-growing app in history” - to the strikes in Hollywood, fuelled in part by concerns about the use of AI in film and TV. 

Against this backdrop of growth, controversy, and interest, Salesforce's Dreamforce welcomed attendees, researchers, innovators, thought leadership, and more to its three-day event to discuss AI and its future.


It’s all about the data

Our panel and guests watched Benioff’s address with interest, then began their discussion with the key takeaways. Badrock cited the usability of AI, and how it is transformed when we can interact with tools that use natural language. 

Thompson spoke of the hype surrounding the technology, the fact that companies will make mistakes, and that the adoption of AI will go through phases. If, in six months’ time, people are negative about AI, don’t lose faith, is his advice. 

Later in the discussion, Thompson returned to this concept of peaks and troughs in AI’s hype and suggested that companies must sort the data that feeds their AI tools. Not doing so is likely to contribute to the ‘troughs’, whilst the companies that train their AI solutions on decent data will, Thompson said, get the results.

López Murphy also spoke about the foundation of data in AI because the technology learns from the data people have created. However, there is, he warned, no unbiased data set because everything has history, and this impacts the results we can expect to see from AI. 


How can businesses get it right?

The panel turned its attention to the particular challenges, opportunities and considerations for businesses looking to gain value from AI. López Murphy called out the transformation that AI can facilitate by changing processes from static to dynamic, and that this will also bring about change in the skills that companies will need in their people. 

As people’s interactions with processes change, because of AI, so there will be more scope for creativity and entrepreneurialism. López Murphy asked the question of how companies and cultures will absorb that. One thing is for sure, he said, they will need to adapt. 

Badrock also spoke of the impact on employees, asking how we use AI to complement people? The opportunity lies in helping people do their jobs, according to Badrock. Companies will still need smart people, who have the answers, but they will use AI to get them there more quickly. 

To illustrate the point, Badrock cited an interesting example of AI in use, translating legal-speak in contracts so that readers could understand complex topics. That’s timesaving, and provides a value-add but, Badrock warned, people will still need to check that resulting text has remained true to the inherent meaning.

AI is powerful, and remarkable results have been seen, such as risk-flagging in contracts, but Badrock’s advice is to experiment with caution. Companies should think about the right use cases to avert situations where everyone “jumps to AI first time, every time.” 

Next year is when organisations will pick through AI to understand where they can get the biggest benefits, according to Thompson. It starts with experimentation, but companies must understand the challenge of scaling up – do so too quickly and they run the risk of auto-generated content that doesn’t come across as authentic to customers. 

Having said that, if companies are heavily prescriptive in how they train their AI applications, they run the risk of creating AI prompts akin to programming language - long and complex. The workforce skills needed to get this right are, Thompson suggested, being built up. 


Add value through AI for contract management

Conga’s contract solutions are powered by best-in-class AI models because contracts hold precious information that, when tapped into, can help businesses grow. Information such as upcoming obligations and renewals. It is time-consuming and hard to get at this information manually, and doing so can return inconsistent results. 

This is where AI comes in. AI-powered contract management solutions free up legal teams from having to hunt down and update contract terms. Legal continues to control risk, while sales are equipped to effectively and efficiently manage renewals and other post-signature processes on their own.   


Want more information?

Find out more about AI and discover its impact in the revenue lifecycle from our AI content: 

How CLM and Generative AI are Changing the Legal Landscape
Contract AI: What is it and what are the benefits?
Leveraging AI for the Quote to Cash platform
How machine learning and AI are empowering CRM software

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