IBM recognises three Aussie women for their AI leadership

IBM recognises three Aussie women for their AI leadership

OutThought's Lisa Bouari and Telstra's Jenni Barnett and Nicole Hein gain recognition

Credit: IBM

Three Australian women have been recognised by IBM as global leaders in shaping the future of artificial intelligence (AI). 

During IBM’s annual Think Digital conference, 33 female leaders were honoured who are implementing AI across a range of industries. 

The three Australian women include Sydney-based tech start-up OutThought executive director, Lisa Bouari; Telstra’s director of digital Jenni Barnett; and Telstra’s technical product owner, Nicole Hein. 

The annual list celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of these women in implementing transformative and ground-breaking technology in their companies. 

Honourees were selected based on the innovation, results, and impact of their use cases, IBM said.

“Artificial intelligence will be at the center of business transformation over the next decade, and for us to mitigate bias moving forward we need women and diverse teams at the forefront of AI," IBM senior vice president for digital sales and CMO Michelle Peluso said.

"That’s why we are proud to share the stories of more than 30 remarkable women who are driving progressive use of AI using Watson."

OutThought was recognised for the creation of a virtual health coach that leverages IBM Watson Assistant to track users’ physical activity goals and provide personalised recommendations on health and lifestyle. 

In creating virtual assistant solutions using the OutThought Virtual Assistant platform, Bouari said it has shrink-wrapped everything a client needs to get up and running quickly using this powerful technology. 

“We also use Watson to create demos, prototypes and solutions to help clients understand what is possible with virtual assistant technology,” Bouari said.

Telstra’s Barnett has led the transformation and growth strategy for its digital customer self-service channels and has deployed a virtual assistant named ‘Codi.’

“Customer adoption and sentiment can be mixed when you launch a bot. You need to be careful not to over promise what it can do,” Barnett said.

“ When utilising chatbots, you have to be in it for the long game. You can't set and forget. You need an ongoing content curation and optimisation strategy to ensure you are matching customer intents to answers, and that you also remember to use contact center agents to help augment answers.”

In using Watson, Hein added ‘Codi’ understands hundreds of questions across multiple segments and domains in multi-level, contextual flows, handling approximately 300,000 inquiries a month, across Telstra’s app and website.

“In March of this year, we expanded Codi to hand off to both live chat and messaging agents,” Hein said.  “We’re also expanding into the authenticated space through an end-to-end journey, where we can anticipate customers’ needs and drive an even better experience.” 

In other awards news, Australia’s SD-WAN provider, Fusion Broadband, received IBM’s global Beacon Award for Outstanding Infrastructure Services Solution.

The Beacon Awards recognise IBM Business Partners that deliver exceptional solutions to help drive business value and transform the way clients and industries operate.

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