Artificial Intelligence

Bringing Together Women in AI

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Bringing together women in AI.

As part of my commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive technology landscape, I am having a series of conversations with women who are leading  AI projects in their businesses.  In this episode I speak to Jennifer Turner, Senior Director, Digital Innovation, Strategy and Transactions, EY-Parthenon, and a recent recipient of IBM’s Woman Leader in AI. The discussion was hosted by Madeline Bennett, UK tech journalist and moderator.

Transforming the due diligence process

Jennifer champions the use of AI in the mergers and acquisition due diligence process at EY-Parthenon. She guides EY’s diligence edge solutions team on the design and training of a custom Natural Language Processing (NLP) model using IBM Watson knowledge studio. The result is that the NLP model understands the many elements of the EY mergers and acquisitions process and supports EY transaction practitioners in conducting searches across all documents in the deal room and extracting the information that is most relevant to clients in a deal.

“AI has the potential to add value throughout the transaction lifecycle” said Jennifer.  She  highlighted two key areas that benefit from AI: “the ability to obtain and combine external data from multiple sources in real time or near real time, such as news and social media to support transaction professionals in uncovering insights ahead of a transaction. And the ability to process large volumes of unstructured data, enabling transaction practitioners to search and analyse documents at speed.”

IBM and EY – a global strategic alliance

By working together IBM and EY can accelerate the digital transformation for financial services clients, which in turn has the potential to deliver long-term value to clients. One of IBM’s key global partners is EY. I believe this partnership is very powerful because it combines our experience in technology and data formation with that of EY’s in finance compliance.

The huge added-value of Natural Language Processing

NLP is an exciting element of AI and plays a significant role in the ongoing partnership between IBM and EY. As part of due diligence, transaction professionals are charged with the difficult task of trawling through and analysing vast amounts of transaction-related data.

Jennifer talked about the resource intensity of needing to gather data from disparate sources.  Each piece of information has to be examined to ensure that all information relevant to a deal is identified and thoroughly analysed.  “The challenge of the deal room is to draw the necessary critical insights in a highly pressurised environment” she said. “Natural Language Processing can be used to investigate large volumes of unstructured data and can automate what was a previously manual task, enabling the transaction practitioners to focus more time on analysis and uncovering insights for their clients.”

EY’s use of Watson NLP is a great example of the practical application of natural language processing, to make a process more efficient. I believe that the technology is applicable to other industries which employ large volumes of data, such as healthcare, manufacturing, insurance and finance. With almost eight billion people in the world, many of whom are using multiple devices, huge volumes of data are being created daily. To understand this and get insightful data we need AI technology to extract useful information.

Many opportunities ahead

Jennifer anticipated many transformational opportunities ahead for AI in business: “what excites me the most is thinking about the new and innovative solutions that teams are able to come up with, and what new insights we are able to uncover when everyone is able to spend less time searching for data, and more time analysing it.”

AI is a game changer and a great opportunity. At IBM, we are helping people and organisations adopt AI responsibly. Only by embedding ethical principles into AI applications and processes can we build systems based on trust.

AI: a great career for women

Jennifer was recognised by IBM as a “Woman Leader in AI” as her pioneering work is a great example of how AI can solve business needs: using AI to improve processes within a company and polishing and illuminating the many facets of this technological diamond.

I congratulate Jennifer because it is very important to have women role models… we want to send a message that AI is a great career for women.



General Manager, IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa

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