Claire believes in AI so much that she wrote a white paper outlining its benefits and presented it to management at her company, the French mobile phone, Internet service provider and IPTV company Bouygues Telecom. She got the green light to find out where AI could boost business. Now the company’s AI lead, Claire turned to IBM Garage to help identify more than 50 use cases for AI and is deploying them with great results, including a 5% increase in lead conversion of B2B marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Claire advocates for the involvement of women in tech and AI by leading events and speaking at renowned schools such as École Polytechnique.

What has your company achieved with AI?
We use AI as we use any new technological opportunity: to develop our ability to touch new clients, improve customer care and boost operational efficiency. We launched our AI program in 2019 to deliver those kinds of benefits across all business lines and technical organizations. With the support of IBM Watson, more than 10 different AI programs have been implemented. More than 800,000 calls a month are greeted by our Watson Assistant-supported virtual agent, and over 300,000 vocal transcripts are analyzed weekly for marketing campaigns.

What makes an AI project successful?
One key factor in our adoption and success was the strong support and positive communication about AI from the top management at Bouygues Telecom. That was critical in gaining acceptance. Also, we have chosen to be very transparent about the use of AI in our company. We have organized many pedagogical talks, given by AI practitioners inside and outside our company.

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?
Start with a few projects that have value and present just a small risk of failure from a technical point of view. That way you will learn by doing and can then accelerate with bigger projects. Also, be focused on the practical business problems, rather beginning with the question, “How can we use AI?” Once you start, have everyone work together, mixing business and technical teams, and try to be agile.

Why should women be more involved in the creation and use of AI?
The benefits of having more women leaders involved in AI is the same as in any other engineering initiative. An organization has to have diversity in the creation process. If we want AI to be useful for everyone, we can't leave half of humanity outside of its development! Another important benefit is that it creates better job equality, as AI is a fast-rising work opportunity.

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