Lisa is the executive director of OutThought, a start-up specializing in AI assistants. OutThought created a virtual health coach that leverages IBM Watson Assistant to track users’ physical activity goals and provide personalized recommendations on health and lifestyle. Users of the virtual health coach increased their weekly physical activity by two hours, improved the quality of their diets by 300%, achieved a reduction in waist circumference and lost weight after the three-month program.

Please tell us about your project and how you’re using IBM Watson in your business. 
We create virtual assistant solutions using the OutThought Virtual Assistant platform, which is underpinned by Watson Assistant for the natural language processing (NLP) component. We’ve 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.

What makes an AI project successful?
Whether an AI initiative is successful or not relies on the ability to execute, and this is only possible if the project is realistic and measurable. I'm noticing fewer and fewer projects for projects’ sake (or innovation for innovation’s sake), and I think this is a result of the (very) unsatisfying moment so many leaders have had at the end of an AI project that was taken on “just because.”

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI? 
I'd advise those who are embarking on their first AI journey to work with others who have walked the road before them. Be innovative, but don't walk into holes that others could have advised you were there. Partner, collaborate and share. We are better together.

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