Lorna is BMC Software’s Watson champion. She has worked with IBM to integrate Watson into BMC's Helix platform, combining two powerful cognitive technologies into one valuable product. Lorna has also helped BMC’s clients implement Helix in services like chatbots that are smart enough to field complex user inquiries.

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What do you believe is most critical to making an AI project successful in driving business results?
Start small. Many organizations make the mistake of launching large-scale, multi-pronged initiatives with too many complicated or unclear objectives. Those projects fail. Instead, before kicking off any project, identify opportunities for improvement first. Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives and the problems you need to solve, that is when you should evaluate whether AI is the right tool to achieve a positive business outcome.

What do you wish you knew when you first started with your work with AI that you know now?
I didn't realize how much fun following AI developments would be! AI is developing so fast and seems to be speeding up exponentially. As AI services mature, they are offering us an opportunity to solve business problems more efficiently than we have ever been able to do in the past. On the other hand, AI still requires a lot of human interaction like training—you are automating processes, but also developing new roles and jobs to enable that automation. Like many, I thought AI could teach itself. I now know that this isn't always the case.

Any other professional passions besides AI?
IT is my second career. I used to be a field archaeologist, but found that you can't support a family on an archaeologist's salary, so I took an interest in technology and convinced a company to hire me, which started me on the road to product management.

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