AI in action – opportunities, challenges, and solutions across different sectors — Innovation Insider

VenturefestWM provides entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to meet, engage and exchange ideas for co-operation and collaboration, particularly in the fields of science and emerging technologies. One of these emerging technologies is, of course, Artificial Intelligence, or AI. In its broadest sense, AI is intelligence exhibited by machines, particularly computer systems, as opposed to the natural intelligence of living beings.

During the Venturefest WM 2024 “AI in Action” panel session, sponsored by VWV Solicitors, experts from diverse fields shared invaluable insights into the current state and future prospects of artificial intelligence (AI) implementation across various industries. With representatives from legal, biometrics, software development, and innovation funding sectors, the discussion provided a comprehensive overview of the transformative potential of AI technologies.

Claire Hall, a seasoned lawyer at VWV specialising in data protection, emphasised the role of AI in revolutionising legal practices. She highlighted how AI-powered tools have significantly reduced administrative burdens for law firms, allowing professionals to dedicate more time to serving clients’ needs effectively. From document analysis to the development of chatbots for client queries, AI is reshaping the legal landscape while ensuring compliance with stringent data protection regulations such as the GDPR.

Clive Summerfield, an experienced entrepreneur in the realm of biometrics, shed light on the groundbreaking applications of AI in identity recognition. By harnessing AI algorithms alongside biometric data such as facial features and voice patterns, his company, FARx Group, is pioneering advancements with profound implications across industries ranging from finance to healthcare. The unparalleled uniqueness of voice and facial characteristics offers unparalleled opportunities for enhancing security and personalization in various sectors.

Tom Haworth (picture: centre), the founder of B13 AI, delved into the nuances of implementing generative AI to streamline software development processes. Despite the phenomenon known as the Productivity Paradox, wherein increased investment in technology may not immediately translate into enhanced productivity, Tom underscored the transformative potential of AI-driven automation and chatbots in catalysing innovation. By developing AI-powered tools like their new business analyst chatbot, Lena, B13 AI is empowering businesses to mitigate risks and accelerate development cycles through intelligent automation and knowledge augmentation.

Trias Gkikopoulos (picture: right), representing Innovate UK, provided insights into the organisation’s commitment to fostering AI adoption and innovation. With a focus on bridging the gap between AI technologies and business growth, Innovate UK’s initiatives aim to equip businesses with the necessary skills and resources to harness the full potential of AI. Through grant funding and skill development programmes, such as those offered through, Innovate UK is facilitating AI integration across sectors, driving economic advancement and competitiveness.

The discussions prompted the audience to contemplate pertinent matters in the realm of skill development for AI utilisation and the mitigation of biases in AI algorithms. The panel emphasised the importance of upskilling employees to leverage AI technologies effectively, emphasising problem-solving over tech-centric approaches. Furthermore, proactive measures, including data ownership and feedback loops, were highlighted as crucial steps in mitigating biases inherent in AI algorithms, ensuring fairness and inclusivity in AI-driven decision-making processes.

In conclusion, the AI in Action panel discussion underscored the transformative potential of AI across diverse sectors while highlighting the importance of responsible AI implementation and the need for upskilling of the workforce. By fostering collaboration between industry stakeholders, policymakers, and innovators, AI can serve as a powerful catalyst for driving progress, innovation, and societal impact in the years to come.

Naomi Nash, Head of Community & Collaboration, TechWM; Virtual Innovation Team Lead for Digital sector

Text reads: Locally-led Innovation Accelerators delivered in partnership with Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, Innovate UK and City Regions.

Logos include: Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, Innovate UK, West Midlands Combined Authority and Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands