|Weekly News Digest
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'The Vital Importance of Data for AI: Interview With Rick McFarland
' by Ron Schmelzer
Ron Schmelzer, managing partner and principal analyst at Cognilytica, writes the following for Forbes:
Reinforcing the importance of the role of data in AI and advanced analytic systems, Rick McFarland, Chief Data Officer—LexisNexis Legal & Professional shares his insights at an upcoming Data for AI virtual event on August 5. In an interview with Forbes, he shares some perspectives on the role data takes for AI projects at his organization. …
Q: What are some of the unique opportunities you have when it comes to data and AI?
Rick McFarland: AI is only as good as the data used to train and feed it. And LexisNexis has one of the largest repositories of legal data in the world. But, as any data scientists will tell you, having raw data is half the battle. What makes our data special is that, since the invention of the computer, we have had thousands of lawyers on staff enriching, summarizing, identifying entities, mapping citations, etc., on this massive corpus. Therefore, we also have the other half of the data scientists’ requirement: we have petabytes of training data. We have all the raw building materials for AI development. Our data scientists have almost unlimited opportunity to create AI products and features. …
Q: Can you share some of the challenges when it comes to AI and ML adoption?
Rick McFarland: In the professional world (e.g., Legal, Medical, and Scientific), the bar for AI and ML is very high, so the adoption rate is much lower than in the consumer market. In these professions, where people’s lives or freedoms are at stake, the cost of being wrong has significant consequences. For these professionals to rely on an AI application means that it must perform well and must be accurate consistently. With one wrong answer, trust in that tool is breached—recovery is long and perhaps not even possible. For LexisNexis to release any AI to the professional marketplace, it must meet that high bar.
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