Technologies must be brought with purpose,transparency: IBM CEO


IBM CEO Ginni Rometty today batted for “responsible stewardship” saying organisations and governments need to ensure that principles of data security and privacy are upheld as new technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence evolve at a fast pace and influence lives of citizens globally.

Rometty, speaking at the IBM think Forum here, said the evolution of these new technologies presents an “inflexion point” for enterprises, technology and the overall society.

“We have to usher these technologies in with purpose and transparency. Purpose meaning artificial intelligence (AI) is here to augment what you and I do, not replace us,” she said emphasising that enterprises need to share with customers information like the use of AI and the data collected.

She said the world is entering an era where incumbent companies can now become disruptors by leveraging technology platforms, infusing in processes and letting employees learn from data.

“One of the topics I spoke to PM Modi about… all these wonderful data, it will be the opportunity of our life, but it could also be the issue of our times. All the data is going to put a premium on what I call ‘responsible stewardship’ for society to bring those new technologies into this world really safely,” she said.

She added that while a certain number of jobs may be displaced given the rapid evolution in technology, but “100 per cent of jobs are going to change”.

“…we all have to live by a set of data principles. Who do you think should own the data? Should you have to give up your data to get something or do you own your data? We believe you own your data‚Ķ things like ownership, privacy, security, no government should access it inappropriately,” she said.

Rometty said forming these data principles is especially important for a country like India “because if data does become a natural resource here, this is the time to put in place these kind of principles and that is so everyone benefits from the wealth of data, not just one or two companies, (but) everyone”.

She also spoke of IBM’s partnership with two ITIs in India. “…we are doing this with the government. It’s a 2- year degree… around IT, networking, cloud computing. We are launching it with two of the ITIs in Bangalore and Hyderabad,” she said.