The use of AI and other technologies will become more and more important for companies to gain a competitive advantage, Julie Scherpenseel ML6 September 1, 2020

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We had the great pleasure of talking with Julie Scherpenseel.
The Chief Growth Officer of ML6 talked about the future of AI, how this will impact our society and how increasingly important collaborations between companies are and will become. 

Artificial intelligence specialist 

ML6 is a scale-up specialised in artificial intelligence, based in Ghent. Their growth from the past years gave them the opportunity to open offices in Amsterdam, Berlin and London too. 

ML6 accelerates the adoption of intelligent technologies for clients by developing and producing custom machine learning applications. With their advisory services, they also support companies in designing their AI, data, multi- and hybrid cloud strategies.

“In our work, we really focus on helping our clients build internal AI competencies through close collaboration with their internal teams. In that way, we also enable them in the long run by accelerating the development of their internal talent.”

Creating more time for difficult tasks

The use of AI and other technologies will become more and more important for companies to gain a competitive advantage. AI can be used to optimize repetitive tasks so that employees can focus on more complex tasks and make more informed decisions. It can also help create new revenue streams and improve customer experience. Studies show that the change to incorporating AI in our work is coming undoubtedly, so it’s important to prepare ourselves for this change as a society. 

“We have to get more women in STEM, there’s  an enormous amount of untapped potential” 


Continuously learning 

The impact on the labour market will be significant. Digital skills will become increasingly important in the job market. We’re all going to have to keep constantly learning and this will be the norm for the future. Also, there is an urgent need for more ICT professionals.

A big issue here is that women still don’t find their way to ICT careers because of outdated stereotypes. They are a big group of untapped potential. In a world where technology will become a significant part of our work and daily life, it’s important to get more women interested in tech. 

Schooling is very important in this process. They should focus much more on teaching digital skills. On top of that, stereotypical images have to be demolished from a young age, so girls don’t get the idea that technology is a manly sector. We must ensure that our new generations are given the necessary digital knowledge from the beginning of their education. 

AI and the common population, what will change for us? 

As an end-user you won’t notice the changes as much as businesses will feel them. We are becoming more demanding as clients, we expect things to go faster, get more detailed information, etc. Those expectations are increasingly met through the use of AI. 

This means that the innovative changes AI will bring will mainly add a ‘cool’ touch and some extra features to our digital tools, and these will feel natural to us very quickly. For example, AI can make sure that the photos on your phone are being sorted per person, that your sentences in your emails get finished or that you find the app you’re looking for faster. Across the entire line, the usage of digital tools will become faster and more efficient. Products will match better with your needs, the user experience will be better and everything will become easier. 

I believe that the changes will be felt mostly in our day-to-day jobs. These changes will also be felt in non-technical companies. For instance, every company has documents: contracts, invoices etc. AI can help sort and classify this information with a simple scan. When the moment comes you need a certain file of a specific, client, matter, legal issue or even a word, the system will be able to give you a filtered list of files that match your search. A job that would otherwise take weeks or months, filtering every single word of the files manually

“We should invest in building ecosystems of information with our partners”


Collaboration is key, how could Flow Pilots and ML6 enhance each other?

In my opinion, collaborations will become increasingly important and beneficial in different aspects. Pure technological for instance: Flow Pilots is specialised in building digital tools to facilitate the life of end-users, ML6 is specialised in building intelligent software. Together we could build intelligent applications.

With this, we could implement new functionalities and features. For example, you could receive personalized recommendations that are more relevant to you, find information faster, make suggestions etc.  By using data intelligently we can improve the all-round experience of end-users. 

We can turn this technology into very concrete features. For example: if you consult your banking app nowadays, you get an overview of your spendings. But wouldn’t it be handy to get an overview of what you’re spending your money on. What takes up the biggest part of your budget? Clothing, courses, online programmes, food, amusement? You could then set a budget for each group per month and get a reminder when “ you’ve almost reached your clothing budget” for example. 

We will be able to handle data in a more informed way which will ultimately lead to better user experience. 

But that’s not all. I strongly believe that collaborations between partner companies will become increasingly important because we live in a rapidly changing environment. Companies are under pressure to adapt and innovate around the clock. Technologies are changing so fast that it’s almost impossible for companies to stay up to date with everything. 

For example, every 15 minutes a new paper about machine learning is being published. This is only a fraction of new technologies in the field of AI, and it already requires significant effort to stay up-to-date with. Building ecosystems of deep tech and with specialized partners will be the new way to leverage technological expertise and gain a competitive advantage through innovation.