In today’s CDO Insights Series, we are honored to have Elad Ziklik, VP, Product Management for AI Services and Data Science at Oracle, joining us for an insightful conversation. With over 21 years of experience in the industry, Elad brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the realm of AI and ML. In this interview, we delve deep into the critical aspects of AI, including how organizations can leverage its full potential, the challenges involved, and Oracle’s AI capabilities and strategies. Join us as we explore the paradigm shift that AI represents, discuss some exciting real-world use cases, and look at the future of AI through Elad’s visionary lens.
AIM: Elad, could you share a bit about your background and experience in the field of AI and ML?
Elad Ziklik: Of course. I have a Computer Science degree from the University of Haifa, and I’ve been in the industry for over 21 years. I previously worked with Intel and Microsoft, and I joined Oracle in September last year. As an enthusiastic product leader, I believe in integrating the power of AI and ML to create unique experiences and products.
Interviewer: That’s an impressive background, Elad. Let’s discuss some critical aspects of AI, including how organizations can leverage its full potential, the challenges, and Oracle’s AI capabilities and strategies. How should we approach AI differently from regular software?
Elad Ziklik: AI is a paradigm shift and can’t be approached the same way as regular software. In AI, one needs to experiment and see what works, much like in research. Leading cloud providers are building general-purpose platforms and models, but they are missing out on addressing actual business problems of the last mile. I want to make AI “boring” and ubiquitous, so it’s always in the background, working seamlessly in our lives and businesses.
AIM: How does Oracle plan to achieve that?
Elad Ziklik: At Oracle, we focus on making AI easy, domain-specific, and addressing the last mile need. Our AI services are targeted towards solving everyday business problems rather than just being cool technologies.
AIM: Can you give some examples of how Oracle’s customers benefit from your AI services?
Elad Ziklik: Sure, one example is during the COVID-19 crisis, when we used computer vision technologies to help banks stock up the right ATMs with cash. Another example is using AI and drones to locate and clean waste from rivers and lakes. I find these autonomous devices fascinating, and we’ll see more of them in the near future.
AIM: What are the trends you foresee regarding AI in 2023 and beyond?
Elad Ziklik: I see a rise in large models being trained on billions of parameters, a shift from big data to “little data,” and the coming together of these two, making AI models ubiquitous. Also, ethics in AI will gain more importance, with more regulations and expectations emerging. We may even see roles like “Chief AI Officers” in the near future.
AIM: How does Oracle’s AI strategy support enterprise customers?
Elad Ziklik: Oracle’s OCI-AI services are domain-specific and focused on creating a consistent experience. We make it easier for developers to tune the last mile of AI accuracy for their specific domain, industry, and business. We offer services like natural language processing, computer vision, speech, and decision services to cater to various business scenarios.
AIM: How does Oracle simplify the process of retraining and customization for developers?
Elad Ziklik: We aim to make the retraining and customization process much easier for developers, allowing them to create AI models that are tailored to their specific needs and challenges.
AIM: Finally, Elad, how would you describe AI in one word or phrase?
Elad Ziklik: I would say, “AI is just getting started.” Although people might think that AI has been around for decades, I believe we are only at the beginning of its potential, and there is no clear leader in the space yet.