E37 - Delivering Trustecd AI at Scale Ben Taylor, Data Robot

Artificial intelligence is transforming life as we know it, and it is projected to become more prevalent in the years to come. Its potential is unparalleled, as it has already helped various industries innovate and optimize the way they do their work, providing teams with never-before-seen solutions that allow them to fast-track their development.

More and more companies are adopting artificial intelligence into their systems, and the global artificial intelligence market is expected to hit $267 billion by the end of 2027. AI has also contributed significantly to the customer experience and productivity levels of businesses, with customers saying that AI can help build better brand experiences and boost productivity.

Ben Taylor, the chief AI evangelist of DataRobot, certainly believes in the power of artificial intelligence and its ability to transform and optimize the sales industry. In this episode of Tech Sales Insights, he talks about DataRobot’s work, how it supercharges sales teams, and how AI is transforming our world.

Getting to Know Ben Taylor and DataRobot

Ben Taylor’s background is in biomedical chemical engineering. He originally planned to go to medical school. However, he became interested in programming, particularly high-performance computing, and never looked back. This led him to work for Intel and Micron for five years, studying the ins and outs of the computer industry.

From there, he worked at a hedge fund as a quant, soon moving on to be the Chief Data Scientist for HireVue. This inspired him to launch his own tech start-up called Zeff.ai, which was eventually acquired by DataRobot over the course of the pandemic.

DataRobot’s work is best understood through understanding the history of artificial intelligence. Taylor brings up the idea of building a lead scoring model for sales, which would have been an incredibly tedious process 10 years ago without the use of AI. Because of problems like this, DataRobot’s co-founder, Jeremy Achin, decided to develop a way to democratize artificial intelligence and make it easier for ordinary individuals to use.

As the Chief AI Evangelist of DataRobot, Ben is responsible for marrying the company’s marketing and engineering sectors. The key to successful evangelism is producing emotional content mixed with technical credibility, and he suggests that sales calls are best handled by individuals who have a strong foundation in STEM but are also adept in storytelling.

Storytelling, according to Ben, is like black magic. It can help secure trust during a sales call and further reiterate a company’s message, allowing them to sell better.

Artificial Intelligence Myths and Perceptions

As mentioned, Ben Taylor stresses the importance of STEM expertise in the industry. AI is no longer a black box that can tell a story, and Taylor points out how experts’ involvement from the beginning to point out problems or gaps is crucial in developing an effective product.

Taylor also points out some of the common misconceptions about artificial intelligence. He first discusses how some companies and individuals refuse to adopt the technology because they believe it could automate key business processes and put people out of a job. Ben debunks this by saying that AI actually has the ability to innovate business systems and allow employees to do more creative work.

The second misconception he discusses is the fear, uncertainty, and disbelief surrounding AI because of how it’s portrayed by the media. There are many outlets claiming that the technology will further cement racism, sexism, ageism, and all sorts of biases. While there are examples of these happening, Taylor insists that being proactive can combat them.

In DataRobot, they have an entire department dedicated to building consumer trust towards AI systems. With AI being expected to be a dominant technology in nearly every industry in the future, DataRobot’s researchers and specialists are developing ways to ensure that AI systems work the way they are supposed to.

Building Trust in an AI-Powered World

Lack of consumer trust is one of the biggest challenges for artificial intelligence, but Taylor says that this can be overcome through building deeper relationships with prospects. The trust curve dramatically accelerates if a company is not hard-selling or pushing any agenda upfront. This means that sales teams need to prioritize challenging consumers’ assumptions instead and acting as advisors instead of trying to close a sale.

Nurturing a relationship will work wonders for business development, and it is key to get more consumers to trust artificial intelligence.

Ben Taylor on Personal Growth in the Tech Industry

According to Ben, the best thing you can get and share is experience. He talked about learning from his mistakes and imparting what he has learned to junior talent. He uses his free time to talk to individuals who are still moving up the sales ladder to give them advice, and this helps him learn more and build deeper relationships.

Overall, sales is dependent on technical knowledge, relationships between the prospect and the company, and storytelling. These three elements together are incredibly powerful and can help boost any business’s sales. They are particularly important in AI to build trust, which is what Ben Taylor does in his role as Chief AI Evangelist at DataRobot.

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