“AI is going to be pervasive in our daily lives,” says Karine Brunet, Chief Operating Officer of Capgemini’s Cloud and Infrastructure Services Business. In her current role, she is working on several AI projects, including the implementation of Amelia (renamed CHIP) at Capgemini, one of the world’s leading consulting, technology, professional and outsourcing services companies. CHIP is used in the company’s customer services area as a digital service desk agent.
Karine is also working on other projects to move their “Managed Services operations into zero-incident operation, using AI to develop self-healing.” With her focus on infrastructure, one of Karine’s priorities is to keep the technology from failing and impacting customers’ operations. And by utilizing AI, a zero-fail technology infrastructure is closer than ever before. Karine says she now reviews “use cases every week to ensure that infrastructure is fixing itself even before it actually fails.”
Although Karine initially trained as an economist and completed an MBA in marketing and management, she was inspired to pursue a career in tech after meeting people within the technology industry and wanting to work for them. She began her AI journey six years ago when she worked at Vodafone, spearheading several AI-focused projects and initiatives.
Throughout her career, Karine has had many mentors who have helped her develop her expertise. Her advice to young women and girls is to “grab any opportunities to work with mentors that can support you, that can help you to develop” whatever goals they may have. When mentors provide constructive feedback, Karine advises that you must accept the feedback and “strive to improve and overachieve.”
AI in Today’s Society
When she first started in the technology industry, Karine recalls that “technology was very much in the back seat,” and serviced more as “just an enabler for support functions.” Of course, things are different now some 25 years later; technology is central to our lives, our work and our society. “Now that we are moving to the digitalization of customer interactions, [technology is] becoming a crucial business enabler,” she says.
Speaking to the possible applications for AI, Karine highlights the fact that while AI is well-suited for IT operations, AI has a place in everything we do: “You cannot think about one topic where AI can’t and won’t perform tomorrow whether it’s in the health and safety area, financial industry, or whether it’s in the technology or HR domain.”
Karine stays up to date on how AI technology can be used to “create a better world.” However, she also knows that there are still people who fear AI. In addressing concerns about humans losing control over technology, she shares that she is “convinced that Artificial Intelligence will never reach human intelligence. It’s important to point out that AI doesn't have any emotion. It can interpret human emotion, but it doesn’t have any emotion. I think human intelligence and artificial intelligence are two very different things and it helps to understand that distinction.”
“For me, the most important thing is not control, but how we can develop AI following ethical guidelines,” Karine says. To do so, “we need to ensure that the technology we develop is not reproducing any unconscious bias.” To that end, Capgemini ensures that AI is developed ethically by making sure that AI development teams are diverse and representative of humankind.
Women in STEM Careers
“We need to promote technology to girls when they are of a young age so that when they need to select future career options, technology is at the top of the list,” says Karine. “AI is offering unique opportunities for women to develop since it encompasses a very broad range of skills on top of pure technology development such as linguists and psychologists.”
Having the ability to innovate and the space to be creative are two reasons why Karine enjoys working in the field of AI. While people often think of AI as highly technical and complex, Karine promotes changing the dialogue, and expressing to women that developing code is not the only component of technology.
“Please do not think about technology as a very complex non-human activity; instead think about humans developing technology for humans, and the impact it has and will have on society,” Karine says. “Technology is an exciting area and it is a field where women can develop creativity and innovation.”
Karine’s advice to her younger self also provides comfort for a concern that many women share: “When you start a career — and I have had a very good career — and then you want to have kids but you’re still curious and ambitious and want both a family and a career, follow your dreams as it can be done!”
If you would like to follow Karine Brunet on LinkedIn, you can find her details here.