Louisville Data and Security Leaders Talk How to Unlock the Value of GenAI

Louisville Data and Security Leaders Talk How to Unlock the Value of GenAI

Senior data, security, and technology leaders from diverse sectors such as entertainment, financial services, healthcare, higher education, insurance, and manufacturing recently convened for a thought-provoking panel session and dinner at the CDO Magazine's Louisville Forum on November 16.

Steve Wanamaker, CDO Magazine Publisher, says, “It’s thrilling to see the CDO Magazine community gather in Louisville, Kentucky, to share best practices as well as meaningful collaboration with their peers from the leading organizations in the region. These executives' contribution to the global data community is meaningful, and we appreciate their passion and leadership.”

Sharing insights and answering questions from their peers on “Data & Security: The Competitive Advantage in the Gen AI Era” were panel speakers Joe Harrington, Churchill Downs Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer; Jonathan Peña, Humana Associate Vice President, Data Science, Consumer Growth; Tiffany Smith, Farm Credit Mid-America Chief Security Officer and Head of IT Operations; Mike Menke, AHEAD Field CTO; and moderator Taylor Gorning, AHEAD Managing Director.

When asked why everyone is still talking about GenAI, Harrington says, “GenAI potentially has the ability to be as transformative to business as the internet has been.”

Sharing his perspective on security, he  continues, “From a cybersecurity standpoint, we don’t need to block access to GenAI or try to find ways to keep it out of our organizations. Instead, we should accept that it is going to be used, and develop policies for its use and train users in the appropriate use of the technology.”

Harrington adds, “It was very interesting to hear how organizations are starting to leverage AI technologies and where this technology is going and how it could be used in the future.”

Comparing AI to Generative AI, Peña explains, “Generative AI empowers users with ready-to-use, adaptable models. This is a significant departure from the traditional machine learning approach where AI ran behind the scenes – serving up recommendations or driving decisions without a second thought from the end customer. Now, with GenAI, users have much more control over how the system is used and what data is provided as the inputs.”

“This shift places greater power and responsibility in users' hands, necessitating a new design, deployment, and management paradigm that prioritizes user education in data privacy and model performance to ensure AI’s responsible use. Our journey has taught us that engaging users at scale with the right knowledge of both the power and limitations of Generative AI is crucial for unlocking its value,” Peña adds.

Further elaborating on the subject of AI adoption, Smith says, “AI continues to be a general ‘umbrella’ term – one that encompasses multiple types of technologies from ML to LLMs and GenAI. The diversity in industries represented, and in the propensity for looking at AI as an opportunity versus a risk led to some lively and thought-provoking dialogue. One particularly compelling example was from a comment that essentially compared AI to a Star Wars light saber – a powerful tool that can be used for either great or terrible things depending on who’s using it.”

She adds, “I look forward to follow-up discussions and to the next CDO Magazine event.”

Executives attending the CDO Magazine Louisville Forum Executive Boardroom Dinner included:

Angela Ciliberti-Riedling, QSR Automations VP, Product Strategy; Lane Coonrod, The Hartford AVP, Underwriting, Personal Lines; Jose Edwin, Kentucky Farm Bureau Corporate Director, Information Technology; Adel Elmaghraby, University of Louisville Director, Research & Innovation for Digital Transformation; Tony Fleming, Former Wasteology Group CIO; Mitch Greenfield, Humana AVP, Identity & Access Management; Joe Harrington, Churchill Downs VP, CISO; Jeff Jarecki, Volta CISO; Sharon Kerrick, University of Louisville AVP/Faculty-Associate Professor; Praveen Khatta, Baptist Health Corporate IT Director, Enterprise Systems; Joe Martinez, Farm Credit Mid-America Director, Information Security; Mike Mills, Farm Credit Mid-America Security Architect; Amit Parulekar, Brown-Forman Director, Global Advanced Analytics & AI Strategy; Jonathan Pena, Humana AVP, Data Science, Consumer Growth; Drew Perry, Serta Simmons Bedding VP, CISO; Eric Porter, Michelin NA Business Intelligence Systems Manager; Shane Rodabaugh, Baptist Health VP, IT Infrastructure; Steve Schoen, Humana Director, Cloud Architecture; Doug Scobee, BrightSpring Health Services VP, Digital Services; Vishal Shah, Humana Principal Solutions Architect; Grace Simrall, iGlass Analytics Founder & CEO; Tiffany Smith, Farm Credit Mid-America Chief Security Officer, Head, IT Operations; Drew Thiemann, Ellucian Executive Director, Institutional Research & Decision Support; Brian Duvall, AHEAD Client Director; Taylor Gorning, AHEAD Managing Director; Amber Hedges, AHEAD Client Director; Mike Menke, AHEAD Field CTO; Bill Moorman, AHEAD Sr. Client Solutions Architect; Tina Orozco, AHEAD Sr. Field Marketing Manager; Mahesh Seshadri, AHEAD Transformation Advisor; Nayla Sidhoum, AHEAD Client Director; Michelle Ziegler, CDO Magazine Global VP, Partner Development & Events; Lisa Runkle, CDO Magazine Global Event Manager.

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