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Meet Anna Metsäranta: Marketing AI Conference (MAICON) Speaker

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Welcome back to our MAICON 2021 speaker series. We’re introducing you to our speakers, telling you a little about why they’ll be at MAICON, what resonated with us in articles or resources of theirs, and how to connect with them prior to the event.

Anna Metsäranta is the Business AI Lead at Solita, a technology, design and strategy consultancy that helps customers utilize data and technology for impact that lasts.

With her academic background in operations research (M.Sc. Econ) and 15+ years of experience in systems development, Metsäranta helps customers shape strategic initiatives and solve complex problems with multidisciplinary teams.

Metsäranta is passionate about the possibilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning, while keeping the focus on real solutions for real people. She is on a mission to reduce the hype around AI and help business executives see the possibilities and limitations of AI in their own contexts.

Some of Anna Metsäranta’s Work

Creating Sustainable Value with AI

An excerpt: In 2019, Gartner predicted around 85% of AI initiatives would fail to deliver their promises to the business. What are the main drivers behind this sad figure? In this video, Anna shares thoughts on how to avoid the typical pitfalls of AI initiatives and build solutions that stand the test of time. 

Why we like it: Even two years after this presentation, companies are still struggling to deliver promised results from their AI solutions. Why is this? The points Anna makes in this video are spot on—many companies and leaders often overestimate the true capabilities of AI technology today and thus have unrealistic goals for these projects. In her MAICON breakout session this year, Anna will offer actionable tips to avoid similar failures in your own AI endeavors. 

How Europe’s AI Ecosystem Could Catch Up with China and the U.S.

An excerpt: The problem with the inflated expectations caused by the hype is that when senior management expects miracles, and they expect that they can just pour all of the data into this magical black box called AI, and fantastic insight will come out of it, they don’t see the potential of the realistic use cases, which might be quite modest. And they should be modest to get started with the technology to start growing your maturity and your understanding. That [expectation] leads to lack of funding, [and then] we can’t get companies to fund these initiatives.

Why we like it: The overinflated hype surrounding AI that Anna speaks of in this article is just as relatable in Europe as it is in the United States. Time and time again, we see hyperbolic news headlines and cinematic exaggerations of AI, resulting in misled information for business leaders. Like Anna advises, leaders must be willing to educate themselves on the true capabilities of AI technology before making business decisions that could impact their company, their stakeholders, and their customers.

Interview: How AI Empowers Customer Service at Nordea

An excerpt: Much of the cutting-edge AI research that the likes of Google are doing in its labs with hundreds or thousands of GPUs (graphical processing units) is, though really cool, far from practical in a business perspective. I encourage organisations to go to the effort of educating their staff on the basics of machine-learning techniques: how it works, what data is needed, how much data is needed, what you can realistically do.

Why we like it: In this interview, Anna and Hongyu Su uncovered AI innovations happening at Norea, but also touch briefly on the importance of being educated in machine learning and AI before adopting solutions. This is a common thread of much of Anna’s work, but incredibly important—proper education has the potential to prevent leaders from making misinformed AI decisions.

Learn More About Anna Metsäranta

Anna Metsäranta's Breakout Session at MAICON

Wonder Why Your AI Investments Fail? Here’s Why

The vast majority of AI projects are doomed to fail. According to market estimates, even up to 85% of AI initiatives don’t deliver the intended results. While the public domain is obsessed with massive investments into AI, the return on those investments remains elusive. Are we just throwing money into the AI pit? Why do so many AI initiatives fail to deliver results? 

Join us at MAICON 2021 on September 13-14, 2021 to hear Tim and 20+ other AI and marketing leaders. BLOG20 saves 20% off current prices. 

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