Sunday February 16, 2020

Ireland is doing a lot of the right things, investing in STEM, AI, continuing to attract FDI

12th February, 2020

What's your name?

Owen Lewis

What’s your current job?

I am Head of Management Consulting for KPMG Ireland. I have 20 years industry and consulting experience in a range of sectors with the last 10 years spent predominately working with FS organisations in Australia, UK and Europe. I have a PhD in artificial intelligence and am enjoying being a part of bringing the potential of AI to life with my clients.

Can you describe your daily work routine?

I spend my days generally working for a diversified range of clients and importantly spending time and coaching my team. It is important to me that we have a happy, safe learning environment.

What is your professional background?

I am highly focussed in the FinTech arena and I see our clients really taking AI seriously now and investigating what it means for the FS business, when there is an overarching umbrella of regulations, like GDPR, that seeks to put some controls around data and the use of data, which is the basic fuel of AI.

I see a continued focus on getting the data right, understanding the customer, digital transformation, and operating in a changing technical and business environment. Fintech and Regtech, built on AI and machine learning platforms, are racing ahead with developing capability that provides an enormous opportunity for the sector. AI will continue to drive the relative importance of the C-level that works with Data, Digital, Analytics and Transformation. It is this leadership that will make the fundamental decisions on how the sector will change and I see two focusses, improved operations and better customer experiences.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

Something some people don’t know about me (although I generally bring it up in conversation!) is that I am a proud Welshman and with that, a proud rugby fan. As I write this in the middle of the Six Nations, I wonder how Wales will fare against France…

You are speaking at the forthcoming AI Summit in Croke Park. What is the focus of your talk?

I will be presenting alongside my colleague Kieran Towey (Head of Applied Intelligence) on where we find ourselves at this point in time in terms of AI capability development. While he will share insights on what we want to achieve with AI and how we can build capability at scale, I will share insights from an industry specific viewpoint.

How do you think AI will shape the future of Ireland’s industry over the coming 5 years and do you think Ireland’s workforce has the right kind of skillsets to enable the future workforce to deal with the oncoming fifth revolution?

I have had the great privilege of working in Ireland, the UK, Australia and Japan and seeing how these diverse economies are thinking about the future of work and how AI will fundamentally change everything. I started my career in global supply chain and if you think of logistics 20 years ago to today, you can see the huge amounts of automation from warehouses to now autonomous vehicles, a transformed industry. I think Ireland is doing a lot of the right things, investing in STEM, AI, continuing to attract FDI and becoming a hub, particularly for European technical talent, all of which will help drive and sustain innovation. All these factors help ground the right kind of skillsets here and position Ireland as a pioneer in the Future Workforce field, I think that’s our great opportunity.

Owen will be speaking at the AI Summit on March 5th in Croke Park, Dublin.

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