Ireland will be ahead of the curve when it comes to having the necessary skills and expertise to embrace and also commercialise AI

Paul Verkaik, head of the IPsoft EMEA Solution Architecture organisation believes AI and humans working in unison will drive creativity, efficiency and effectivity in Ireland

5th March, 2019
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What's your name?

Paul Verkaik

What’s your current job?

I feel privileged to head up the IPsoft EMEA Solution Architecture organisation

How long have you held the position?

I equally feel privileged to be in my 11th year with IPsoft

Can you describe your daily work routine?

There is always a healthy mixture between Customer and Partner related activities and the internal activities geared towards defining, designing and delivering world-class solutions for them. As our products evolve rapidly a good amount of time is associated with them learning about their evolving capabilities.

What is your professional background?

The company I work for, IPsoft was founded in 1989, headquartered in NYC/NY. Little over 11 years ago the organisation established itself in Europe. I was employee number two! Being employee number two in the EU organisation I have fulfilled many different leadership roles in the Operations and Delivery domains prior to being trusted with the EMEA leadership role for our Solution Architecture organisation.

Prior to my tenure at IPsoft I have led many global programs for large enterprises in the IT and ITSM space.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

Paul Verkaik, head of the IPsoft EMEA Solution Architecture organisation

Music is an important aspect of my life, so enjoying music and making music is a dominant factor. Next to that, my geek in me is experimenting with (upcoming) technologies and principles like blockchain, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts as well as Python,

Tensorflow and Keras. Occasionally and just to relax and take my mind of things I am also geeky enough to be a casual gamer.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

Ha! I told you that I was tad geeky, right? Well, I actually may be more of a geek….. I also happen to have a fairly significant (understatement) collection of 80s retro video games.

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

My focus will be on conversational AI and the corresponding journey. Chatbots and conversational AI seems just about everywhere today. With increasing customer expectations, conversational AI seems to be of growing importance however, current rhetoric and AI claims have misguided many of us, clouding our judgement on what it takes to successfully deploy such AI.

How do you think AI will shape the future of Ireland’s industry over the coming 5 years?

With AI augmenting the human workforce and taking away repetitive and mundane tasks, people will finally be freed to tap even more into their creativity, experience and education. Having AI and humans working in unison will drive creativity, efficiency and effectivity to heights never seen before.

Can you comment on whether you think Ireland’s workforce has the right kind of skillsets to enable the future workforce to deal with the oncoming fifth revolution?

Ireland is a major hub for the services industry and a huge number of technology companies are based here. I believe this means you’ll see a lot of beta testing and early adoption of AI in this country as well as development of AI technologies. This in addition to your great Universities such as Trinity College means your workforce be ahead of the curve when it comes to having the necessary skills and expertise to embrace and also commercialise AI.

Paul Verkaik will be speaking at the National AI and Machine Learning Summit 2019 at Croke Park on March 6th. For more details, see www.aisummit.ie.

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