First thing, last thing: How this artificial intelligence exec keeps it real

Brian Nordli

Artificial intelligence might traffic in robots, but people come first (and last, in this case) for David Brown, senior vice president of SmartAction’s customer division. At the start and end of every day, Brown finds inspiration in human behavior and developments in AI. 

FIRST THING: My job is focused on two things: our people and our customers. Before I sit down at my desk, I start each day by checking in with the team, connecting face-to-face with those who work most closely with our customers. I ask them basic questions like, “How are you doing? How is our customer doing? What’s your biggest concern this week?” and “What if we did it this way?”

THE EFFECT: These morning check-ins can help our team pivot and re-prioritize in a way that’s truly impactful. It’s an opportunity for me to connect personally with the people I depend on, and it provides a space for us to think critically and collaboratively about our customers.

LAST THING: I end each day by returning to the AI technology that brought me to SmartAction in the first place. AI and machine learning has exploded in the last few years; we’ve seen it manifest in devices that are now in many of our homes.

So, you’ll find me chatting with my colleagues, reading or attending a talk — absorbing as much as I can and thinking about how our team might incorporate these capabilities into the platform. 

THE EFFECT: I need to stay abreast of AI developments to keep pace with the smart and talented people at SmartAction. But it also allows me to challenge my team to deliver solutions that will lead the way for our industry. We are configuring an AI-powered chatbot that we hope will change the way people do business with one of our top customers. This inspires me and keeps me energized.   

Got an interesting "First thing, Last thing" story? Get in touch.

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