Features, Insight, Interviews

“Our approach is to focus on hybrid-AI.”- Ashley Woodbridge, Lenovo CTO

Ashley Woodbridge, CTO Infrastructure Solutions Group, META, Lenovo spoke to CNME Editor Mark Forker about exciting developments within the fields of Artificial Intelligence and their plans to further support the technological evolution of the region.

AI is everywhere and at Lenovo you have a concept called AI for all. Could you talk to our readers about this concept and what you plan to exhibit from your current portfolio at LEAP 2024?

We want to get AI into the hands of everyone and see how they can utilise its benefits. What we have observed is that the younger generations are producing the most interesting AI use-cases that can empower businesses. On our LEAP 24 booth, we have several local start-ups that are doing amazing things to change the retail experience, optimise hotels of the future and local manufacturing companies that are building Lenovo technology locally within the KSA with a focus on regional requirements.

What is your perspective on Generative AI, the opportunities it presents and the challenges enterprises face with adopting it?

Twelve months ago, none of us knew what Generative AI was and now we are seeing it deployed globally within production environments. We need to think about the responsibility and sustainability of this technology in the long term. Our approach is to focus on hybrid-AI, which we see as a union of personal, private, and public AI technologies. This fusion will give you the comfort a personal twin that will run on your end-devices and secure your most private information in collaboration with a trusted partner like Lenovo. For enterprises, you can store all your intellectual property and sensitive data in a securely governed site that can be remotely controlled by an embedded device, we have termed this as a pocket-to-cloud AI solution. With this approach we can meet many of our customers use-cases with suitability and responsibility in mind.

When you’re developing products and AI solutions do you engage with your customers to see what they need, or do you consider yourself ahead of the curve with the foresight to see what is coming?

Lenovo is an innovation company and we’re very focused on being a true manufacturer with advanced capabilities. We do try to think ahead with sustainable technologies like warm water cooling, but the best feedback always comes from our customers. For example, one of our close collaborators Dreamworks develops their movies on Lenovo infrastructure allowing us to work closely with them to meet their requirements and engineer solutions for specific use cases concerning digital assets. Processes like these represent the best of both worlds, we present to our customer our vision and roadmap whilst they provide feedback and insight on our direction.

Lenovo is well positioned as a global leader, what is your perspective on the market in the region and the importance of an event like LEAP?

The event is amazing, and we’re really excited about interacting with our customers to discusses challenges with them. Topics range from how we can help them with climate change, better weather forecasting, the impact of natural disasters and even aquaculture. They’re coming to us with the really hard questions which is exciting. When you have passionate customers at an event like this to becomes possible to have forward-thinking discussions about partnerships.

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