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It is crucial to reach a consensus on addressing ethical challenges in AI: Saurabh Saxena, Regional Vice President- India at OpenText

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Saurabh Saxena, Regional Vice President- India at OpenText, shares his perspective on OpenText’s strategic AI vision, cybersecurity challenges, and the transformative potential of AI in information management

Some edited excerpts:

Can you share about OpenText’s AI strategy?
The next generation of innovation will be driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and built on information management. With this in mind, OpenText unveiled its strategic vision for artificial intelligence (AI) with the launch of opentext.ai, our innovation mission to shape the future using generative-AI. This initiative equips businesses with the AI advantage to reimagine work and empowers customers to innovatively address their most complex of digital challenges through the utilization of AI and Large Language Models (LLMs). Our opentext.ai approach orchestrates an AI pivot by seamlessly integrating capabilities – such as predictive AI-led analytics and AI-driven conversational search – into our information management software. By doing so, organizations can revolutionize customer engagement, develop smarter products, optimize internal operations, streamline decision-making processes, and much more.

We’ve already taken flight with groundbreaking AI capabilities with the inception of OpenText™ Aviator under opentext.ai, our family of practical and trusted AI-fueled solutions that span a full-stack suite of AI capabilities. From B2B transactions to content repositories and application code, OpenText Aviator is built on decades worth of expertise in AI, security, information governance, and risk management. As trusted gatekeepers of enterprise information, AI requires the data strategies that OpenText is known for and now, without having to move their data, customers can utilize OpenText Aviator to take advantage of AI.

How are you integrating AI into your offerings and how will it benefit the customers?
OpenText Aviator is a family of practical and trusted generative AI capabilities that work harmoniously with our existing information management solutions.

OpenText Aviator enables organizations to promptly leverage their data, make informed decisions, and adapt with intelligent tools that continually learn. It elevates information automation, supporting organizations in a seamless transition to AI and helping them overcome current and future business challenges. Here are just some of the capabilities our customers can achieve through Aviator:

OpenText™ IT Operations Aviator leverages automation and AI across the full IT operations value chain, redefining level one business support across IT, HR, and Sales. For example, instead of a lengthy questionnaire, users can simply describe their issue, and the Aviator conducts diagnostics, identifies the problem, opens a ticket, and dispatches an IT analyst – all within seconds.

OpenText™ Cybersecurity Aviator helps manage advanced threat detection. For example, by monitoring log files, it can identify unusual user behavior, such as a sudden increase in file downloads. It can automatically quarantine and encrypt suspect files, notifying relevant departments to investigate further.

OpenText™ Content Aviator brings the power of generative AI and large language models (LLMs) into OpenText content services platforms, putting chat-based conversational search, content discovery, summarization, and translation right at employees’ fingertips. This boosts employee productivity and revolutionizes how they interact with content and extract insights.

It’s important to note that OpenText Aviator is not just a tool; it is a force multiplier that empowers businesses of all sizes to gain the ultimate information advantage by realizing the collective power of AI and information management to reimagine work. This is our vision. We don’t see AI as just another capability or feature, but rather we believe that AI will transform every industry and every role.

Are you in favour of guardrails in AI?

In the rapidly advancing world of technology, AI emerges as a transformative force with the potential to revolutionize our daily lives and work. Similar to past innovations like the internet, AI brings forth a range of ethical considerations, prompting organizations to navigate the complex landscape of AI and ethics to maximize benefits while minimizing potential risks.

As organizations increasingly adopt AI, the somewhat opaque nature of the technology poses challenges in ensuring ethical practices. Three crucial considerations for organizations embarking on their AI journey include assessing biases in AI models, addressing information leakage risks, and understanding rights to the data used for AI model training.

It is crucial to reach a consensus on addressing ethical challenges in AI. So, yes, we are in favor of guardrails in AI. In fact, OpenText is a signatory to Canada’s recently announced Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Responsible Development and Management of Advanced Generative AI Systems.

How do you see India as market and what are your expectations from the policymakers?
OpenText’s team in India plays a critical role in how we operate as a global business, how we innovate as a company and the way in which we serve our customers locally in India and across the world. Our research and development team based in Development Centers in Hyderabad and Bengaluru drives major product development programs and spearheads our global innovation efforts. In fact, the India development team has had a big part to play in driving the innovations related to the recently launched opentext.ai strategy and OpenText Aviator Platform with some of the Aviators being completely built at the India development centers.

Technology advancements are happening at a very fast pace and policy making cannot be rushed. Governments world over are trying to frame policies in the best interest of its citizens and businesses. India has been harnessing emerging technologies for its economic growth and introducing measure to guide and support these initiatives. In August last year, India passed the landmark Digital Personal Data Protection Act which is a step in the right direction. Likewise, the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI) Summit held in December in India brought together countries to commit to advancing safe, secure, and trustworthy AI within their regions. This involves exploring and implementing relevant regulations, policies, standards, and various initiatives to ensure responsible AI development and use.

Cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses with ransomware emerging as the biggest threat. What do you think organizations can do to protect themselves against it?
Mainstream Ransomware, which is now 10 years old this year, has rapidly ascended the ranks to become the weapon of choice for cybercriminals seeking to monetize breaches in digital environments. What makes ransomware even more menacing is its evolution: the sinister combination of data exfiltration with encryption. This dual-threat approach ensures that even if victims have backups to restore their systems, the looming threat of their sensitive data being leaked or sold compels them to pay or face crisis communications and data compliance fines. It’s a strategy so effective that every major player in the cybercrime arena is now running this scheme in their operations.

However, an interesting revelation in our latest Nastiest Malware research citied that only 34 per cent of businesses pay ransom. This is an all-time low and indicates that threats are being taken seriously. Organizations are investing in robust cybersecurity measures designed to prevent costly and devastating ransom demands.

Unfortunately, the rise in sophisticated attacks is expected to continue with cybercriminals innovating RaaS models, placing a greater focus on profit sharing and advancing risk mitigation to evade authorities more effectively. Countering RaaS demands a comprehensive strategy that includes bringing in the right technology, educating end users, trusting reputable cybersecurity software, and setting up a strong backup and disaster recovery plan.

What do you think makes ransomware such a big security threat?
RaaS has become a prominent model in cybercrime due to its accessibility and lucrative incentives. And it’s a complex web to untangle. As mentioned earlier, with a low barrier to entry, RaaS allows a diverse range of individuals, regardless of technical expertise, to engage in cybercriminal activities. The profit-sharing mechanism, where developers take a percentage of ransom payments, serves as a motivating factor for both developers and affiliates. The global reach of RaaS enables attacks on a worldwide scale, expanding the pool of potential victims and consequently leading to larger payouts. Additionally, the use of cryptocurrencies in ransom transactions adds a layer of anonymity, making it difficult for law enforcement to trace and apprehend those involved in ransomware operations. These factors collectively contribute to the widespread adoption of RaaS as a preferred business model in the realm of cybercrime.

Can you share more on OpenText and Google’s collaboration?
OpenText and Google Cloud kicked off an exciting strategic partnership in 2019, when OpenText named Google Cloud its preferred cloud partner and Google Cloud selected OpenText as its preferred partner for information management (IM) services. Over the last three years, we have moved dozens of customers to Google Cloud, representing a 750% growth in modernized IM workloads.

Marking another major milestone, OpenText announced the general availability of OpenText™ Core for Google Workspace, this content cloud solution is combined with Google Cloud’s suite of collaboration tools. Google Workspace customers can explore their vast repositories managed by OpenText’s content management platform and easily access, manage, and edit documentation across repositories and applications for any business process.

With Google Cloud Vertex AI, future developments to our OpenText Content Aviator solutions are inevitable. Example use cases include the ability to use conversational search via a chat assistant to engage, find, and retrieve needed answers and documents across multiple languages. Furthermore, the power of LLMs and generative AI are going to advance how quickly employees can access and understand documentation. These AI-led advancements have to potential to improve productivity and the employee experience significantly.

What is the future of work in your view?
In the words of Mark Barrenechea, OpenText CEO, “The pandemic triggered a “great rethink” in all aspects of life, especially in the way work happens. COVID-19 forced millions of people to work remotely, depend on virtual connections and re-evaluate their relationships to organizations.”

In the evolving landscape of work, as organizations determine the optimum style for their organization – be it office-based, remote or hybrid – modern workplaces are now built on robust connectivity and the future of work is poised for significant transformation with the anticipated release of integrated AI.

Let’s take a look at the expected AI innovations to HR processes OpenText is expected to make this year, as an example. We have planned groundbreaking developments set to empower users, enabling them to access information swiftly through conversational interfaces. The integration is designed not only to enhance the employee experience by supporting audit compliance and ensuring data security but also to drive heightened efficiency within HR operations. This innovative approach is a key step toward liberating employees’ time, with the potential to free up 60-70% of their schedules.

In short, the future of work will be seen in reducing digital friction and boosting business operations by leveraging content intelligently. The exploration of AI technologies promises enriched insights and personalized HR experiences, unveiling exciting opportunities for both development and customer-centric enhancements.

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