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April 30 - May 1, 2025
North Javits Center | New York City

Four Experts on the New Tech Solving Old Problems

New technologies do new things in incredible new ways. Like build houses from living, self-mending concrete. 3D print peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. Or re-animate dead spiders as mechanical grabbers. Because what could possible go wrong there?

For many of us, however, new technologies are most helpful when they allow us to do old things in incredible new ways. And zombie arachnids are not on that list.

So we asked four of the brightest minds in data and AI from around the world, all of whom are speaking at Data Universe, for their opinion. This is where tech can elevate your thinking, generate efficiencies, and eliminate boring tasks today.

Better understand a problem, better solve a problem

“I see great potential in new technologies helping us become better problem solvers,” says Emili Budell-Rhodes, lead evangelist, engineering culture for LexisNexis Legal & Professional. “Data and AI can help provide more granular and multifaceted context to a problem, and they can help suggest a variety of options to consider, as well as their pros, cons and possible impacts, in record time.”

“In essence, data and AI could make it a lot easier to consider a variety of factors and viewpoints as a standard process, helping us all better understand the problem statement in the first place – which has always been the essential starting point to any good problem solving.”

Re-ignite customer and supplier intimacy

Doug Laney is a data and analytics strategy advisor, speaker, author, and instructor. For him, technology can build a bridge to a relationship we’ve lost – if we let it.

“I’m often reminded of how data and technology enable us to achieve a form of customer and supplier intimacy. Like the one we had with the corner dry goods store or apothecary proprietor, back in the days before technology. They knew the comings and goings of everyone, helping cater to folks’ wants and needs. We may bristle at this as a presumed lack of privacy, but other than the relative impersonality today, I feel there’s really not much difference.”

Improve healthcare for all

AI can expedite many business processes, including quickly summarizing meetings, extracting proposal insights, even conducting research – taking rote work off peoples’ plates so they can apply their talents to more complex and rewarding problems.  

This is perfect for healthcare, says David Boyle, director of audience growth company, Audience Strategies. “Large language models like ChatGPT allow us to automate mundane tasks in powerful new ways. For example, a recent Mayo Clinic study found plastic surgeons can now generate post-op notes in just five seconds rather than seven minutes. The AI-generated notes were preferred and met all criteria. This frees up valuable time for surgeons to focus on more meaningful work.”

Nothing new under the sun?

In the end, of course, all tech helps solve existing problems, says LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ CISSP, CISO, and SVP of technology, Flavio Villanustre. “Yes, when considered in isolation, technology allows us to do new things in new ways. But when we explore things more broadly, we could say that at the end everything comes down to those timeless needs and wants relevant to humankind forever; and new technologies allow us to tackle those in more effective ways.”

Good point. But I’m still not sure about the re-purposed spider corpses.