Interview with Neil Sahota, Chief Innovation Officer & UN AI Advisor, University of California, Irvine

From the moment of inception of the emerging technologies, various industries do a swift technology utilization on various dynamics. But Neil Sahota from University of California, Irvine in his conversation with AI Time Journal has elucidated the prominence in learning the delicacy of technology utilization at the various cultures.  He further expounded on the social media transformation through technology in the near-by future. Read the complete article to gain deeper insights from Mr. Neil Sahota’s experience.

Category:  AI for Sustainable Development Initiative 

AI Technology

Jagan: How important do you think the AI superclusters play a vital role in the cities to embrace the lifestyle of the common citizens?

Neil Sahota: AI superclusters have a huge impact on overall people in these cities, so it is critical that they embrace the local lifestyle. If the two are not aligned, it causes more friction than benefits. First, consider focus. If the city has a strong industry presence in healthcare but the supercluster focuses on financial services, this puts a lot of pressure on the local ecosystem. There’s an inherent misalignment between talent and jobs, customers and products, and opportunities and needs. Second, there will be a clash of cultures. With a “healthcare” city culture, the people may be more focused on taking the time to be methodical and precise. Conversely, a “financial services” culture may be more fast-paced to meet dynamic demands. As diametric opposites, it will be a challenge to find consistent harmony between the two cultures.

Jagan: Can you share with us one interesting story that you experienced with your client on building the AI ecosystem?

Neil Sahota: A few years ago, I helped three lawyers identify an opportunity on creating an AI Associate Lawyer and building a business around it. Applying Neil’s Magic Formula and my TUCBO framework (see question #5 for more details), they built an MVP version of the product quickly and launched their company Legalmation. We then met with one of the largest insurance companies in the world in hopes of securing them as a client. Despite a very successful product demo using data they supplied on the spot, the C-level insurance executive was a bit ambivalent. In a one-on-one conversation, this executive told me that they had a big consulting company coming in next week to do something very similar. That felt a lot more stable than Legalmation which was just a startup. The following week, I got a call from the insurance executive stating the insurance company was going with Legalmation. After asking why the executive explained that the consulting company would’ve taken 14 months (and needed a tremendous amount of money) to build just half of what Legalmation already had. That’s the power of having the right business and domain expertise coupled with AI (or emerging technology).

Jagan: Mr. Neil, can you just brief us about your responsibilities as a UN AI advisor especially towards the AI for Good initiative projects and partnerships for a better global ecosystem?

Neil Sahota: My responsibilities are two-fold. First, I help identify focal areas like healthcare, education, law, etc. Then based on these areas, we identify potential projects to create (physical) solutions as well as policy and regulation. Second, I help forge the overall ecosystem for AI for Good through the building of strategic partnerships. By bringing in collaborator organizations, we’ve augmented our access to volunteers and resources and launch programs like the Innovation Factory, which helps social entrepreneurs jumpstart their social impact companies.

Technology on Social Media

Jagan: One of your articles reads “AI will soon transform social media”. To what extent can AI succeed in the modernization of the conventional social media platform?

Neil Sahota: I’m not sure I would call it “modernization” so much as it is really “synthetization.” Social media is like IoT devices in which there’s a constant stream of data that is frequent and large in volume. With IoT, we are essentially a lot of big data for machine consumption (not human consumption). We’re heading down the same route with social media. Instagram has over 100M+ posts per day with over 4.2B likes per day. Now, toss in other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. How does a person keep track of relevant information and post meaningful content? This is where AI steps in.

In the near future, machines will help us by combing through the data and distilling it for people’s consumption based on the needs and interests of each person as well as share sentiment and psychographic information.

Neil Sahota

This will help fuel individuals to post more engaging content. Thus, AI will really drive synthetization of social media.

Creativity & Motivation

Jagan: Albert Einstein once said, ” Creativity is intelligence having fun”. How do you visualize the importance of creativity to enhance innovation in any emerging technologies?

Neil Sahota: This is an interesting question because it goes to the heart of what I often talk about: Neil’s Magic Formula and TUCBO.

Neil’s Magic Formula states really innovation with emerging technology is based on Problem –> Opportunity –> Solution (not just Problem –> Solution)

Neil Sahota

My Magic Formula is rooted in the symbiosis of business (or domain) knowledge and technology expertise. Creativity arises when we bring the people who really understand what the problems are with the people who understand the new capabilities technology brings. This is where the magic happens. This combination enables creativity by identifying novel opportunities. However, to do this successfully, people need to think disruptively. How do you do that? This is where TUCBO comes in.

TUCBO stands for Think Different, Understand Different, Create Different, Be Different, and Own Different. It is a proven framework I’ve used for Global Fortune 500 companies to bring disruption to the market.

Neil Sahota

It generates a creative idea but also fuels how to make it a successful reality.

Jagan: What keeps Mr. Neil motivated in having a successful journey to date?

Neil Sahota: Focus on my personal goal: To leave the world at least as good as I found it, if not better.


We sincerely thank Mr. Neil Sahota for sharing his experience on the various aspects of AI technology and his ideation on “Neil’s Magic Formula and TUCBO”

Editorial Associate

I strongly believe that People with great passion can make the impossible happen. With interest in technology, I clutch the role of  Technology Business Manager in the IT Industry, and additional roles such as  Executive Magazine Coordinator, Corporate Event Organizer, CXO & Technocrats Interview. My recent initiative in AI Time Journal “AI & IoT Interview Series” is being treated as an insightful session. 

About Jagan G. M.

I strongly believe that People with great passion can make the impossible happen. With interest in technology, I clutch the role of  Technology Business Manager in the IT Industry, and additional roles such as  Executive Magazine Coordinator, Corporate Event Organizer, CXO & Technocrats Interview. My recent initiative in AI Time Journal "AI & IoT Interview Series" is being treated as an insightful session. 

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