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Pivotal with Hayete Gallot
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Pivotal with Hayete Gallot

Author: Microsoft

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At the center of every technology transformation are people with visionary ideas for innovation, and the drive to push them forward. Pivotal with Hayete Gallot from Microsoft spotlights the heroes who are giving technology its purpose and driving impact for their business, community, and society.
25 Episodes
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Alberta Wildfire is the fire management agency of the province of Alberta, Canada. With recent fire seasons growing longer and more intense, the agency has been looking to technology to help them be more strategic in how they allocate firefighters and equipment. ​​In 2022, they began using an AI-powered tool that provides duty officers with data-driven insights for their decisions. Built by AltaML, an AI startup in Edmonton, Alberta, the tool leverages machine learning to analyze tens of thousands of data points and predict where new fires are likely to pop up the next day. This gives firefighters a head start in taking action to suppress burn conditions.​​In this episode, we hear from provincial wildfire management specialist Ed Trenchard, and AltaML’s Graham Erickson, as they describe how AI is helping Alberta Wildfire control wildfires and save lives.​​Their story offers a vivid example of how AI can help solve public sector problems, augment the skills of experts, and deliver better outcomes for communities around the world. ​Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Among her many roles and accomplishments, Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, a leading behavioral change technology company with a mission to redefine productivity through wellbeing.​​Thrive Global is building an AI-powered assistant that will gently nudge people to take small breaks, add a few steps to their day, cut down on processed foods and pursue other habits that are good for our body and soul. The advice dished out by this assistant will be personalized for each individual, and delivered right in the flow of work through apps like Microsoft Teams.​​In a conversation with Hayete, Arianna talks about why supporting people to enjoy happier, healthier and more productive lives is such a personal mission for her. With AI, she believes we now have a unique opportunity to help people focus on what it means to be human, and what matters the most to them.​Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Project Gutenberg is the world’s first digital library. For over 50 years, it has been steadfast in its commitment to provide free, unfettered access to digitized literature for everyone. Run entirely by volunteers and driven purely by its mission to share public domain literature and information, Project Gutenberg stands out for how closely it hews to its altruistic vision, from creating e-books to audiobooks. Now, they are using AI text-to-speech capabilities from Microsoft to accelerate the progress of creating an extensive audiobook library. They've already created over 5,000 audiobooks using AI, and through this process, they've demonstrated how cost-effective AI can be to help build a world where literature can easily be shared. Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
After a successful initial rollout of GitHub Copilot that increased developer productivity, Accenture now has given the tool to more than 10,000 developers worldwide — with a burgeoning waitlist of teams eager to deploy other Copilots. In this episode, we hear from Karen Odegaard, Accenture's Global IT Managing Director, about how the firm is using generative AI and GitHub Copilot to transform the developer experience and reinvent the way developers do their jobs. According to Karen, driving adoption isn’t just throwing new tools at people. It’s making sure the value is clear, and the tools are effective enough to change behaviors and mindsets. She shares her fascinating perspective on business transformation in the age of AI that any organization can learn from. Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
What if every student had access to a personal tutor who could help them learn based on customized areas of improvement or subjects of interest? This was the ambitious goal of the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Education. To turn this into reality, they connected with Quddus Pativada, the 20-year-old founder of AI learning firm ASI. Pativada had already developed and tested an AI tutor with the potential to transform how students learn, and was looking for a customer to implement his solution. Rather than trying to block the use of AI in their education system, the UAE is embracing it. Working with ASI and Microsoft, the Ministry is rolling out the AI tutor for all students across the country, providing one-on-one tutoring as a means to modernize and improve learning at all levels. In this episode, we hear from both Quddus and Raghad Aljughaiman, Strategic and Future Planning Advisor at the UAE Ministry of Education, about their ambitious journey toward personalized, AI-assisted learning at scale. Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
On this episode of Pivotal, we meet Matija Zulj, the founder and CEO of the Croatian software company AGRIVI. Mitija explains how his company’s new AI solution — AGRIVI Ed — is making a large trove of industry and environmental data available and accessible to farmers to help them make better, faster decisions that can significantly improve their crop yields and income.AGRIVI believes that the positive effects of agriculture’s digital transformation will extend beyond making farming more efficient and profitable — it also has the potential to entice a younger generation to join the industry, reduce food waste, and help solve the global problem of food insecurity. Empowering farmers with AI tools is the new frontier of digital agriculture, and it ensures our access to food for generations to come.Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
BeeOdiversity’s mission is to help regenerate biodiversity and reduce pesticides and heavy metals in the environment by combining the brilliance of Mother Nature with technology. Their BeeOmonitoring solution uses data obtained from bees to measure pollutants and the state of biodiversity — and then help people use those measurements to change things for the better. After 10 years of collecting environmental data in partnership with bees and beekeepers worldwide, BeeOdiversity is working with Microsoft to process and interpret their findings through AI and machine learning tools. These new tools give them the power to review massive datasets and deliver timely, actionable insights that would have been impossible to uncover before. The beauty of this approach is that bees work every day to visit billions of plants across a vast area — and people rarely argue with their findings. Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
In the world of customer service, being able to understand the customer's needs, resolve issues, and pass along critical information to other service agents are critical factors that companies must get right. Ric Todd, Director of Strategy and Innovation for Customer Service and Support at Microsoft, believes the advent of generative AI will transform these processes for service agents and allow them to focus even more on how to serve customers better. Ric’s role centers around deploying and operationalizing new technology solutions for customer service at Microsoft, while providing feedback to improve those very solutions. In rolling out Dynamics 365 Customer Service and Copilot for Service across the organization, his team is seeing not only the benefits of a large language model that can reason over massive amounts of information instantly — but also a surprising ability to help agents tune into customers’ sentiments and communicate more effectively.Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
When somebody is shopping for a car, they need real-world reviews and practical information about each make and model. But for retailers with tens of thousands of cars for sale at any given time, offering the right content for shoppers to make an informed decision is a continual challenge. ​​Today, CarMax is tackling this fundamental business problem by using AI to empower its content creation teams. This episode of Pivotal features CarMax's Chief Information and Technology Officer, Shamim Mohammad, who discusses his company’s interesting approach to building new AI solutions on a foundation of solid data governance and culture of experimentation, which has yield extraordinary results for customer and employee experiences.​​According to Shamim, by starting small, allowing teams the space to learn and get better, and then empowering them to put innovations into production, they can create incredible solutions and scale them quickly. And the beauty is every organization can benefit from this approach.00:02 Introduction and Welcome00:19 The Role of AI in Business Transformation01:19 Introducing Guest: Shamim Mohammad from CarMax01:53 Shamim's Journey and Role at CarMax03:25 The Advent of AI and its Impact04:42 AI Implementation at CarMax07:51 The Importance of AI Governance10:09 Creating a Culture of Experimentation12:19 Scaling AI Projects and Governance13:15 The Role of Data in AI Implementation27:08 Lessons Learned from AI Implementation29:17 The Future of AI30:53 Conclusion and FarewellLink to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Since the beginning of Natasha Crampton’s career in law, she’s had an interest in the areas where law intersects with technology and its effects on society at large. And as technology has evolved, so has her focus. ​ ​Today Natasha is Microsoft’s Chief Responsible AI Officer, and no two days are the same. Internally she works shoulder-to-shoulder with engineering teams to build new AI technologies in a way that grounds AI’s awesome capabilities within Microsoft’s Responsible AI Standard. Outside of the company, Natasha contributes to a broad industry, community and government discussion about the laws and standards that will be needed to bring AI to life in a responsible way. ​ It's a fascinating line of thought, and as she says, there is much more ahead of us than behind. Tune in to this episode of Pivotal to get a glimpse into the ethics of AI and how a diverse set of perspectives and skills are coming together to make this exciting new tech frontier a reality. Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
When we think of AI, it’s usually in the context of offices, call centers or manufacturing plants — but today USA Surfing is using AI to understand and analyze the performance of athletes in one of the world’s most unpredictable natural environments. ​​On the latest episode of Pivotal, Chair of USA Skateboarding and President of the Global Action Sports Foundation Brandon Lowery discusses USA Surfing’s wave-breaking new AI solution and how it can help surfers, coaches and judges to learn, improve and even recover from injury. ​Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Local journalism has long been the lynchpin that connects people to their communities and to the nation at large. Those diverse local perspectives are critical for providing a sense of place and including everyone in the national dialogue. But across the U.S., journalism has become imperiled as news outlets dry up and go out of business — and those remaining are being asked to do more with less. In this episode, Josh Brandau of Nota talks about his lifelong passion for the news, and how Nota is using AI tools to help newsrooms thrive in the digital age and allow journalists to focus on their craft.00:00 Introduction and Welcome00:19 The Role of AI in Business Transformation00:53 Demystifying AI through Innovators01:21 The Concept of News Deserts02:08 Josh Brandau's Journey into Journalism03:58 The Struggles of News Organizations05:12 The Impact of AI on Local Journalism05:31 The Challenges Faced by Small Newspapers06:16 How Nota is Assisting Newsrooms07:40 The Role of AI in Journalism10:16 The Importance of Human Control in AI11:07 How Nota's Tools Work14:36 The Impact of Nota on Local News23:03 The Future of Nota and AI in Journalism30:35 Conclusion and Final ThoughtsLink to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Pivotal was created to highlight the human element of technology’s evolution. In the first season, we hosted 12 incredible storytellers, each one unpacking how people in their organizations are giving technology purpose by applying it in ways that solve problems, create opportunities, and spark transformation. In this episode, we reflect on our guests' ingredients for success that illustrate the critical role connection, compassion, and creativity play in driving positive impact through technology.​Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Following a devastating 2019 ransomware attack on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), Principal Chief Richard Sneed breaks down the damage done, lessons learned, and cybersecurity protocols his department has since established. Chief Sneed explains why his perspective of cybersecurity changed after this incident, and how he has prioritized cloud migration and a zero-trust mindset to protect the tribe’s operations, assets, and digital future.Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Rachel Higham, CIO of WPP, reflects on the principles of human-centered design and how it helped her not only overhaul the company’s global IT organization but also craft the team that planned and carried out the work. In prioritizing human experience, growth mindset, and service to employees and clients, Rachel and her tight-knit crew kept their “big rules” in perspective to reset WPP’s technology ecosystem according to the everyday ways their 130,000 colleagues engage with it.Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Ahmed Mihaimeed of SOS Children’s Villages International discusses what he observed among the parents he met in eastern and southern Africa: a desire to find the tools to grow as caregivers, and to be able access those tools without extensive travel. He tells the story of Rafiki, the mobile app he helped to create as a companion to parents that provides support while honoring their lifestyles, language preferences, day-to-day pressures, and aspirations for their families.Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Valerie Beaulieu-James of The Adecco Group discusses how her company has helped both clients and job candidates adapt to a changing labor market, using innovative tech platforms to modernize how employees think about and learn new skills. Valerie shares how tech-driven approaches to train existing workers, identify transposable skills, and match workers’ strengths to available roles has helped employers overcome talent scarcity and connected people with positions that align with their purpose.Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media.
Julie Clugage shares how her passion for providing access to quality education led her to creating Team4Tech, a non-profit that helps bring technology programs to schools in the developing world. In this episode, Julie and Theophile Habiyambere of Gashora Girls Academy in Rwanda tell the story of their partnership, and how it has had a lasting impact on students, teachers, and schools across the country.Link to full episode transcript. Produced by Larj Media.
Sally VanDereedt has always held curiosity for science and enthusiasm for new challenges. As a technology specialist for St. Lucie Public Schools in Florida, Sally has transformed the experience of learning and working in the district by encouraging faculty and students to embrace technology. In this episode, Sally explains the timeless and powerful philosophy behind her approach — to get people to use a new tool, show you care about them and what it means to their goals.    Link to full episode transcript. Produced by Larj Media
Jenny Lay-Flurrie “rode the wave of the nerdy” from an IT desk all the way to Microsoft, where accessibility became her day job. As Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer, she joined and shaped a community that spearheaded the company’s accessibility journey, transforming experiences for employees and customers alike. Jenny discussed her calling to do something impactful with her career, and the doors that open when accessibility becomes a constant force through Microsoft’s events, offices, devices, language and culture.Link to full episode transcript.Produced by Larj Media
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