'˜Artificial intelligence can persuade people to lead healthier lives'

ARTIFICIAL intelligence can save taxpayers' money by sending targeted messages that encourage people to lead healthier lives, a major business event was told.

Yorkshire Post Innovation Network..Pictured from the left are Dr Abdulrahman Altahhan, Greg Wright, Stuart Sherman, Chris Atkinson and Jamie Morgan..21st March 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Stuart Sherman, the chief executive of IMC Business Architecture, predicted that artificial intelligence will be a force for good because it can help people to have a better understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Mr Sherman was one of the speakers at an innovation network event about artificial intelligence which was run by The Yorkshire Post in partnership with Leeds Beckett University. Mr Sherman told The Yorkshire Post that major corporations were beginning to understand the potential impact from using artificial intelligence incorrectly.

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He added: “We will see responsible use, which addresses the concerns and governance will start to become more evident.

Yorkshire Post Innovation Network..21st March 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

“Ultimately, it (artificial intelligence) can help us understand the world better and it can help us to communicate with each other better.”

During his presentation, Mr Sherman outlined how his company was using artificial intelligence to encourage more people to take steps to reduce the chances of them suffering from diabetes.

Afterwards, Mr Sherman said: “Fundamentally, we all want to be healthier. We’d all like to be healthier tomorrow, after we’ve eaten the chocolate cake, finished the cigarette and not worked out.

“The question then becomes, ‘How do we motivate your future self?’. Or how do we motivate you on a future goal? The further away the goal is from you, the less likely you are to focus on it. So when we look at it in this context, we believe that one of the challenges that the NHS has, is that they spend so much money on cures and dealing with the disease. Not enough money is spent on prevention..it’s all been spent on the other side.

Yorkshire Post Innovation Network...21st March 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

He added: “We can get people to live healthier lives and take better care of themselves and figure out what motivates them to do it.”

People might, for example, be motivated to stay healthy because they were concerned about their appearance, or worried about losing their sight, Mr Sherman said.

He added: “There are a lot of factors, but if you can get the one that ‘gets’ me, then you’ve got prevention which is far less expensive and better for everybody.

“Right now, it’s one message fits all. So somebody comes up with an ad campaign on, ‘Take care of yourself, or you’ll get diabetes’

Yorkshire Post Innovation Network..21st March 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

“That one message goes out to everybody. Then we head in to ‘one to one’ marketing where they give a best guess and everybody gets the same offer to their inbox. Again that doesn’t work. You really need to be able to start saying, ‘This is the right message for the right person’. It’s the horses for courses argument.”

The event was chaired by Greg Wright, the deputy business editor of The Yorkshire Post. It was held at The Yorkshire Post’s head office in Leeds and sponsored by WGN, Yorkshire Bank, the Yorkshire Post and Lupton Fawcett.

The Innovation Network event featured presentations from an expert panel which analysed the opportunities and challenges created by the growing use of artificial intelligence.

The other speakers were Dr Abdulrahman Altahhan, the senior lecturer in computing at Leeds Beckett University, Jamie Morgan, a professor of economic sociology at Leeds Beckett University and Chris Atkinson, the digital and retail segment senior manager at Yorkshire Bank and Studio B, an innovation lab.

Yorkshire Post Innovation Network...21st March 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

After the event, many of the delegates toured the digital hub, a co-working space created by Leeds Beckett University and The Yorkshire Post. The digital hub has supported dozens of businesses and entrepreneurs to date, including Leon Doyle, a former star of BBC TV’s The Apprentice.