They’re Coming To Take Me Away!

Posted on Wednesday 7 February 2018.

Mike Matthews, gives us an insight into Artificial Intelligence and preparing to speak at SDI18


When I was asked if I’d like to present to a conference audience about the impact of analytics, robotics and AI, I mused over a strap-line that would get people’s attention and came up with “They’re coming to take me away”.

A couple of my team thought this was amusing, not necessarily from the business value perspective, but because of what I might be taking on and therefore, suggested that it was me who needed taking away! In all seriousness though, having spoken at a number of conferences, what I have learned is that you have to understand your audience and also, you have to entertain in order to inform.

Conferences can drag and become PowerPoint fests but every SDI conference I’ve been to has had extremely innovative, interesting and very motivational speakers, which is why people keep coming back for more. However, that puts the pressure on me to match or exceed what I’ve seen previously and here is where some of my team think I’m mad. I still remember Kirk Wiesler, 7 years ago in Brighton I think, telling a tale about how we should open a banana. That story and the ethos of it that just because you’ve always done something in a particular way, does mean you shouldn’t try another, has stayed with me.

So now here I am, seriously starting to plan for the event and wondering how I firstly, interest, entertain and inform the audience of at least 100 people I will have in front of me. I always like to provoke, set the scene with a video that makes people go “Hmm, really”? If I do that, I think I have brought you close enough that you want to listen more. I’ve already selected a video from YouTube that I want to show everyone to set the scene and make you think “Oh My”. I’m not going to tell you what it is yet, but I had a session with some of my AI and Robotics SMEs in Manchester on Jan 24th, where I tested this on them, while looking inside their heads for some valuable insight.

Thereafter, I’ll be putting myself in your virtual shoes, asking myself why you chose my session and imagining what it is you expect and want to see/hear. It’s a toughie, I am sure to know some of you from previous events but mostly, we won’t have met before, so I’m trying to perfect what is a completely inexact science.

When you’re reading this, I do want to start your left field thought processes now. You’re all the experts, I however, am an observer who like Henry Ford, looks at the need for a faster horse and invents the car, but for me, it’s in Service Desk and End User Support spheres. You already know how difficult and unforgiving running a Service Desk is, so maybe start to ask yourselves, now we’ve squeezed the agents to death, optimised the life out of process and bought ourselves the best ITSM tool that makes the tea and coffee, what possibly can be left to improve?

I’ll leave you with a video that we use in Fujitsu to capture people’s attention. I’d like you to have a look at it and if you don’t already, start to understand why we have to change the way we support people.



Intrigued… hear more on the topic from Mike at SDI18 in March- book your place now!



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