C3.ai CEO Thomas M. Siebel was featured in an article in Barron’s‚ titled “Tom Siebel Is Both Delighted and Worried About AI.” As part of the article‚ Siebel notes that artificial intelligence (AI) will bring incredible benefits to society‚ as big as the industrial revolution. Conversely‚ he also believes it will bring grave costs‚ just like the steam engine once did. “The economic and social benefits will be staggering‚ but the human costs are also going to be significant. We need to anticipate that‚” said Siebel.

The article highlights some of C3.ai’s customers‚ including John Deere‚ 3M and Royal Dutch Shell. Also featured was C3.ai’s financial growth. The company’s bookings more than doubled in the last fiscal year‚ after rising 200% the year before‚ and 600% in 2016. Bookings will more than double again this year‚ he expects‚ and revenue rose by more than 50% last year.

Read the full article here: Tom Siebel Is Both Delighted and Worried about AI

Excerpts include:

  • C3.ai’s software employs algorithms using data from sensors placed on oil rigs and aircraft to help predict the failure of assets days or weeks in advance. Sensors have been proliferating in industrial equipment‚ but conventional technology will use them only to tell you when something is actually failing–it can’t predict the way AI can.
  • The market for IoT devices includes everything from smartwatches to HVAC systems‚ and could grow to 50 billion connected things in coming years. The effect of the interaction of all those things is staggering. “IT was a $200 billion industry back when‚ now it’s a two-trillion industry‚ heading to $8 trillion in coming years.”
  • The prospect of a world where BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill or the Exxon Valdez disaster don’t happen is unquestionably a great benefit of AI‚ but Siebel is equally sensitized to the potential devastating effects of AI‚ including violations of privacy or job loss due to automation.
  • To address these issues‚ Siebel is planning a conference at Stanford University this fall‚ where he will have different parties explore the pros and cons of AI‚ and the prospects for regulations.