Is AI a phone or a fridge?
At a recent Microsoft event, chaired by GM Anne Sheehan, speakers and attendees struggled to best describe the significance of AI and its potential impact on enterprise. Everyone debated the threats and opportunities, wary of hype, over-early adoption and the fear of missing out.
Analogies are so helpful in this regard, particularly if they relate to something historical whose significance we now appreciate.
The arrival of the iPhone in 2007 was stated as an example. Think of the moment the phone is launched, but without the benefit of apps. The opportunities for companies large and small were to create apps and change the way of doing business, leveraging the constant attention of its owners.
Marie Toft of used a refrigerator as an analogy. She described its impact on the world of food production. Opportunities to create new foods, disrupt supply and change the habits of a lifetime arose from its introduction.
Keeping the refrigerator in mind makes it easier to think of the challenges facing enterprises wanting to leverage AI. Companies wish to take advantage of the amazing new capability to leverage their knowledge, but don’t want their data to leak, and they wish to avoid the hallucinations that Large Language Models are prone to produce.
Deploying the analogy to find similar challenges, a person looking to use a refrigerator to cool one type of food along with others wants to avoid it being contaminated and ensure that it isn’t taken inadvertently.

In terms of a solution, what better analogy than a lunchbox to provide protection? What does it do? It prevents contamination by other food types, and also stops any odours getting out, equating to reducing the risk of hallucination and leakage. Writing your name on the lunchbox provides security against inadvertent consumption. The analogy doesn’t stretch to protecting against theft through!

Understanding business concerns is vital in solution building. So at BoatyardX we’re focused on providing AI solutions for businesses with guardrails, leveraging the power of Azure OpenAI. Concluding with the analogy – we’re making lunchboxes of various sizes and shapes for our customers

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Now spread across 6 locations, Cluj, Iasi, Brasov (Romania), Bogota (Colombia), Dublin (Ireland) and Chicago (US), the BoatyardX team currently exceeds 120 people and continues to grow.

With customers in North and South America, Europe and South-East Asia, the team spans the key working timezones.  Expertise is enhanced across the teams through establishing technical competency groups led by experienced leaders, charged with ensuring best practice and efficient learning across all the organisation.