Fusing AI, human smarts brings innovation: Dyson top exec

Rowegie Abanto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2023 09:40 AM

Dyson Chief Technology Officer John Churchill. Handout photo
Dyson Chief Technology Officer John Churchill. Handout photo

MANILA — When AI tools became wildly popular starting late last year for their impressive ability to respond to complex prompts like crafting poems and suggesting meal plans, companies raced to integrate the technology into their processes to make work efficient.

Dyson — the multi-billion dollar British technology firm best known for its bladeless fans, bagless vacuum cleaners and hair dryers — is also seeking to improve in this area.

"We think that about a lot. For us it's very much knowledge-based," John Churchill, Dyson's chief technology officer, said when asked about how they plan to further leverage artificial intelligence to speed up product development which usually takes years.

Weighing in on AI tools, also trained using large historical data, Churchill described them as a double-edged sword, saying they could become "quite retrospective" or "take you all the best things that are out there."

That is why the company, which already uses machine learning across its range of products including air purifiers, adopts a mixture of AI and human intelligence to supercharge innovation, he said, noting they are investing in young talents who can offer fresh ideas. 

Dyson said it seeks to employ an additional 400 engineers and over 50 graduate engineers for its P11-billion research and manufacturing facility in Santo Tomas, Batangas, which will consolidate all of its Philippine offices in the third quarter of next year.

"Sometimes the AI is helpful in some ways because we need to get enough [of] the best science," the top executive recently told journalists at the firm's global headquarters at St. James Power Station in Singapore. 

"But equally," he added, "we want to have that different mindset that's gonna allow us to take us to a new place that no one's ever been."

Watch more News on iWantTFC