Leadership and AI


As AI becomes a key element to business success, it is essential that leaders own AI and not just pass this off to the CTO or the CIO. After all, AI solves organizational challenges and it is imperative that leaders understand the strengths and weaknesses of the AI models, how they address desired organizational outcomes, and any shortcomings or key aspects that the model does not incorporate. Finally, I will share some key lessons from history about leaders who did not embrace or understand new technology and the disastrous consequences that followed.

Leaders must understand concepts like datalabeling, algorithm development, and model training the way they understand financial projections (which of course AI can assist with). Leaders need to see it not as an exotic toy, but a fundamental practice. Go ahead, get your hands dirty. Talk to your tech folks and understand how to convey your vision to them.


Tom is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served 7 years as an Army Officer. Following his Army service, he became a diplomat where he served in numerous overseas postings and conducted various trips abroad. Upon returning to Washington, DC, he became interested in technology and started exploring the startup work. He also joined a task force to help bring AI and other emerging technology to the government. He also started a leadership company called Adventures in Leadership. Starting in 2019, he devoted the company to teaching AI for Decision Makers. He helped clients plan, develop, and procure AI solutions to their business use cases and taught AI classes for C-Suite executives.

In 2020, he joined DataRobot where he worked as Director of Strategic Initiatives under CEO and Founder Jeremy Achin. While there, he helped outline government strategy and led the development of several COVID-19 related projects. He also developed a fantasy football application using DataRobot. He also led teams in developing cyber security and insider threat solutions for government customers and also taught AI classes for U.S. government customers.

He is the CTO and co-founder of Sciencella LLC, an early stage health tech startup. He currently serves as an AI advisor for Veloxxity LLC and Royal Technology and Agriculture. He is the author of Leadership Lessons from the Battle of Gettysburg, which also includes lessons on what happens when leaders do not adapt to new technology. He is an avid musician, reader, husband, and father.

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