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Executive Chair Interview with Martin Byrne of EPAM Systems

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Newstalk – Down to Business with Bobby Kerr

Executive Chair Interview with Martin Byrne of EPAM Systems

Bobby Kerr: I am delighted to welcome to the executive chair Martin Byrne, he's the Vice President for EPAM Systems Ireland and he joins me now. Martin, you're very welcome to the program.

Martin Byrne: I'm delighted to be here, Bobby, thank you very much.

Bobby Kerr:  One of the things I wanted to ask you was about AI, artificial intelligence, because you're very close to this world. You advise clients on it, do you see it as both an opportunity and a threat?

Martin Byrne: I wouldn't say a threat. We see it as an opportunity, but like all these things, it's so powerful. You just need to be careful with it. What we're also trying to explore right now is all of the benefits and the uses that people can employ in their business, but at the same time, being careful about things like data protection and IP and those aspects. And those things I think are going to be clarified over time. And I think right now there are immediate benefits that don't present any kind of a risk in that area. And I think in the medium term, we'll realize actually these things are all manageable in terms of the sense around data protection.

Bobby Kerr: So, and would it be your view, Martin, that AI, obviously it has different applications in different sectors and in different types of businesses, so, is it individual to every sector in terms of its use?

Martin Byrne: It has a lot of common benefits. And then what we're doing is actually developing use cases for each business sector to demonstrate the benefits specific to those businesses. So, and that's a lot of what we're doing at the moment is a lot of work going on. We're investing a lot of time and energy using our talents to develop these use cases and demonstrate them to people. So, we're taking people on the journey. We're guiding them through this. And I think it's an important new development in the whole area of technology. It has fantastic benefits. And from everything across, it'll affect all our lives. It's not just about technology. It will affect all of our lives.

Bobby Kerr: As somebody who has been involved in IT for many years, the speed of change around the technical piece, the technology, how do you keep up with that? Like in terms of like you're talking now about AI, 20 years ago, it was about something completely different. So, the pace of change technically versus how you respond as humans.

Martin Byrne: I guess it keeps us all interested. There's constant development. And even as I was just talking outside earlier, AI is not just here and that's what it is. It is continually developing as well. So, you will see this as a continuous journey as AI actually starts to, generative AI. I mean, AI has been with us for some time, machine learning, robotic process automation. These things are actually, we've been using them for some time. I think generative AI just caught the headlines because it's so transformative in terms of it's going to reach that level that it's got the wow factor. And it'll continue to develop. And yes, there are other things still happening as other developments as we...

Bobby Kerr: So, do you see a big part of the future of your role in driving the business then in AI and in working specifically with clients around the opportunities that they can glean out of it?

Martin Byrne: Exactly. I mean, this is going to benefit the clients themselves directly. It's also going to benefit us in terms of how we deliver our services to clients so we can use generative AI as an additional team member. Like we can literally generate code or we can use it to test code and provide engineering support. So, it's all part of, it's going to improve and add to the quality of everything we do.

Listen to the full interview here.

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