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AiThority Interview Series With Cédric Carbone, CTO at Ogury


Investing time into learning how AI works and then practicing using it is the best way. It helps to go to meetups, meet founders of AI startups and ask questions.

Know My Company

Tell us about your interaction with data science, AI and other intelligent technologies in your daily life.

AI is becoming increasingly integrated into our lives. Take the use of a smartphone, for instance, a device that most people have, which ultimately means that they use AI a great deal during the day, without even realizing it.

I use Siri to schedule meetings, send texts and get recommendations of good restaurants around me. Siri is trained on AI and Natural Language Processing. The conversational interface of AI is how Siri understands you, and deciphering the meaning is down to Machine Learning.

When I listen to music, watch a movie through VOD or buy something on Amazon, I get good recommendations to discover new artists, movies or products I will like. When I’m using Twitter or Facebook, my stream is well organized to be relevant, and when I’m driving my car, Waze uses AI to find me the best ways to avoid traffic jams.

What galvanized you to join Ogury?

For the past three years, I’ve increasingly contributed to Ogury, both as a member of the advisory board and as a technology advisor.

The reasons behind my choice to become full-time at Ogury as the new CTO include that Ogury is now building a platform that merges AdTech and MarTech — the world’s first end-to-end, fully integrated data, insights, and activation solution.

For me, this is a huge opportunity to create a new market. It’s a revolution for marketing software offering because MarTech products currently work in silos. I want to be part of this adventure. Publishers, brands, and advertisers need marketing technology that enables organizations to understand the entire mobile user journey.

How beneficial can Data Analytics technologies be for CRM and Cloud products in Sales?

On mobile, brands only see the part of the consumer journey that happens in their own apps, mobile sites, and ecosystem. There is no way for them to see the full user journey, with 95% of a mobile users’ journey remaining a mystery. Even the giant walled gardens of Facebook and Google only see a third of a user’s time on mobile, meaning that offering a personalized mobile experience can be tricky.

The same goes for the data your CRM receives. With standard analytics solutions, you only see your own first-party data, so you don’t know the mobile habits of consumers across the remaining 4 hours and 59 minutes a day that they aren’t on your app or site. Nor do you know any issues they may encounter, so you can address them. And if you are using third-party data to fill some of these gaps, chances are you’re not collecting data from the most reliable sources.

Tell us how Ogury’s analytics/platform fit into a modern business’ tech stack.

In order to build and maintain a successful business today, organizations need to engage consumers on mobile. To maximize returns from their digital investments, optimize revenue generation from mobile properties, and to ensure users are provided with transparency over data collection and usage, brands and publishers face three critical problems that limit their effectiveness in doing so. An incomplete view of the mobile user journey; poorly integrated data, insights and activation solutions; and consumer mistrust about collection and usage of their data; all of which negatively affect business results.

Ogury’s Mobile Journey Marketing Solutions provide organizations with the first end-to-end, fully integrated data, insights, and activation solution. They are built from the ground up on our unique first-party mobile user journey data, generated from 400m consented user profiles. This data fuels purpose-built AI technology, to deliver unprecedented levels of user engagement and revenue from mobile assets.

Ogury provides publishers and brands with integrated, effective and simple solutions to inform their mobile strategy and deliver on their top business priorities – user/consumer engagement and revenue generation, and a commitment to transparency, in full compliance with the most stringent privacy laws.

As a mentor in the tech industry, how should young marketers and sales professionals train themselves to work better with AI and virtual assistants?

AI has the potential to empower humanity if set up properly, as it can help accelerate efficiency and create breakthrough products. Curiosity is the ultimate virtue if you want to work and progress in any sector. When you are curious, you get more opportunities and can add value to any business by being proactive and inquisitive.

Investing time into learning how AI works and then practicing using it is the best way. It helps to go to meetups, meet founders of AI startups and ask questions. Being curious is mandatory to learning quickly; read blogs or news outlets like Medium and TechCrunch.

In the beginning, it may not work as expected. Some AI processes also need training, meaning the machine will learn from the user. However, when AI is well set up it can potentially achieve far more than humans alone.

What makes understanding AI so hard when it comes to actually deploying them?

Big data has become the key informer when it comes to technical product development. The potential for this is underpinned by complex algorithms, governed by equally complex rules, which all need to be managed effectively to ensure the quality of data.

AI is best informed with data that is real time, granular and first party. From the moment data is collected, it starts to go stale. It’s only fresh and relevant in real time. For example, 25-33% of all email addresses change each year, along with 18% of phone numbers, and 20% of postal addresses.

If data that feeds AI is not in depth and granular, deploying it can be difficult. Without a high level of insight, how can you determine if this consumer is worth engaging with? 81% of marketers showed the strongest ROI when using first-party data, compared to just 61% who relied on third-party sources.

Understanding AI can be really difficult if it’s all based on third-party data as many of these solutions rely on data segments taken from questionably qualified sources. In the era of GDPR, to risk not knowing that your data is consented legally is to risk considerable negative consequences for your business.

Which is harder – choosing AI or working with them?

Choosing the right AI is by far more difficult. You have Machine Learning (part of AI) and Deep Learning (part of Machine Learning). There are many models, from supervised (logistic regression, neural networks, decision trees…) to unsupervised (k-means, data clustering…) However, to select the right model, you should work with it, by ensuring testing is done to be sure your choice is the optimal one.

The key here is tapping into consumer behavior and then responding effectively. The overall performance of AI can be significantly improved through analyzing data to tailor customer experience; from predicting delivery times, testing customer preferences and analyzing repeat customer behavior, to tailoring your strategy to suit users’ needs.

How does Ogury make it easy for tech buyers to improve their business performance?

Ogury provides the most advanced Mobile Journey Marketing solution, where organizations can access the integrated data and technologies necessary to understand the entire mobile user journey, and market across it. In full compliance with the most stringent laws protecting users, brands, and publishers, and with a sharp focus on operational simplicity, our mission is to empower organizations with the most thorough, accurate and timely knowledge of the mobile users, their entire journey and the mobile ecosystem.

Today, digital business and marketing leaders are under constant pressure to demonstrate measurable commercial growth and ROI from all mobile marketing spend. This can be quite tricky without access to first-party data, credible and transparent data and with a very complex tech stack landscape to navigate.

The solution lies within Mobile Journey Marketing (MJM), which Ogury is the champion of — MJM is founded on three basic principles — effectiveness, simplicity and transparency:

  • Effectiveness is achieved through high-quality, first-party data, that maps the entire mobile user journey and fuels purpose-built AI technology, to deliver business results.
  • Simplicity is attained by breaking down existing silos in which current tech platforms operate, and integrating technology in one place, using purpose-built AI to remove unnecessary and tedious human labor.
  • Transparency is brought about through explicit and unambiguous user choice management; from opting-in, to exercising their right to be forgotten.
 Would most businesses turn to AI eventually for better performance?

Yes, AI can present an enormous opportunity to drive efficiencies. Already, 84% of marketing organizations had implemented AI and Machine Learning by the beginning of 2018, and I believe that this number will be even greater in 2019.

How potent is the Human-Machine intelligence for businesses and society? Who owns Machine Learning results?

It’s tremendously potent. AI is a revolution, transforming our daily lives by automating and streamlining mundane processes that would normally take up a chunk of time and effort that could be spent elsewhere in the business.

Currently, it’s common practice for corporations to own the results of Machine Learning, while they get consent from users and respect their privacy. Bad data can have a domino effect on the impact of marketing campaigns. Without having full visibility over the complete mobile user journey, targeting tactics will result in ineffective campaigns and worse, wasted ad budget, and poor consumer perception.

Where do you see AI/Machine Learning and other smart technologies heading beyond 2020?

I can see AI being used to automate structured and repetitive tasks (like classification, event prediction, and rule-based work) on a much larger scale than it is today. Although some businesses implement some type of AI as part of their operations, these efforts are often siloed and not linked to specific objectives. Beyond 2020, I foresee that companies will be a lot more strategic about their AI needs, but humans will likely continue to carry out complex and unpredictable tasks.

The Good, Bad and Ugly about AI that you have heard or predict –
  • The Good: AI has many potential applications in healthcare, ranging from preventing diseases to detecting them and helping doctors to treat people.
  • Bad: AI can be used to manipulate individual voters by targeting them based on their psychological characteristics. Another example of “bad” AI is when AI is used by governments to spy on citizens.
  • Ugly: Data theft, and any other illegal or unethical use of personal data.

The Crystal Gaze

What AI start-ups and labs are you keenly following?

I’m currently following numerous academic research labs, such as those at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and MIT, and keep an eye on the Apache Software Foundation’s incubator projects, which include a lot of the projects in the Hadoop ecosystem. I also closely watch the labs at Google, Facebook, Amazon and IBM.

What technologies within AI and computing are you interested in?

Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP)

As a tech leader, what industries you think would be fastest in adopting AI/ML with smooth efficiency? What are the new emerging markets for AI technology markets?

The self-driving car industry has been among the fastest to adopt AI. Voice assistants are another example — these could become the new user interface for all our applications, replacing keyboards and mouses with our voices. Meanwhile, the healthcare industry is currently one of the biggest emerging markets for AI technology.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

I like using Siri to schedule meetings, send texts and look up restaurant recommendations.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Elon Musk!

Thank you, Cédric! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.

Cédric is now CTO at Ogury where he has worked for the past three years, both as member of the advisory board and as a technology advisor. Ogury is a technology company specialized in mobile journey marketing. Previously, he was Chief Technical Officer at Talend from the inception in 2005 to 2015 and he helped preparing the company to its successful Nasdaq IPO in July 2016. In this role, he built and managed globally distributed Engineering teams with over 200 engineers located in Europe, US and Asia.

Talend is an unicorn for data management. Cédric is an internationally recognized expert in the area of big data and machine learning. Cédric was also CTO and Cofounder at Influans which powers Match Marketing with its AI-based cloud platform, maximizing CRM campaigns through a powerful targeting system.

Founded in 2014, Ogury provides the most advanced Mobile Journey Marketing solution, where organizations can access the integrated data and technologies necessary to understand the entire mobile user journey and market across it. In full compliance with the most stringent laws protecting users, brands, and publishers, and with a sharp focus on operational simplicity, Ogury MJM solution delivers unmatched user engagement and mobile asset revenue to 900 brands and 3500 publishers across the globe.

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