Interview with Pegasystems’ CTO: Don Schuerman on utilizing AI to establish business objectives

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According to Don Schuerman, the chief technology officer at Pegasystems, in the next five years, the use of generative AI (GenAI) tools like ChatGPT will become a customary aspect of the workplace. Pegasystems, a software development company in the United States, focuses on managing and automating business processes.

Schuerman is of the opinion that besides automating business processes, GenAI will assist companies in reaching their goals. Termed as the Autonomous Enterprise, this concept involves defining business targets that can be achieved through AI-enabled processes. However, companies are proceeding cautiously with the deployment of GenAI, particularly in regulated industries such as banking, healthcare, and insurance. They are keen on conducting thorough risk assessments and ensuring compliance with regulations. The uncertainty surrounding AI regulation is another reason why companies are refraining from full-scale adoption.

The United States is lagging in this domain, and Europe is likely to take the lead in regulating GenAI. Companies have two primary concerns, namely the risk of exposing private company data and the potential for AI models to generate false information. These concerns can be addressed through techniques like Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), which involves inputting language models with prompts containing both the question and relevant data required to generate an answer. Implementing RAG can minimize the risk of AI models generating false information.

Pegasystems has developed an AI interface that can synthesize answers from multiple documents, thereby enhancing accessibility to company data. Some Pegasystems clients, particularly insurers, are interested in utilizing RAG to provide best practice guidelines to their claims managers when resolving insurance claim issues. The initial integration of GenAI in businesses will not replace the need for human expertise; rather, it will expedite work processes. For instance, GenAI can be employed to automatically generate test data or create AI chatbots.

However, human intervention is still necessary to verify the generated output and guard against false information. Although Pegasystems has not been invited to the UK government’s artificial intelligence safety summit, Schuerman underscores the importance of policymakers and experts comprehending the impact of regulations on consumers, employees, and AI users. Pegasystems’ machine learning software empowers companies to offer personalized recommendations to customers.

Their vision for the Autonomous Enterprise includes enabling organizations to define business goals that will steer their processes. Automation is a gradual process that begins with the establishment of structured processes. As tasks are automated, businesses can accumulate transaction data for analysis by AI and machine learning algorithms. This enables them to make predictions and identify potential issues. Pegasystems is still in the early stages of transforming into an autonomous enterprise, and not all processes will advance to the self-optimizing stage. It is crucial for businesses to actively select which processes should be automated.

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