Could you tell us about your role and team you handle at Blackbird.ai?
I am Managing Director of Blackbird.ai, APAC. As Managing Director, I am responsible for the commercial development of Blackbird.AI’s solutions across the region. From Singapore, the team and I work with multiple stakeholders in the region to provide organizations and society with the trained eye and vigilance needed to defend against disinformation before it causes irreparable harm.
Our specific focus on disinformation campaigns stems from the progression of modern cyber threats, which has evolved from malware to malicious content, hacking people instead of technology. This threat is now deliberate and state-of-the-art and poses political and economic risks to the ASEAN’s projected US$4 trillion economy.
This is where Blackbird.AI intervenes with our proprietary AI-Driven SaaS platform, aimed at facilitating a deeper understanding of disinformation campaigns and harmful content present on digital media channels. We use advanced technology to arm organizations with the evidence and tools needed to increase public awareness of disinformation, and disarm it as a threat.
Digital Transformation journeys are getting complex and advanced with new technologies. Which technologies do you keenly follow and work with?
There has been a substantial increase in the number of AI and Machine Learning-driven projects. A recent Gartner survey projected an increased adoption of AI-powered applications, which signals an era of automated business solutions.
We, at Blackbird.AI, also understand the potential of AI in accelerating organizational efficiency and are actively embracing this new frontier technology in our solutions. Our disinformation platform uses Machine Learning, along with other proprietary technologies to surface synthetic amplification from bots and trolls, de-legitimization campaigns, meme-driven propaganda, and deep fakes. It comes with a dashboard that identifies and flags sources and entry points of hijacked narratives with more speed as they surface in real-time – all fueled by AI.
What common ground of operation and market expansion have you planned in the region? Who are your current customers? Which industries have been the fastest to adopt your technologies/solutions and report successful results?
We are working tirelessly to build a new generation of defensive capabilities that every society, government, and organization will need to invest in if they want to preserve their trust and brand. In addition, we are working with numerous Communications Agencies and Law Firms in order to identify the risks and uncover insights that will support both their effectiveness and clients going forward.
Building upon this vision, we aim to expand our current partner/client-base, beyond governments and Fortune 500/2000 companies. With Asia being home to many MNCs, innovative governments, as well as home-grown conglomerates, it made sense to expand into the market to ensure impact at scale.
How do you see the whole ecosystem of Digital Transformation space further disrupted with AI and Chatbots garnering wide-scale acceptability in businesses and government institutions?
AI with Machine Learning, such as Chatbots, are increasingly integrated into our daily lives. We see governments and corporations leveraging chatbots to enhance services ranging from simple day-to-day customer services to national security. More and more potential applications are expected down the line as organizations seek to apply AI to Healthcare, Education, Supply Chain and Resource management, etc.
The issues arise when the potential of this automated technology is met with malicious motives. New threats into our society, such as Bot-driven disinformation campaigns and synthesized AI deepfakes, are all powered by AI, and therefore puts nation-building agendas and reputations built over decades at constant risk of being unraveled.
Blackbird.AI believes that the manipulation of the new frontier technology can be deterred and mitigated by AI. By analyzing and deciphering disinformation narratives – which are impossible for humans to monitor real-time at a global scale – with AI, we can prevent disinformation from causing irreparable harm.
How much have the definition and industry applications of Big Data, Visualization, and Analytics/Intelligence evolved in the last 2-3 years? How do you leverage these in your various operations?
Data Analytics has indeed become one of the core pillars of Business Intelligence in the last 2-3 years. The conversations around Big Data, Visualization and Analytics have matured since then and a variety of open data sources and initiatives has been introduced to advance the industry.
Likewise, our tool deploys the most advanced form of Data Analytics, along with AI. With data provided by open-source platforms, such as Twitter, we conduct a series of analysis, including network analysis of disinformation sources; language analysis to identify toxic content; forgery detection and deepfake analysis, and semantic matching to detect falsified claims.
With insights gained from the platform, organizations can leverage the information to mitigate the impact of the disinformation by taking the appropriate steps. This can range from effective countervailing of foreign interference operations by governments via unmasking and monitoring threat actors to mitigate the spread of disinformation on specific products, services or key personnel.
How does all the buzz around AI ML, Bots, Marketing Automation help acquire customers and grow revenue in new markets?
The proactive conversations around AI, ML, Bots, and Marketing Automation contribute to the awareness of the misuse of such technologies, as well as how to leverage those to defuse disinformation threats.
Based on the increased understanding, it has become easier to initiate the conversation around disinformation – enabling us to empower organizations so that education and threat awareness are increased among communities. We expect this to accelerate our journey of building vigilant and savvy societies.
What efforts are you taking or plan to take in the future to enable customers practice fair and ethical activities using AI and bot applications?
Instead of enabling customers to practice fair and ethical activities with AI applications, our focus is to help them harness it in combating the work of bad actors who practice unethical and malicious activity. With more organizations educating audiences on disinformation campaigns that increasingly occur, we hope to create a society that is more vigilant about these attacks and disarm disinformation as a threat.
Your two cents on the ethical standards in the industry that nobody talks about
I believe that there is plenty of room to improve utilizing well-designed policy to enable the full use of Big Data responsibly. Big Data can no doubt make a positive impact in our lives, and if used correctly, can even protect and give insights into our future. However, Big Data also holds the potential to impact societies and behaviors, as we have seen from the Cambridge Analytica scandals. I believe we can find more common ground between governments and data owners to help advance this space.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?
There is no doubt that there is an exciting future ahead with the number of advancements in AI we are seeing on a daily basis. However, we must remember that the role of AI is to ultimately support and scale good design. This means that we should not only take on meaningful projects, but should ensure that all moving parts have been fully accounted for – this includes some of the less appealing conversations around compliance and regulation. In addition, we also have a responsibility to ensure we work with the right clients and that we are taking advantage of new, innovative technologies for the right reasons.
Brice Chambraud is responsible for the commercial development of Blackbird.AI’s solutions across the APAC region. As an entrepreneur and advisor, Brice brings a wealth of cross-functional experience and network that has enabled him to help scale several businesses throughout his career.
Working with multiple stakeholders in Asia, Brice strives towards delivering effective scalable solutions in disinformation cyber defense, along with raising awareness on disinformation threats.
Prior to his role at Blackbird.AI, Brice was involved with startups from multiple sectors. During his time as an Equity Specialist at Bloomberg, Brice explored the effects that news had on different markets, which is where he developed a strong interest in SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions.
Brice graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s in Business.
Blackbird.AI provides the tools, platform and API to identify misinformation for journalists, media organizations, governments and concerned citizens.
Our technology combines artificial intelligence, blockchain and crowdsourcing to help understand misinformation. Our technologies including the “ClaimChain” and “Credibility Engine”. We also help organizations understand the temporal evolution of misinformation and how false narratives spread.