Strategic Advisor

AI – An Important Workload for the New IT

When I meet with customers, I often hear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is presented as “machines making decisions for businesses or individuals,” but my take is that AI is a tool to help people make better decisions. AI helps us connect the dots across huge data sets and gain insights to solve real world problems like what’s the fastest route to work, what’s the best medicine based on this genome, what’s the best financial decision to make?

Enterprises are already taking advantage of AI services available to them through cloud providers, leveraging these capabilities to drive value-added services in diverse industries such as transportation, healthcare, and financial services. The interesting part here is that cloud infrastructure providers are going one step further by looking to leverage the power of AI to make the cloud infrastructure itself more intelligent.

Consider how AI-enabled infrastructure would deliver real benefits, such as the capability to automatically self-regulate power usage, elasticity, redundancy and security. This adaptive infrastructure would understand the needs of your applications and continuously adjust and optimize to deliver the best results for you, even to the point of moving workloads across different cloud vendors based on economic or performance requirements.

VMware is already playing a part in this. We’ve been leveraging AI and exploring the application of machine learning within our products for years now, such as with vRealize Log Insight, a “big data” product, which uses machine learning at its core. We’ve also been working to leverage advanced analytics across software defined infrastructure to improve functions such as resource allocation, dynamic scaling and hybrid cloud operations with the goal to solve real customer problems. With AI and analytics behind the scenes, we can automatically select and adjust the infrastructure to optimize for today’s complex applications.

One of the things I’m personally following right now is something David Tennenhouse (our chief research officer) calls “Explainable AI.” If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out his article on, where he explains that knowing how and why AI models come to conclusions will be vital for many enterprises. David also talks about his views on artificial intelligence, how it is being used within VMware and how the new technology is helping customers engaged in digital transformation.

And while we’re talking about good reads, check out Michael McDonough’s RADIUS piece titled: “Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Cloud Business.” Michael talks about how customers want ‘mega clouds’ like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud because they are easier to set up, operationalize, and expand. But he speculates that this may not always be the case for AI. He believes that companies that are gathering data, such as Apple, GE, and Bosch, could be the AI mega clouds of the future.

As AI enabled infrastructure ushers in a new era of expanded access to information, VMware is committed to helping enterprises large and small build intelligent infrastructure. Infrastructure that can easily be managed, secured, and can take advantage of AI applications and machine learning in their own private and hybrid clouds, giving everyone access to information, resources, and expertise never before available.

Oh, and one last thing… the crucial question of who is actually responsible for AI-assisted decisions was addressed in my recent keynote at the Berkeley Innovations Forum (“Impact of AI in Software-Centric Firms” Opportunities & Challenges for New Business Models). Take a look and let me know what you think.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on this and other areas of innovation in my next blog…