Dr. Walid El Abed: Pioneering Data Excellence and AI Governance for a Sustainable Future

Dr. Walid El Abed | CEO and Founder | Global Data Excellence

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into governance is a rapidly evolving landscape that has become increasingly important in recent years. AI has the potential to transform the way organizations operate, and it is essential to establish governance frameworks that ensure the ethical and responsible use of AI. The integration of AI into governance requires a comprehensive understanding of the technology and its implications, as well as the development of new policies and regulations to govern its use.

Dr. Walid El Abed has emerged as a distinguished figure in this particular arena, bringing together his expertise in linguistics and computer science to make a significant impact. As the CEO and Founder of Global Data Excellence, Dr. Walid’s three decades of experience across diverse industries have solidified his position as a visionary in the realms of value, governance, AI and data.

His tireless efforts and ground-breaking contributions in the domains of value, governance, AI and data are transforming the way businesses operate. His visionary leadership and commitment to driving innovation are transforming the way organizations approach governance and unlocking the full potential of AI.

We at CIOLook interviewed Dr. Walid on his vision for Human and AI collaboration.

Let’s dive into the insights of the interview!

Can you tell us about your background and how your linguistics and computer science expertise has informed your work in the domain of VALUE, GOVERNANCE, AI, and DATA?

As organizations strive to improve their governance practices and integrate AI into their operations, I offer the following advice. It is essential to focus on the aspects, such as finance and personal data, and evolve beyond outdated methods of classic governance, embracing AI to anticipate and adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

To become data-driven, organizations must adopt linguistic and semantic AI. The dynamic AI market and ever-changing data offer a historic chance to break free from outdated predictions and learn from past mistakes for a successful future. AI to anticipate and adapt to the dynamic nature of the market. By learning from history and avoiding its pitfalls, organizations can become more innovative and ensure a sustainable future for all.

Some companies embody this mindset, and their commitment to innovation can be seen in the way they operate, regardless of their size. However, all companies and organizations must avoid falling into the same traps. Even industry giants like IBM and Microsoft, who provide advice to others, face challenges that require transparency and honesty. By prioritizing these values, we can protect the planet and uphold human rights.

What inspired you to create Data Excellence Science, and how has it evolved over the years?

During my studies, I wanted to create a system (the NIXUS) that could communicate. I realized that this involves law, rules, data, value, organization, and a lot of sciences. However, each science is separated; there are silos of science. So, I created Data Excellence Science to combine everything into one science. It’s a whole new science with its own framework and methods for dealing with value in the digital world. Otherwise, each science (data science, compliance, business management and data management) apart doesn’t represent the whole picture. Data Excellence Science is the missing link between them all, in other words, the heart of linking knowledge to usage with wisdom in order to create value by taking into account each individual’s context.

A new world needs new methods and dynamic and perpetual science. It cannot be treated in the same way as in the industrial age.

Can you describe how the AI platform you developed at Global Data Excellence works and how it supports corporate governance?

DEMS-NIXUS is a comprehensive and multilingual web-based solution that helps modern organizations establish a unified governance environment capable of aligning and overseeing all business units. It is a vital component of any IT environment, providing a comprehensive solution for automated data integration, cleansing, business intelligence, governance and sharing. The offering incorporates semantic and linguistic Artificial Intelligence (AI) to convert human language business rules into machine code. This AI seamlessly integrates with existing infrastructures and databases, ensuring data ownership and leaving data untouched at its source. DEMS-NIXUS is a multilingual system for querying databases using natural language, integrating linguistics and AI technologies like ChatGPT and Wolfram ALPHA. It also supports over 1000 file formats, connects to public or private data sources, and interfaces with social networks.

DEMS-NIXUS provides a customized management and governance framework that empowers shareholders, employees and partners, establishing accountability and responsibility throughout the organizational structure. It precisely links data assets to value flows, enabling prescriptive governance and sustainable business strategies. The uniqueness of DEMS-NIXUS lies in its Dynamic and Prescriptive Governance Model. This top-down management approach systematically evaluates the enterprise’s data assets and proactively controls current and future business transactions and objectives.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in developing and implementing your platform, and how have you overcome them?

The solution is made for the digital world, whereas there is a gap in the speed of value creation in companies. Changes are too rapid compared to conventional systems. The challenges I’ve encountered are that people need to understand that we’re moving towards a world that demands this when they’re focused on current problems.

To overcome this, I adjusted to respond to the near and far, with pilots in different areas and a progressive framework to suit each company’s maturity. The problem was that companies weren’t mature enough to understand the distance because they were focused on the present. As a result, I created the Maturity model to measure where companies are in their Data Excellence Day and how to focus on the near and far. I linked each activity to value with the Key Value Indicator (KVI) to obtain immediate results.

How do you ensure that your platform complies with legal and ethical standards for data privacy and security?

We ensure that our platform complies with legal and ethical standards for data privacy and security as data is kept at the source. We require no data integration, which guarantees ownership and privacy. Moreover, we work closely with the University of Law of Fribourg for the GDPR, ECCMA for ISO 8000 data quality standard, European Commission, institutions and academies to make the system dynamic and to be able to learn any type of standards or framework instantly.

What role do you see AI playing in the future of corporate governance, and how do you see your platform evolving to meet these changes?

Our challenges are twofold: first, we aim to govern AI itself, and secondly, we face the issue of unreliable data quality in current systems. We cannot rely on existing procedures or systems to withstand the influx of standard rules and the openness of the world.

In the future, AI will not replace humans but rather collaborate with them. However, there are employment and ethical concerns surrounding AI that must be addressed before it can be used for governance. Our governance framework, the Data Excellence Framework, applies to both the NIXUS system itself and its users. It ensures transparency and traceability, also governing the implementation of AI.

For instance, with chatGPT, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. To address this, we decrypt answers using DeCRIPT, regardless of their source, whether AI, internal databases, the web, or other documents. This enables us to link semantics with meaning and align with people’s objectives, allowing us to control the progressive implementation and utilization of AI, preventing chaos. Our AI governs its usage, enabling knowledge distillation based on rules and contexts, ensuring the power of AI is harnessed without compromising value, fairness, or integrity.

Can you give an example of a successful implementation of your platform and how it has helped an organization improve its governance practices?

Here are some business cases:

  • In 8 days, one of the largest oil and gas companies was able to save €1 billion and reduce costs by 50% while anticipating exposure risks.
  • A bank cleaned up 500 billion euros in 7 days.
  • A multinational company that manufactures building materials detected illegal transactions for a total value of €127 million.
  • A Swiss insurance company saved 21 million by complying with 40 FINMA’s regulatory and compliance rules.

How do you stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments to ensure that your platform remains cutting-edge?

Our company keeps pace with changing times and trends by collaborating with a complete ecosystem that includes customers, partners, institutions, academies, European Commission, ECCMA, INTERREG and INNOSUISSE consortiums. We constantly work on R&D. We also work on different special projects.

Can you describe a time when you had to communicate a complex technical concept to a non-technical audience? How did you handle the situation?

Our mission is to simplify things, so we use semantics and linguistics intelligence. People at all levels of the organization can use our platform without technical skills, as we use natural language.

What advice do you have for organizations looking to improve their governance practices and incorporate AI into their operations?

It’s crucial to move away from traditional methods of governance and instead leverage AI to anticipate future challenges. I have established a dedicated lab for each domain and actively implement what I advocate.

Embrace a data-driven approach and adopt linguistic and semantic AI. The AI market is rapidly advancing, and data is constantly evolving. This presents an unprecedented opportunity to avoid disruptions by not relying solely on historical predictions. Optimism lies in breaking free from historical patterns.

Some companies exemplify this approach, evident through the commitment of our customers, who span across various sizes and embrace innovation. It is incumbent upon all organizations to avoid falling into the same pitfalls. Even industry leaders like IBM and Microsoft, who advise others, face challenges themselves. Transparency, honesty and a commitment to preserving the planet and human rights are paramount.