VentureBeat’s AI Impact Tour launches with focus on bleeding edge of generative AI and governance

VentureBeat launched our AI Impact Tour this week with an event in San Francisco, which included talks about the swift adoption of generative AI in the banking industry, and the cutting-edge areas around governance of the technology.

Our AI Impact Tour is a series of events around the country where we invite enterprise decision-makers to discuss how they are putting AI to work in real applications. Specifically, we’re focused on how they can adopt the powerful flavor of generative AI, given the excitement around that technology’s potential, but also concern around its risks.

Wells Fargo’s CIO Chintan Mehta updated the audience Wednesday about the progress the bank is making with its Fargo app, a virtual assistant built on Google’s large language models (LLMs). It has handled 20 million interactions since launch in March, and could be headed to 100 million interactions once more capabilities are added in, Mehta said during a wide-ranging interview that I moderated. The talk showed Wells Fargo is further along with generative AI than many may have anticipated.

In a second talk, Silen Naihin, a former founding engineer of AutoGPT, a company that inspired the developer world last year by launching an LLM agent that could work autonomously,  provided the audience with the latest overview of the leading security threats to LLMs, including entertaining examples of bold prompt injection techniques (how someone was able to get a Chevrolet dealer’s LLM assistant to convince it to sell them a car for $1), and what can happen when you give an LLM agent too much power. Remarkably, Naihin, who has since gone on to start a new LLM agent company, Stackwise, was blocked at the Canadian border, and so had to present virtually (see below). But we had a lot of fun since his co-founder was able to join us in person.

We announced the tour late last year after we noticed that there were few events convening enterprise decision-makers to help them deploy AI, specifically generative AI. Most companies are in the proof of concept stage, at best. The events are invite-only, limited to 75 people, and designed to maximize conversation and networking. Our next event is in New York in Feb.

Each event will explore specific themes and industries, which we’ll later roll into our flagship Transform event, on July 10-11 with a deeper focus.

There will be some exciting announcements coming soon about partners joining us on the AI Tour.

To find out more about the Tour, see more here. Look forward to seeing some of you in NYC, or hopefully later on the tour!

PS. Ted Shelton of Bain & Co, who attended, wrote up a great review of the evening, focusing on the big difference between the IT and business leaders when it comes to their views around AI governance — and how those two views need to be aligned.

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