Exclusive Interview with Jonathan Lupo, VP of Experience Design, EPAM Systems, Inc.

Exclusive Interview with Jonathan Lupo, VP of Experience Design, EPAM Systems, Inc.

Currently, almost every sector is undergoing major trends of digital transformation and there are several companies that provide expert consultation on this matter. EPAM is a leading digital transformation service and product engineering company. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with Jonathan Lupo, VP of Experience Design, EPAM Systems, Inc.

Jonathan Lupo is a human-centered design leader with more than 20 years of experience creating new, multichannel, digital products for businesses that span many verticals, including healthcare, retail, eCommerce, and life sciences. His focus is on customer experience—improving enterprise and consumer CX, and helping clients create human-centered cultures as they undergo digital transformation initiatives. Lupo has helped several leading household brands envision and implement multi-channel and immersive (AR/VR) customer experiences. He co-founded Empathy Lab, a digital strategy and user experience design firm acquired by EPAM. At Empathy Lab, he acted as Chief Experience Officer (CXO) and was responsible for establishing the firm's UX design, visual design, content strategy practice, tools, and service offerings.

1. Kindly brief us about EPAM, its specialization and the services that your company offers.

EPAM is a leading digital transformation service and product engineering company. We combine our "Engineering DNA" with strategic business and innovative consulting and design capabilities to deliver powerful digital experiences. Our multidisciplinary teams serve customers in more than 40 countries across five continents.

2. Kindly brief us about your role at EPAM and your journey in this highly promising sector.

I've been with EPAM for more than a decade where I oversee Digital Experience Design, and help orchestrate integrated, transformational solutions for complex customer experience challenges across multiple verticals. This often involves leveraging a combination of human-centered design, new technologies, and data-driven insights. I'm very lucky to also help develop, train, and grow the careers of more than a thousand talented practitioners worldwide. Previously, I co-founded the digital strategy and experience design firm, Empathy Lab, where I acted as Chief Experience Officer (CXO).

One of EPAM's differentiators is the close collaboration among Experience, Data, and Engineering practices that bring viable and forward-leaning products and services to market. I'm very excited to bring the customer experience and perspective into sharp focus, for our clients.

3. Tell us how EPAM is contributing to the AI industry and how EPAM is benefiting the clients

EPAM approaches artificial intelligence (AI), as with any other set of enabling technologies, as a powerful tool to help solve current and future challenges for our clients.

It's important to carefully understand the proposition an AI solution brings to client services, customer products, and society. We begin by aligning and framing our clients' vision and investigate the end customers' needs through deep ethnography and resonance testing. This enables us to bring new, well-adopted, AI-driven products and services to market.

Our AI technology practice is complementary to our cloud, immersive, IoT, and core engineering practices; therefore, it is not siloed. This holistic approach is optimal when maximizing our clients' complex ecosystems.

4. How is AI evolving today in the industry as a whole? What are the most important trends that you see emerging across the globe?

Looking beyond simple automation of manual tasks—a frequent first step for every business in every industry—AI promises to power the future of work, by:

  • Helping employees perform better with real-time insights
  • Providing contextual awareness in complex or high-risk environments
  • Training employees and making job site's safer
  • Providing autonomous mobility, robotic tools, and vehicles
  • Helping industries predict and troubleshoot maintenance issues and prevent failures with complex machinery and environments
  • Improving the focus and mental health of the future workforce

Bringing this to life requires not only AI and machine learning but IoT and Immersive Experiences. Fundamentally, though, it requires human context and collaboration. It always will.

My hope is also that the future will bring greater awareness, empathy, and ethical examination of how AI is being used, its inclusivity, and its potential impact on society. With the incredible scale of cloud computing comes great risk, in terms of the impact of poorly trained, or maliciously trained, AI. Security and ethics will be required "checks and balances" in future, AI-driven solutions.

5. What is the reason that organizations are using AI?

There are many reasons for utilizing artificial intelligence. To better answer this question, we must understand the specific business' value proposition to its customers and employees. We must carefully investigate the end-to-end customer (or employee) journey, pain points, and opportunities to leverage AI. Typically, the use cases involve the identification of patterns (visually or otherwise), training of models based on these changing patterns, and understanding how business rules need to adapt to an increasingly dynamic ecosystem to improve the lives and experiences of customers and employees.

6. What are some of the challenges faced by the industry today?

The scale of the technologies employed in AI is massive. When a model with immense scale behind it is thoughtlessly (non-inclusive) or maliciously trained, it has the potential to cause widespread damage to our society, beliefs, and personal freedoms.

7. If robots completely replace the need for manual processing, what will happen to the future of the workforce?

Automation is obviously low-hanging fruit for AI, but it is not the entirety of the value proposition. AI is interesting and has greater potential when it involves human collaboration, business context, brand personality, and curation. The future workforce will be humans whose ability to service customers is enhanced with AI, enabling them to spend their valuable time engaging and developing meaningful relationships with customers vs. focusing on manual tasks. Human labor will be leveraged more strategically and will train artificially intelligent "assistants."

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