One of the best parts of my job is being able to contact people, out of the blue, and ask them to write for the site. Such was the case with Nicholas McQuire. Nicholas came to my attention earlier this year through a report he wrote on artificial intelligence and the rest, as they say, is history.

Nicholas is vice president, enterprise research and artificial intelligence research at CCS Insight. The role keeps his frequent flyer miles going as he regularly lands at industry conferences — as both an attendee and as a speaker. He keeps a close watch on some of the fastest moving spaces in the industry today, such as cloud computing and machine learning, while at the same time asking some of the biggest giants in tech to keep issues such as trust, governance and transparency top of mind as they move forward. 

How Can We Build Trusted AI?

Who are you, in a 280-character tweet? 

Technology analyst, dad, family man, music lover and runner. 

What attracted you to your field and what still excites you about it? 

Overall, I am just fascinated by the amount of change, both business and technology change, that is happening in enterprise tech at the moment. I also think its really exciting seeing how industries are being reshaped and how the big tech giants – Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM and more — are battling it out for supremacy. There are such high stakes for the winners, which is why things are moving at light-speed. 

What project are you working on now that our readers should know about? 

Learning Opportunities

I am doing a lot of research into enterprise adoption and deployment of machine learning. What business uses and processes are they focusing on? What tools are they using and what are their core challenges with the technology. 

What story/stories related to your field will you be following in 2019? 

I am tracking several key topics in digital workplace and end-user computing such as security and Windows 10 adoption. But above all, I am also interested in the early phases of machine learning progression in enterprises and how firms can improve the overall governance of AI. How can they build trusted AI that’s explainable, mitigates bias, while at the same time preserving security and privacy? These are big topics coming for machine learning over the next few years. 

What was your first paying job? 

One summer in Canada, aged 13, I worked at my local farmer's co-op bagging bird seed! 

Speed round!

  • What word could you happily live without hearing ever again? Brexit· 
  • What book are you reading now? "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown· 
  • Favorite way to spend a day off? With my two little destroyers, son Nathan, age 8 and daughter Sasha, age 6. I also really love Sundays where I help coach my son Nathan in his under 9's Rugby team at Teddington.· 
  • If you could go back in time, what period would you go to? Since I love music, would have to say the '90s given the breadth on offer during that decade music-wise. I would not go back for the fashion however as what I wore would likely cause my kids to disown me today.
  • Quote to live by: I may have two. There’s “Money don't make my world go 'round, I'm reaching up for the higher ground” the classic Des’ree quote from David Brent in the Office which is still, still, hands down, my favourite TV program ever. Or perhaps it is now a well-known quote from our firm’s CCS Insight’s great leader, Mr. Shaun Collins in appreciation for excellent work: “Well done, have Sunday off.”