AI and Robotics Panel Discussion

Our panel discussion on AI and Robotics was held on May 9th, at IBM. You can find a video of the event here.
WiTT board director Michelle Senecal led our panel. She was joined by:

  • Sarah Burnett, Chair of BCSWomen, Vice President of Research at Everest Group and one of Computer Weekly’s top 50 influential women in IT;
  • Oana Korda, Co-founder & Director of Product, Woogie;
  • Laetitia Cailleteau, Managing Director, UKI Emerging Tech Lead, Global Lead for Virtual Agent; Liquid Studio Director, Accenture;
  • Rob Morris, Vice President Cognitive Solutions, IBM;
  • Giles Pavey, Chief Data Scientist, Dunnhumby; and
  • Clara Durodié, Founder and Managing Partner, Cognitive Finance Group.

We would like to thank IBM for hosting this event.


Chair and Panelist biographies

Panel Chair
Michelle Senecal de Fonseca
Area Vice President, Citrix Systems

Michelle Senecal de Fonseca has developed a career of more than 30 years in international telecommunications and technology and currently serves as Area Vice President for Citrix Systems. Prior to joining Citrix, she was the Director of Cloud & Hosting Services, a global line of business for Vodafone Group Enterprise. With operational experience in more than 50 countries on all continents, she has worked with Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Fidelity Data Networks, NextiraOne, Worldport, Global One, Sprint International and US West International. Ms. Senecal de Fonseca’s executive positions have ranged from Managing Director and CFO to head of Sales and Marketing, Corporate Development, Strategic Planning, and Corporate Communications.
From 2007-2011, Ms. Senecal de Fonseca worked at  the  European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where she  managed the Telecom, Media and Technology banking team and its associated €3 billion investment portfolio within the international financial institution.

Michelle also serves as a non-executive Director of the FDM Group – a FTSE listed IT service provider, serves on the Investment Board of MOVe Capital – a first time European fund investing in enterprise services businesses and is a Director of the Women in Telecom and Technology. She holds a dual degree in Business and Political Science from the University of Kansas and Masters in Business from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Arizona where she also serves on the school’s Global Council. She has dual British/American citizenship, has been recognised by Global Telecoms Business magazine as one of the telecommunication industry’s most influential leaders and lives with her husband and three children in London.  .


Rob Morris

Rob has led teams in services, hardware and software in the major markets and growth markets spanning South Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe. Having started his career as a programmer in small software companies, he joined IBM in South Africa and moved through the management ranks in the Information Technology division.

His passion for working with customers in Financial Services was a key driver in him moving into sales and then into leadership roles. Prior to moving to the UK in 2000 he led the IBM Financial Services business in South Africa.

His experience and client skills made him a natural candidate to participate in the integration of Price Waterhouse Coopers Consulting and subsequently was a partner in the IBM consulting business. He also led the development of the strategy for IBM UK and Ireland.

In 2011 Rob started the IBM Industry Solutions software business in the UK and Ireland and integrated 14 acquisitions in building this business. He subsequently led the formation of the Commerce business unit in Europe.

Rob’s leadership of the Watson business in Europe, his views on the promise of Artificial Intelligence and his experience in the practical application of these technologies has resulted in him being a regular speaker and panelist. He is now leading the IBM Analytics business in IBM.


Laetitia Cailleteau
Managing Director, UKI Emerging Tech Lead, Global Lead for Virtual Agent; Liquid Studio Director, Accenture
Laetitia Cailleteau is a Managing Director at Accenture. She is responsible for leading Accenture’s Virtual Agent business across the company. Laetitia also serves as the global lead for Delivery Innovation and UKI lead for Emerging Technology within Accenture’s Technology Innovation & Ecosystems organization.

She joined Accenture (then Andersen Consulting) in Sophia Antipolis France in 1999, where she grew from Software Engineer upwards. She strives on finding new ways of applying technology and innovation to deliver value for clients.

Laetitia has a first class master degree in computer science from INSA LYON (France). She is currently based in London where she lives with her swedish husband and their three kids.
Sarah Burnett
Chair of BCSWomen /Vice President at Everest Group
Sarah Burnett is chair of BCSWomen, and a well-recognized industry analyst, market influencer and one of Computer Weekly’s 50 most influential women in UK IT. She was elected chair of BCSWomen in October 2016 having served as deputy chair for several years. In March 2017, to encourage more women into the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Sarah launched AI Accelerator. This is a programme of free events and talks by AI experts to inform and educate participants.

Sarah is the global lead analyst for Everest Group’s research on AI and robotic process automation (RPA) technologies for service optimization. As Vice President of Research Sarah serves European clients across Everest Group’s other global services research programmes as well, including IT and business processes services.
Sarah, contributes to media, often speaks at leading client and industry events and is active in social media as a frequent blogger and Twitter user (@SarahBurnett).


Clara Durodié
Founder and Managing Partner, Cognitive Finance

Clara Durodié is a business technologist specialised in AI and Board member with leadership roles in European wealth and asset management.

Clara is a thought leader in the field of applied AI in finance and regularly works with Boards, senior management, academics and start-ups. Her focus is in Business Intelligence, Investech and Risk Management. Prior to founding Cognitive Finance Group, Clara was an executive and a Board Director at Ackermans & van Haaren’s downstream financial services companies in London and Luxembourg, respectively.

Clara is a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) London UK, has a Certificate in Investment Management and holds a Masters degree from the University of Oxford. Clara is pursuing research towards a PhD at the intersection of machine learning, neuroscience and wealth management interrogating how episodic memory informs investment and savings decisions.


Oana Korda
Co-founder & Director of Product, Woogie

Oana started building, Woogie, an AI robot, in 2015. Her main ambition is to revolutionize education by improving the learning process through great user interaction and smart technologies.

Over the past five years, she has built a social business that impacted unemployed women in Romani and founded a strategic design studio that’s helping SMEs to build better products and services.

Oana grew up in Romania and now lives in London. She’s looking to close Woogie’s first round of investment and bring the product to the global market.


Giles Pavey
Freelance Consultant
Giles Pavey is a freelance consultant in the exciting areas of Behavioural Insight, Big Data and Data Science, advising across both the private and public sectors. Formerly Giles worked for approaching two decades at dunnhumby, the world’s leading customer science company, working across the world with companies such as Tesco, Macys, Unilever and Coca Cola.

Giles is Visiting Professor in Computer Science at University College London and Advisory Fellow in Mathematics at Oxford University. He is also advisor to al number of data science start-ups.