The Last Word: McKesson CIO/CTO Nancy Avila’s Surprise Announcement at the Future of AI Summit

“With understatement rivaling Steve Jobs, Nancy Avila closes the Future of AI event with an “…oh, there’s one more thing.”

Steve Guengerich
Associate VP of Innovation & Commercialization
University of Texas at Dallas
.…on how Nancy Avila announced a major new Dallas-based international AI conference during Tuesday’s Future of AI summit in Dallas; quote via LinkedIn.

On Tuesday, a “Future of AI” summit was hosted by the Capital Factory Texas Fund at the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Business leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators gathered to grasp AI’s potential and drive innovation.

Writing on LinkedIn, Guengerich noted that one of the summit’s reveals was saved for last—a closing announcement by Nancy Avila, EVP, CIO,  and CTO at Irving-based McKesson. Avila announced Convergence AI Dallas, a new global AI conference slated for spring 2024.

Hosted by the Dallas Regional Chamber in partnership with McKesson and Accenture, it continues the discussion from the Future of AI summit to bring forward “all the exciting things that are happening,” she said. It’s about what’s happening—not only to companies of all sizes, but also what it means to the community, she says.

During the previous keynote, John Carmack called this “the next golden age” driven by AI, Avila noted. The spring conference will bring together “experts and enthusiasts from around the world to explore new frontiers of machine learning and showcase real-world AI applications,” Avila said. “It will be a full day—at an enterprise level—of AI demonstration.”

Avila’s own company, McKesson, has “been around for 185 years” and has a long history of technology in health care—and innovation.

Nancy Avila, EVP, CIO,  and CTO at McKesson

“We’ve set up our own AI environment internally,” Avila told the summit audience of McKesson. “We have the same challenges around privacy, some of the social challenges that we’re constantly working with, but it’s partners like you that helped us get there.”

“In about eight weeks, we’ve stood up our own [AI] environment,” Avila added, to update how the company automates its “vast amount of data.” 

Avila—who moved to the region four years ago—says Dallas is a source of inspiring innovation.

“Dallas continues to prove to me and many others that the community, the startups, the technology, and the innovation happening in Dallas is exciting.”

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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