• Interview
  • Industries Need AI to Survive: Tom Siebel on CNBC

Transcript:
Speaker 1:
Technology continues to transform the industry. For more, we're joined now by Tom Siebel, CEO and Chairman at C3 and of course, the founder of Siebel Systems, not too long ago sold to Oracle. Tom, great to have you here on set. Last you and I talked, we were talking about government and the Internet of Things, and the possibilities for making a lot of the work the government does and the spending more efficient. How much is that a part of what's happening with infrastructure right now, how much should it be a part of what needs to happen with infrastructure?
Tom Siebel:
Oh, it'll be huge with everything we have going on in smart cities. The use of IoT and AI to optimize safety, cybersecurity, optimize traffic flow, route optimizations for airlines. So AI and IoT plays a major role in ... or all of these initiatives in infrastructure and defense intel.
Speaker 1:
Are the right people at the federal level and at the state and local level actually engaging on getting the right technology platforms involved from the beginning? When we're talking about spending, you know, $1.5 trillion on infrastructure.
Tom Siebel:
Well, I'll give you a feel for the level of engagement. Recently, we won an award to do AI predictive maintenance for the entire United States Air Force. Now that's a pretty large contract, and the person who came out and visited us, and is personally involved, was the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So I would say this is taking place at a pretty high level. And a week later, I had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of State, so I think that this is about as senior as it gets, as it relates to embracing this digital transformation and, you know, capturing the genie in the bottle of AI before somebody else does.
Carl:
Sounds like you think the reputation of the government or the public sector as a philistine, a technological philistine, like a laggard always last to adopt, could change. We could be in a new era like that.
Tom Siebel:
Well if you ... Carl, if you see what's happening today in defense, in logistics, in predictive maintenance, I mean by using AI-based predictive maintenance, these people who are running the defense can basically double the throwaway of the U.S. military by about a hundred percent. So this is without building any new machines. So I would say the government very much at the leading edge of this, particularly in intel, in defense, in transportation, in logistics. They're not being dragged along.
Carl:
Right.
Speaker 4:
What do you make of this new partnership between Amazon, Berkshire, JP Morgan, trying to tackle healthcare costs? What would the role of AI play there? I think Dr. Toby Cosgrove said yesterday, healthcare data is doubling every 73 days. I mean, is AI really the magic answer and are these three entities going to help solve this problem for us in healthcare?
Tom Siebel:
Unquestionably, precision medicine will be the largest field for AI and IoT, hard stop. Okay. And now, I think that these companies that are in the medical business, let's think about Walgreens, let's think about CVS, let's think about McKesson in San Francisco, if Amazon for example just goes into the pharmaceutical business, I mean these companies are gone. And so we're going to see huge changes in healthcare with precision medicine using AI, IoT for disease prediction, AI-assisted medicine. This will be unquestionably the largest market for artificial intelligence.
Speaker 1:
Immigration has been a hot button issue across the nation, also in Silicon Valley, I know you are growing at C3, you're hiring people from all kinds of backgrounds. Are you hearing what you want to hear from the Trump administration around immigration policy and getting the most talented engineers?
Tom Siebel:
Well yes, we are hearing what we want to hear. So we're doubling our workforce this year. We're doubling our workforce next year and the students that are graduating out of Stanford, Harvard, Illinois, Berkeley, who are getting their master's degrees and PhDs in say, data science, AI and computer science, from China, from South Korea, from Japan, from Europe, we're making them go home. Okay? I mean, this is crazy, we should be stapling green cards to their diplomas. I mean this is a major brain drain. We're spending enormous federal dollars, tax dollars, training and educating these people and then we don't allow them to work for us. It makes no sense at all.
Speaker 1:
Well, Tom Siebel, I wished we had a lot more time. We'll continue the conversation hopefully soon. Tom Siebel, founder and CEO of C3.
Tom Siebel:
Thank you.
Carl:
Squawk Alley is back after this.