Growing up the son of actress Mia Farrow and Oscar-winning composer André Previn, Fletcher Previn anticipated he would follow in his family’s footsteps and go into the entertainment business. But a funny thing happened as he was working on movie sets and interning for David Letterman and Conan O’Brien: Previn became fascinated with the equipment.
“I remember being on a movie set and being more interested in the camera setup and the visual effects set up and the phone system than on the storytelling,” says Previn, who is now chief information officer for Cisco. As the person leading IT in a company that has created the IT infrastructure for much of corporate America, that puts Previn on the front lines of digital transformation.
Now, the guy that once built computers is interested in using technology to build culture. “People’s technology can be stolen over time. It’s pretty hard to steal somebody’s culture,” he says, “and the shortest path to engaging people is what’s in their hand or what’s on their desk.”
Previn spoke with Forbes about how Cisco is using technology to transform the hybrid-work experience using and what he learned from his famous parents that have helped him be a better leader. He also spoke about the best use cases of AI today.
“A lot of the initial use cases have been around mastery of language,” he says. . “There have been some interesting trials of getting better response rates to follow-up emails that we send out to potential candidates from AI than from actual human recruiters.”
The next wave of change may be in areas like business development: “Rather than figuring out how to spend less money, AI is very helpful in figuring out how to make more.”
Click on the video above for the full interview.