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Interchange - September 2023

Hard to believe but the next session of The Interchange is next week. We are very excited to be hosting a special guest, who is an expert on AI. Alex Gounares is a friend of Gene Boes, one of our members and will be joining us at 10 am (EDT) to give us all a brief on how AI is advancing and what the implications are for anyone leading an organization. Kevin and I have previewed his presentation and I have to say it is mind blowing!


Alex is the founder and CEO of Polyverse Corporation, the world's leading cybersecurity vendor of moving target defence technologies for Linux. He has extensive experience in the technology field having spent time as Microsoft’s’ CTO of online services among other positions. For a more complete profile see

AI in the Spotlight: Insights from The Interchange CEO Forum

As part of Phoenix Performance Partners’ commitment to facilitating transformative conversations among organizational leaders, we host a CEO forum, The Interchange, which serves as a platform where CEOs and other leaders gather to ask tough questions, share experiences, and chart innovative paths forward.

During our most recent forum, Alex Gounares, CEO of Polyverse Corporation, a cybersecurity expert, and practicing software engineer, shared some fascinating insights about AI with the group.

Alex has a distinguished career, having served as Bill Gates’s technical advisor and as CTO for AOL and Microsoft Online Services Division.

Alex’s presentation on AI encapsulated the transformative potential of this technology while also spotlighting the ethical and regulatory considerations it demands.

Here’s a brief overview of our enlightening conversation with key takeaways that resonated with our members:

  • AI’s Accelerated Growth: Gounares surprised us with the remarkable pace at which artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing — the core technology is outpacing Moore’s Law, with some estimates putting the rate of improvement at 750x every two years! These advancements are already significantly transforming industries across the board. Gounares said in no uncertain terms, “If you do knowledge work and your business isn’t embracing AI, you’ll most likely be out of business within the next five years.”

  • AI in Healthcare: He shed light on the potential benefits of including AI in the healthcare industry. These can include aiding in diagnostics and minimizing administrative tasks. He also addressed concerns about AI-driven decisions, particularly in health insurance and coverage, saying “there will always be a need for human involvement and decision making” alongside AI. In essence, the ideal model is where AI is augmenting and improving humans, not replacing them.

  • Cybersecurity Challenges: When it comes to keeping our systems and data safe, AI poses escalating challenges. While AI can enhance defense mechanisms, malicious actors can exploit it to create sophisticated cyber threats. The truth is that organizations must have cybersecurity measures in place that take AI into account.

  • The Need for Ethical Guardrails: The Interchange members discussed the importance of establishing ethical and regulatory guardrails for AI. We considered some scenarios where AI-driven decisions could have significant consequences, especially in healthcare.

  • AI’s Consumer Impact: The conversation then extended to AI’s influence in consumer scenarios. The potential misuse of AI-generated content (such as videos) in scams came up, prompting a discussion on the importance of vigilance in a world where distinguishing fact from fiction is increasingly challenging.

Thoughts, Concerns, and Questions Raised by The Interchange Members

During and after Gounares’ presentation, members were quite interactive, asking lots of questions and discussing scenarios where AI might be beneficial or nefarious. It was a lively conversation. Here’s the gist:

  • AI Adoption in Behavioral Health: Some members are excited about implementing AI solutions in behavioral health settings. They‘re particularly interested in automating note-taking and enhancing patient care through AI-driven tools.

  • Integration Challenges: Attendees acknowledged the importance of the seamless integration of AI into existing systems and processes. Gounares talked about how common this hurdle is when organizations adopt any new technology, and a smooth integration should always be part of the plan.

  • Vendor Selection: The quest for trustworthy AI vendors and developers was a recurring theme. Members sought guidance from Gounares on identifying partners with the necessary expertise and reliability in the dynamic AI landscape.

  • Data Privacy and Security: Privacy and data security concerns were paramount, especially in discussions concerning AI’s role in healthcare. Safeguarding sensitive patient information remains a top priority.

  • Regulations and Ethics: The consensus among forum participants was

Your insights and experiences are invaluable as we collectively shape the future of AI and leadership. If you have any questions or want to explore the topics discussed further, reach out to us or Gounares.

For more information about Phoenix Performance Partners, visit our website at or, to learn about The Interchange, visit

For more information about Alex Gounares, follow him on Substack

Watch the full episode on YouTube:

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