Jo Drake, CIO, The Hut Group

The Hut Group’s Jo Drake on integrating blockchain and AI in the corporate world

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In her role as the Chief Information Officer at British e-commerce company The Hut Group (THG), Joanna “Jo” Drake must stay informed on the latest technology. In an interview with CoinGeek Backstage, she shared insights into how the corporate world utilizes blockchain, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies.

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Drake was at the Global CIO Institute Oxford, where the top global CIOs congregated to discuss the latest in the technology world and how their roles were evolving. She was among the speakers for the day alongside nChain CIO Christine Leong.

In an interview with Becky Liggero for CoinGeek Backstage, Drake talked about her journey to the top and the many battles she has fought along the way. Drake was 2022’s CIO UK 100 winner, having been on the list in 2020 and 2021.

“It felt like two fingers up to a few things in the past where people said I’m too friendly to be successful,” she said.

Drake singled out nChain as one of the most captivating companies she had interacted with at the event. nChain’s Leong gave a keynote presentation on how Web3 will change our lives and how digital identity is central to Web3.

CIOs are charged with overseeing a company’s information technology systems and, as such, exploring how best to integrate any new technology. Blockchain has emerged as one of the key technologies that CIOs must explore to remain competitive.

“Modern CIOs are having to think about [blockchain]. I have to think about it because I have clients that are thinking about it,” she told CoinGeek Backstage.

She acknowledged that blockchain is still in its early stages, and most companies have different approaches to the technology. While there are a few that are exploring digital identity, Drake says that most of her clients are interested in blockchain’s computing power.

AI has also become ubiquitous in the corporate world. At THG, “the most obvious areas are operational efficiencies and getting rid of our operational toil.”

THG retails cosmetics, apparel, luxury goods, and dietary supplements online. Drake revealed that the company leverages AI to help customers find products that suit their skin tones and fashion preferences.

In order for artificial intelligence (AI) to work right within the law and thrive in the face of growing challenges, it needs to integrate an enterprise blockchain system that ensures data input quality and ownership—allowing it to keep data safe while also guaranteeing the immutability of data. Check out CoinGeek’s coverage on this emerging tech to learn more why Enterprise blockchain will be the backbone of AI.

Watch: Web3 will change our lives, nChain CIO Christine Leong explains how

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New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.