Ryan Furuness Of Enfix: How AI Is Disrupting Our Industry, and What We Can Do About It

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

You can’t use AI if you don’t know AI. Staying up to date on the latest tools, information, and trends related to the technology is going to be absolutely pivotal. Being the first company to adopt a new incredible tool (there’s basically one coming out every week) can only be a good thing. But it’s not just about jumping on every trend, it’s about keeping up with the space and being able to trust that you have all the information needed to have an effective oversight of AI use within your company.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future; it is the present. It’s reshaping landscapes, altering industries, and transforming the way we live and work. With its rapid advancement, AI is causing disruption — for better or worse — in every field imaginable. While it promises efficiency and growth, it also brings challenges and uncertainties that professionals and businesses must navigate. What can one do to pivot if AI is disrupting their industry? As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan Furuness.

Ryan Furuness, the Founder & CEO of Enfix LLC, leverages his deep expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence to pioneer innovative solutions, enhancing operational efficiency and decision-making across various industries. At Enfix, he is known for developing intelligent systems that incorporate advanced data analytics and algorithmic optimization, aligned with the company’s strategic goals. Committed to making AI technology accessible for business applications, Furuness is a notable figure in the AI community, actively contributing insights and fostering the growth of AI to achieve practical and impactful advancements. His leadership is instrumental in integrating AI to bolster business capabilities and drive digital transformation effectively.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Thank you for having me. My journey into the world of AI and machine learning began out of a perception of the world as so automatable. I loved hearing stories of past inventions that changed absolutely everything and I wanted to be a part of today’s version of that. Looking at the world and in my own life, I saw so much monotony and I thought there was really no reason that what computers offered couldn’t be leveraged to solve this. I wanted a world of information abundance and intelligent assistants that we could all use to power our own creativity. It was clear that the field of artificial intelligence was going to be absolutely crucial to the future. These factors drove my sheer curiosity and passion for the technology and set me on the path to founding Enfix LLC, with the mission to harness AI’s power to solve real-world challenges.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

What sets Enfix apart is our ability to dive into a specific industry and company and figure out how to apply AI within that niche. That’s really the key. Anyone can use AI for general cases, but combining generative AI’s power with domain expertise is where solutions really flourish. A defining moment for us was when we tackled a project for a simulation company struggling with their natural language understanding. Traditional methods were failing due to the complexity and dynamic nature of their operations. Our team developed a system from the ground up that combined the latest machine learning techniques with a carefully curated industry specific training set. The result was a dynamic, intelligent, and flexible system that set this client far apart from their outdated competitors. This success reinforced our commitment to AI as not just a problem-solver but a technology capable of evolving and enhancing its performance over time, embodying our philosophy at Enfix of crafting intelligent systems that continuously improve and adapt.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Curiosity: My insatiable desire to understand how things work and to explore new possibilities has been the driving force behind my career. For instance, early in my career, this led me to delve into neural networks long before they became mainstream, setting the foundation for my expertise in AI.

Resilience: In the world of technology and startups, failure is more common than success. It was during the initial days of Enfix, when we faced our first major setback with a project that didn’t go as planned, that my resilience was truly tested. Instead of giving up, we took it as a learning opportunity, which eventually led us to refine our approach and end up securing significant success in the project.

Empathy: Understanding the needs and challenges of our clients and our team has been crucial. There was a time when a project was not meeting the client’s expectations, and instead of pushing our agenda, we took a step back to truly understand their concerns. This empathetic approach allowed us to tailor a solution that not only met but exceeded their expectations, strengthening our relationship and reputation in the industry.

Let’s now move to the main point of our discussion about AI. Can you explain how AI is disrupting your industry? Is this disruption hurting or helping your bottom line?

AI is helping the bottom line at Enfix by significantly relieving weight off software developers. An engineer adept at using the new technology to handle low to mid-level complexity tasks has their mind much more free to work on only the most challenging and interesting problems. In general, whether AI helps or hurts a business’s bottom line is going to be all about how that specific business integrates it. Proper use of it by employees and careful implementation in products or workflows can only be positive.

Which specific AI technology has had the most significant impact on your industry?

ChatGPT was and remains the most impactful AI technology by far when it comes to the tech industry, and any industry really. It’s a versatile and user-friendly AI that simply “gets it”. Whatever question you ask, often no matter how it’s phrased, gets instant recognition and an instantly usable response. The impact it has already had in speeding up software development and automating workflows has turned everything on its head. Also, it’s just fun. No one likes to write boilerplate code or do repetitive tasks that are only vaguely complex.

Can you share a pivotal moment when you recognized the profound impact AI would have on your sector?

The first time I typed in a programming task and ChatGPT spit back out picture perfect code. It was a surreal moment that confirmed the AI we had all imaged had fully arrived. It was tangibly at our fingertips and the only limit at this point was our imagination and skill at interacting with it.

How are you preparing your workforce for the integration of AI, and what skills do you believe will be most valuable in an AI-enhanced future?

At Enfix, we’re actively preparing our team for the integration of AI by fostering a culture of excitement about the new technologies. We want to integrate these advanced tools because we are curious and enthusiastic about how they could make our lives and the lives of our clients so much easier. We’ve initiated comprehensive training programs that focus on data literacy and AI interaction maneuvering. The most valuable skills in an AI-enhanced future will be the ability to interpret AI outputs critically, adapt to evolving technologies, and apply AI solutions creatively and carefully to solve complex problems. By encouraging our team to experiment with AI tools and engage in cross-disciplinary projects, we’re building a workforce that can effortlessly cut through problems.

What are the biggest challenges in upskilling your workforce for an AI-centric future?

One of the biggest challenges we face in upskilling our workforce for an AI-centric future is overcoming the initial resistance to change. There’s a natural apprehension towards new technologies, especially ones that make big claims. And it’s easy to see one bad output from a tool like ChatGPT and have a strong reaction, forgetting about all the other use cases where it melted hours off a task’s completion. Another challenge is the rapid pace of AI advancements, requiring your entire workforce to really be on their toes. We tackle this by integrating learning into the daily workflow and providing access to the latest resources and training. It’s an investment of employee bandwidth but with how powerful these technologies are, it pays off.

What ethical considerations does AI introduce into your industry, and how are you tackling these concerns?

The ethical considerations introduced by AI in our industry primarily revolve around data privacy, algorithmic bias, and transparency. At Enfix, we’ve committed to ethical AI use by carefully monitoring data set diversity when working on projects that demand it and being transparent with all clients about the technology. We strive to make our AI systems explainable, ensuring that everyone involved understands how decisions are made.

What are your “Five Things You Need To Do, If AI Is Disrupting Your Industry”?

1 . The first priority is to learn how others in your industry are using it. If a competitor has found a useful application they are going to quickly put you in the rear view mirror. AI is powerful and it is here.

2 . The next step is to look inward and explore the unique ways your business can use it. Automate the aspects of your business that work well. Break down internal workflows into individual steps and identify which of those steps are straightforward enough to automate using AI.

3 . Next, you need to look at your products. This is highly important, but also the most risky application of AI. Incorporating AI into your customer facing products in a profound way can easily separate you from your competition. But an incorrect application can be a user and PR nightmare. The key is to define tangible use cases and establish clear metrics for what you hope to gain through an AI implementation within a product. Don’t just throw a chatbot at it. A good idea is to use human in the loop AI implementations to start. Don’t just let the AI run loose right away or you’ll end up with a nightmare, guaranteed. Have humans watch over and guide it at first, stepping in when necessary. Period. Only once that is frictionless should you consider AI a solid part of your product’s feature set that can run unsupervised.

4 . The important thing to consider is that any successful application of AI in any part of your business or product depends on the people implementing it. You need to come up with a clear plan for upskilling your workforce. A full group of employees that all individually know and understand when and how to apply AI to tasks is going to be virtually unbeatable, but that’s not going to happen by accident. You need to provide them with resources and empower them to experiment. Check in with them and have them check in with each other. Make it a team effort. It’s important.

5 . You can’t use AI if you don’t know AI. Staying up to date on the latest tools, information, and trends related to the technology is going to be absolutely pivotal. Being the first company to adopt a new incredible tool (there’s basically one coming out every week) can only be a good thing. But it’s not just about jumping on every trend, it’s about keeping up with the space and being able to trust that you have all the information needed to have an effective oversight of AI use within your company.

What are the most common misconceptions about AI within your industry, and how do you address them?

The most common misconception is that AI is going to “replace” anyone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. AI won’t replace you, someone who uses AI better than you will replace you. Even for job sectors that have the potential to be completely swallowed by incoming innovations, such as customer service, seeing those jobs as simply disappearing is inaccurate. Someone with customer service experience is more valuable than ever — they are an industry specific expert that will be crucial to the design and ongoing application of the emerging AI technologies in their space. It’s about adapting and competing, even on shifting stages.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

My favorite quote by far is “What would this look like if it were easy? Why can’t it be this way?” This quote was monumental for me in reigning in runaway thought processes that vastly overcomplicated tasks. Often, I’ll take a step back and ask myself this and all the sudden a complicated and overreaching 20 step process becomes just a few simple ideas. This is more relevant than ever in the age of emerging AI because the opportunities to simplify are stronger than ever. Rigorous analysis should be applied to any workflow or project to explore where AI related technologies could be used.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

Honestly what I think about most is how to adopt quickly and in clever ways. We’re at a time where even general use of AI tools is not widespread, let alone creative use cases that can disrupt niches or even industries. It’s such an opportunity. On a day to day basis this mostly manifests in intentional reflection on what Enfix is currently doing that could incorporate AI, as well as what might be available for us as a new frontier to push into.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think that a simple movement of everyone using ChatGPT five times and sharing their results with their friends and family would be profound. I know for a fact that huge amounts of people every day are doing work that could be done for them or missing out on the benefits of having a semi super-intelligent assistant that completes tasks and answers questions instantly.

How can our readers further follow you online?

I would love to connect and chat more with anyone interested in the AI space. The design and use of machine learning and artificial intelligence systems is so exciting and complex.


Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.