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When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), the past year has been aspirational, but ultimately unsuccessful, says Athina Kanioura, who was named PepsiCo’s first chief strategy and transformation officer in September 2020. But she is optimistic about 2023. 

“Think of how we started with the metaverse and the use of AI, suddenly it crumbled into pieces,” she told VentureBeat. “In AI, we tend to see what doesn’t work the first time, then we lose hope — but I think 2023 should be a year of hope and focus for AI.” 

That includes at PepsiCo, said Kanioura, who joined the third-largest consumer packaged goods (CPG) company — with familiar global brands including Pepsi, Lay’s, Cheetos, Quaker and Gatorade — after a dozen years at professional services firm Accenture. There, she served most recently as the firm’s chief analytics officer and global head of applied Intelligence, to help clients capitalize on AI at scale. 

PepsiCo, she explained, is “extremely passionate” about AI and, when she joined, put statistical information, digital data and AI under one umbrella to grow the company “exponentially” and “drive a different PepsiCo going forward.” 

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