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MeiPo Ho of Adapt2 Solutions: “Skill Set and Hiring”

AI is providing better information, it is how we use the information that will determine if AI is good or bad. I think just as with any solution you need to make sure that the proper fail safes and security has been established to ensure that if the system is compromised by an outside party […]

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AI is providing better information, it is how we use the information that will determine if AI is good or bad. I think just as with any solution you need to make sure that the proper fail safes and security has been established to ensure that if the system is compromised by an outside party or by an internal component, the system does not exceed a predetermined threshold. You have to set up thresholds that constrain the models that are produced by the solution. These thresholds should be intelligent enough to allow the solution to be flexible but keep it in the realm of reason. For example if you are determining how much power to generate you should have a threshold in place that triggers alarms if power generation exceeds 100% of its capacity or past intervals year over year. A trigger or exception should be activated to pause that will allow a qualified person to intervene when necessary. With the assistance AI is providing better and relevant information, it is how we use the information that will determine if AI is good or bad.


As part of my series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Meipo Ho, Vice President of Operations at Adapt2 Solutions.

MeiPo Ho is the Vice President of Operations at Adapt2 Solutions and a leader in software services with 20 years of experience in IT. She has primarily worked in IT services in the energy industry, serving as a liaison between end users, product support and development teams. Her true passions in the energy industry are around renewable energy and sustainability.

As a Houston native and proud graduate of the University of Houston, MeiPo is dedicated to offering IT undergraduate students the ability to partake in internships at Adapt2 Solutions, providing the ability to learn valuable AI and tech skills in a real work environment. Over her seven year tenure there, MeiPo has helped grow many recent college grads into seasoned IT professionals. She has also been actively involved in the Houston community participating in charitable events supporting Baker Ripley and the San Jacinto Girl Scout Council.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path?

I grew up living very close to the Compaq Computers office. Compaq supplied new technology into the local school that I attended and having access to technology made me realize the power it harnessed. From the very beginning, I always had a knack for computers and developed my love for technology very young in life. When it came time to decide what to study at university, Management Information Systems (MIS) was a new and exciting degree. I didn’t know many people who had majored in this field but I knew I wanted to work in IT. I wasn’t sure being a developer was right for me so MIS seemed to be the best fit. I am glad I took the risk because I love my career, I love the forward-thinking technology used at Adapt2 Solutions, I am passionate about the energy industry and feel very fortunate that I get to help grow people who share the same interests.

What lessons can others learn from your story?

Take the risk, even if no one else is. There weren’t many people or women majoring in MIS but I knew that was the right degree for me. It’s important to be able to recognize what may be something to pursue based on personal experiences and not by what is popular.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

At Adapt2 Solutions, we are working on integrating AI to support the dynamic needs of energy market participants. With the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) 2222 ruling, which will integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) into the regional energy markets, we are faced with an unprecedented volume of data coming into our system. To be able to properly support this from an operational standpoint I am currently working with the team on task automation including the automation of analytics for better strategic decision making. This will help us be able to ensure the AI is working properly and utilizing the right parameters and supporting and training our vast client-base.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My first manager at Structure Group, an IT consulting firm, really influenced and supported me as I worked through the challenges of a career in IT. She was a good mentor who was always able to help but didn’t necessarily give me all the answers. She was everything you would want in someone who can help a young professional navigate their next steps in their career path moving forward. I use some of her leadership style in my current role managing IT professionals and helping them develop critical thinking skills.

What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?

Efficiency: Due to the amount of data in the energy industry, without a robust system you cannot analyze all the energy market data. Even with a system, speed is imperative. Adapt2 is already known for being a leader in accelerating analytics but AI will enhance that speed even more and help us maintain our competitive edge.

New Insights: In IT, we sometimes face the same problems over and over again but as Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” AI will help IT support and QA teams find new solutions to repetitive problems.

Possibilities: Similar to new insights, AI can aid in opening your eyes to other possibilities you perhaps wouldn’t think of.

Better Client Relations: AI will allow us to be faster and with this we can better support our clients through the use of streamlined processes. It will cut down on our support ticket time and issue resolution turn-arounds.

Avoiding Human Error: There will need to be a human aspect of AI but the more we can automate and utilize AI the less risk and error we will be prone to, especially for repetitive tasks and regression testing.

What are the 5 things that concern you about the AI industry? Why?

Skill Set and Hiring: I think that you need to make sure you have the right people creating the AI. At Adapt2, we have several highly educated leaders and team members who have years of experience in AI. We also have data scientists helping ensure you are using the correct variables.

Variables: As I stated above, there is a huge risk in not considering all the factors that would provide an accurate result. I read an article earlier this year about using AI in the medical industry based on billing information for diagnostics, this data didn’t provide the necessary insight into people’s conditions, however you could possibly predict their annual medical spending. Using the wrong data can have catastrophic results.

Validation: How do you validate the results? It is great to rely on AI but some human oversight may still be needed. In the past, you would come up with the solution and then build the model. Now, we are building a model to come up with the solutions. So as part of the design, we need to build the validation into each model and it must be defined what the validation criteria should be.

Time: The solution must run quickly enough to finish before the data that was used to train a solution does not become stale and invalidate the model that is produced.

Cost: The cost of the large data sets that are required to feed the machine learning solutions are constantly growing. For this reason, just as it’s important to make sure that you include all of the important variables in your inputs, you need to constantly manage your data sets to ensure that irrelevant data is not retained.

As you know, there is an ongoing debate between prominent scientists, (personified as a debate between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg,) about whether advanced AI has the future potential to pose a danger to humanity. What is your position about this?

AI is providing better information, it is how we use the information that will determine if AI is good or bad. I think just as with any solution you need to make sure that the proper fail safes and security has been established to ensure that if the system is compromised by an outside party or by an internal component, the system does not exceed a predetermined threshold. You have to set up thresholds that constrain the models that are produced by the solution. These thresholds should be intelligent enough to allow the solution to be flexible but keep it in the realm of reason. For example if you are determining how much power to generate you should have a threshold in place that triggers alarms if power generation exceeds 100% of its capacity or past intervals year over year. A trigger or exception should be activated to pause that will allow a qualified person to intervene when necessary. With the assistance AI is providing better and relevant information, it is how we use the information that will determine if AI is good or bad.

What can be done to prevent such concerns from materializing? And what can be done to assure the public that there is nothing to be concerned about?

Ethics and morals training to ensure that data is being used in a way that ensures a positive impact through the use of AI.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

I believe everyone can contribute. As a Houston native and proud University of Houston graduate, I have devoted head-count to providing internships to Computer Science and MIS students. I also think that if you have a passion in IT there is a place for you and I have helped develop many people breaking into the IT industry with the skills needed to be successful and have helped them learn to think abstractly and outside of the box. The solutions will not always be a documented step. I think my contribution is growing others and creating IT problem solvers, who can help change the energy industry and maybe even the world.

As you know, there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other women in the AI space to thrive?

  1. Be willing to to be uncomfortable, sometimes your career will take you to places you did not expect
  2. Don’t be afraid to try
  3. Educate yourself and hold yourself and others accountable

Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the AI industry?

In 2013 the BBC wrote an article about how women can multitask very well. IT requires quite a bit of multitasking and so does AI by multitasking with several information sources. If what the BBC wrote is true, women are already programmed to excel in the AI industry. If you are afraid of failing in IT leadership make yourself feel empowered to go out there and do it and put their ideas out there. I have been reading a lot about women in AI and think our presence will continue to grow.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“Failure is not option, it’s a choice” — Gurbaksh Chahal

If you are persistent and work hard you will succeed, also be good to people. Those three items along with my love of learning and being willing to dive into the unknown has led me to my position as Vice President of Operations at Adapt2 Solutions — named One of Texas’ fastest growing private companies by Inc 5000 and winner of the 2020 AI Breakthrough Award for Big Data.

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. 🙂

Accountability in IT — teaching people to take ownership of their work. This would enable things to run smoother in the IT world. The easy way isn’t always the best way. Teaching people to leave their ego behind, be vulnerable, learn and grow from mistakes.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

My Linkedin is: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meipoho/. Although I rarely update or login to social media, please feel free to send me a connection request.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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