FRI AM News: WisBusiness: the Podcast with Paul Doucas, SysLogic; WisBusiness: the Show with Adhira Sunkara of WiSys

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Paul Doucas, executive director of business development for SysLogic. 

This Brookfield-based company provides information systems consulting and services to both public and private customers, offering software development, database management and more. 

Doucas shares insights on how artificial intelligence is impacting the cybersecurity field, noting this rapidly evolving technology “is going to be so disruptive in so many ways” to a wide array of industries. 

“There is not enough cybersecurity specialists in the market, really to meet the demand,” he said. “I actually believe that talent gap is going to be one of the key drivers of adoption of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity.” 

Professionals working in this field are “overtaxed” given the prevalence of cybercrime, Doucas said, adding AI can help ease that burden and improve efficiency. Plus, the technology can improve detection of cyberattacks and help users understand potential threats. 

“AI will bring capabilities that humans can’t do …  better tooling, more intelligent tooling and identification of threats, reporting of thefts, the investigation process,” he said. 

But at the same time, AI poses a serious threat when in the wrong hands, he said. 

“That’s the nature of cybersecurity; it’s so fluid,” he said. “As technologies evolve and more protective measures come into place for enterprises to use and people to use, those threat actors, they’re figuring out different ways to break those barriers.” 

SysLogic next month is hosting a Cybersecurity Summit in partnership with the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Oct. 13 event will feature panel discussions and remarks from tech experts from around the state. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See the full list of podcasts: 

See more on the event: 

— In the latest episode of “ The Show,” Adhira Sunkara of WiSys discusses the group’s lead role in a National Science Foundation planning grant tied to sustainable agriculture in Wisconsin. 

Sunkara is director of strategy and innovative ventures for WiSys, which serves as the patenting and licensing organization for 11 UW System campuses. 

The effort to land the NSF grant was driven by WiSys, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation in Madison and the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation, she said. 

“Sustainable agriculture and everything related to it — land management, water management, workforce development — all of these were topics that rose to the top,” she said. “So when the award came around, we were just really ready with all the data and the partners to go ahead and apply for it, and I think that shows in the success.” 

Sunkara also touted WiSys’ VentureHome program, which has established community-based startup hubs around the state involving universities and steering committees of local entrepreneurs. 

“All of those are connected as partners through this grant,” she said. 

The show also previews upcoming events hosted by the Wisconsin Technology Council. 

Watch the latest episode here:  

See more on the VentureHome program: 

— GOP senators grilled Public Service Commissioner Tyler Huebner over a request from the agency for data on utility employees and contractors, such as their race and gender.

Senate Utilities and Technology Committee Chair Julian Bradley said the agency had issued a press release requesting the information. He suggested the request was hypocritical, noting the response from Gov. Tony Evers’s office to inquiries about a relationship between two of his staffers.

The guv’s office in response to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inquiry last month said it doesn’t comment on the marital status, religion, ancestry or sexual orientation of its employees.

“I had a great issue with the fact that the PSC was ordering utilities to report this information,” the Franklin Republican said. “And my question is why is it appropriate at this point for the PSC to collect this information when the governor does not require it for his own staff?”

Huebner, an Evers appointee, said he can’t comment on the guv’s staff.

“This is an area of the Public Service Commission that falls under the day-to-day administration of the agency … and that is vested with our chairperson. So I’m a commissioner, I’m not the chairperson,” Huebner said.

The PSC in 2021 started requiring utilities to submit demographic information in annual reports to the agency as part of its diversity and inclusion efforts. That includes breakdowns by race, ethnicity, gender, age, veteran status and disability status.

Sen. Van Wanggaard questioned why the PSC would need the information.

“I would think that that would be left up to the individual municipality to address those issues locally rather than us getting involved in it, you know, as a social issue that shouldn’t come to bear with this,” the Racine Republican said.

He asked Huebner under what authority the agency could request the information.

“I can’t do that where I sit today because I am not the chairperson of the agency,” Huebner said.

Huebner was originally appointed in March 2020. He was reappointed for a new six-year term that runs through March 1, 2027. The committee also heard testimony from Evers appointee Summer Strand. Strand was appointed to the commission earlier this year for a term through March 1, 2029.

See the 2021 PSC press release:

— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan this week joined a Milwaukee United Auto Workers picket line in support of the national strike against major U.S. automakers. 

The Town of Vermont Dem in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood held a picket sign alongside other UAW Local 75 workers outside a MOPAR plant, a parts distribution location for Stellantis, the parent company to Chrysler. 

Workers are demanding better pay as automakers raked in record profits this year. Pocan said the workers made concessions when manufacturers needed help during the pandemic, and now it’s time for the companies to support their workers.

“While executives continue to give themselves raises, many hard-working employees who keep these plants running have struggled to make ends meet,” he said. “Autoworkers keep our economy running and our country moving.” 

In a statement on the strike, a Stellantis spokesperson said the company questions “whether the union’s leadership has ever had an interest in reaching an agreement in a timely manner,” arguing the union is more concerned about pursuing a political agenda than negotiating in the best interests of workers and the company’s U.S. operations. 

“We look forward to the UAW leadership’s productive engagement so that we can bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that will protect the competitiveness of our Company and our ability to continue providing good jobs,” the spokesperson said in a statement. 

President Joe Biden also this week became the first sitting president to visit a picket line after he joined Michigan autoworkers in support of their bargaining efforts. 

See more from the WisPolitics DC Wrap: 

<br><b><i>Top headlines from the Health Care Report…</b></i> 

— Three GOP lawmakers — including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos — have begun circulating legislation that would ban transgender medical treatments for anyone under 18.

<i>For more of the most relevant news on COVID-19, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin, links to top stories and more, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and</i> 

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# DWD says it’s making progress updating technology that contributed to unemployment backlogs

# As government shutdown looms, Wisconsin health centers anxious

# Milwaukee-area manufacturer embarks on $21M project, adding 150 employees



– Dairy producers to tour cheese and milk processors 


– West Allis advances $69.3 million apartment project, with developer already eyeing second phase


– NWTC receives $500,000 from Gene Haas Foundation to bolster manufacturing education


– Northwestern Mutual setting 2024 dividend at $7.3 billion


– ‘Resuming access to abortion care a first step,’ says Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin leader

– DHS chief medical officer: ‘My advice is to not wait’ on next COVID booster


– Famed downtown Milwaukee restaurant preps reopening as shooting investigation continues


– Farm bill expiration consequences for farmers and consumers 

– Gender-affirming health care would be banned for Wisconsin minors under GOP proposal


– Greenfield seeks mixed-use redevelopment of former Spring Mall

– Senior housing, library branch proposed for vacant Ashwaubenon site


– Building height limit proposed again in Wauwatosa


– Madison Public Market funding proposal increases by $3.3 million


– Octane Coffee’s debut Pewaukee location to host grand opening next weekend


– Bucks fans hustle to buy tickets as prices jump up after Damian Lillard trade; jerseys being printed

– Packers fans from Germany say being at Lambeau Field ‘feels like family’


– Neenah plans to double its transportation fee to cover rising cost of street reconstruction projects


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

Acuity: Named to Deloitte 75

Marquette University: Law School Poll to release results of national surveys on U.S. Supreme Court, political topics, Oct. 4-5