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Leading experts gather for Deakin’s AI and the Future of Work Festival

Artificial Intelligence (AI) expertise will be on show at an upcoming inaugural event hosted by Deakin Business School’s Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics (DISBA).

Some of the world’s leading AI experts are set to share their knowledge on state-of-the-art applications, best practice, and thought leadership at Deakin’s AI and the Future of Work festival.

Hosted by DISBA, the 29 – 30th September event will showcase AI innovations that are now transforming government, industry and academic landscapes.

Professor Hind Benbya, Head of DISBA, says that AI is currently considered the most significant disruptive and transformative new technology for organisations.

‘It provides many novel possibilities for enhancing people’s lives across a variety of areas, including healthcare, education, employment, entertainment, safety, and transportation. The space of current and future possibilities enabled by AI is both expansive and evolutionary – this means we will see many new technologies and applications in the future.’

Supporting AI's potential

While realising the transformative potential of AI requires collaboration and investment from across all sectors of the economy, education and research between universities and businesses is essential to ensure industry-relevant postgraduate skills.

‘It enables businesses to identify talent and develop career pathways for students. Retraining existing employees is also a priority to ensure there is enough talent who can understand the implications of AI, work along smart machines, and effectively manage such novel technologies,’ says Prof. Benbya.

Managing the challenges

But with opportunities and possibilities there are also challenges such as managing human-AI interaction, data privacy, algorithmic bias, or unexplainable outcomes.

‘So it is really critical for organisations at the forefront of these AI-related changes to come together and lead the discussion on how to meet the challenges while making the best possible use of the benefits that AI can bring in a thoughtful, considerate manner,’ she explains.

A showcase for best practice AI implementations

Alongside examining the challenges, the AI and Future of Work festival will explore trailblazing AI applications from all industries by sharing best practice implementation, contemporary research and innovations, and the implications for businesses, skills, and jobs of the future.

Offering postgraduate training in both AI and business and analytics, DISBA plans to soon deliver a new program in digital technologies for business professionals.  

Educationan and industry in partnership

‘We also have regular guest speakers from leading companies sharing best practices in every unit across all DISBA’s suite of programs and our students work on current problems faced by organisations. So it’s really a full circle – where research projects start with business problems, new knowledge is created based on scientific methods and real data shared by industry partners. The festival is not only an important opportunity for sharing DISBA’s expertise but also creating new conversations to advance the state of practice, collaborative research and consulting of AI in organisations.’

With partners and sponsors from both private and not-for-profit organisations, the festival will be opened by the Hon. Senator Jane Hume (Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy) with keynote addresses from Tom DavenportGlen Rabie and presentations from more than 30 speakers from a range of leading organisations.

‘They will be joining us to share their practices, their progress and the challenges to date,’ says Prof. Benbya.

‘This will be an exciting event and I’d like to also acknowledge the work of the organising team in DISBA and DBS including Assoc. Prof. Lubna Alam, Assoc. Prof. William Yeoh, Assoc. Prof. Lemai Nguyen and Courtney Bow.’ 

More information and a full program agenda for the 2021 AI and Future of Work Festival September 29-30 can be found here.

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