The ACIT-Reatch AI Conference: The Future is Here and Now!

Often, discourses on artificial intelligence (AI) focus on a future of utopia or dystopia. But either way, that still depends on what is happening now; the development and application milestones that industries are grappling with currently and their implications in the short-term. The Association for Critical and Interdisciplinary Thinking (ACIT) and Reatch, a science think tank, are collaborating in a notable conference to explore this matter in detail, by examining the current state of AI. The conference will draw from experiences in the arts, architecture, politics, business, medicine and energy.

Scheduled for April 22, the ACIT-Reatch AI Conference will bring together reputable and widely experienced speakers to discuss the current application of AI in different aspects of our lives and professional fields.

Below is a brief profile of the speakers and their specialty areas.

Jonas Dischl – Art and Architecture

Art and architecture have been greatly impacted by the ongoing digital transformation and AI revolution. Jonas will lead an insightful and thought-provoking session to explore the boundless possibilities and potential pitfalls of AI in art and architecture.

From creative digital paintings to captivating architectural designs, AI is ushering in a new era of imaginative and transformative efficiencies in art and architecture. Artists and architects are using AI tools to generate novel ideas, patterns and structures. Creative professionals can now explore complex compositions, efficient space utilization, and sustainable design with unprecedented precision and scale.

However, despite these advancements, a growing number of critics argue that AI poses a significant threat to human creativity. Some fear that the rise of AI-generated art could signal the end of an era where human emotion, intuition, and imagination were the driving forces behind artistic expression. They argue that AI, with its data-driven and algorithmic approach, may strip art of its soul, leaving it devoid of the unique and personal touch that makes it resonate with the human spirit.

You are welcome to join this session to unpack the value of AI and how human perceptions might sometimes stand in the way of this revolution.

Belinda Müller – Policy-Making

Belinda will lead an insightful session on the unique risk of AI, how we can address it, and how to promote responsible use of this technology.

Her presentation will focus on understanding the unique differences between AI and traditional software, even as the world increasingly becomes reliant on AI systems, which can sometimes be biased in their decision-making processes, unlike traditional software that is often transparent and predictable. The session will address issues like the lack of true generalization in AI systems and their susceptibility to adversarial attacks. This unique risk profile of AI systems is reflected in notable AI failures, examples of which will be discussed during the session. One particular risk is General Artificial Intelligence (AGI). You will learn more about AGI and its impact on society.

Belinda will also address regulation and how regulators are now coming up with ethical frameworks, principles and standards to mitigate AI-associated risks. This way, we can design, implement and deploy trustworthy systems.

Maya Guido – Job Market

AI-driven solutions are becoming more common in recruitment, as they help to sift through resumes, carry out interviews, and ultimately influence hiring choices.  Maya will demonstrate how the promise of faster, more effective and objective hiring methods has made AI attractive to organizations across all sectors, to the point of businesses even planning to use AI in making decisions about employees’ career development.

However, AI is not a silver bullet. Previous incidents have revealed that AI-enabled recruitment tools can result in biased outcomes, negatively impacting certain populations, especially minority groups. Maya’s presentation, based on cross-disciplinary research, will investigate the history and future of AI in the workplace, highlighting both the potential advantages and downsides of AI-fueled HR instruments.

Join this session and learn how cutting-edge research can guide the implementation of AI-centered approaches that promote fairness, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about AI’s effect on employee-employer dynamic and the vital role of ethical AI practices in human resources management.

David Marti – Medicine and Energy

Because of a lack of representative data on the spread, impact and development of AI in Switzerland, it is hard to develop the framework conditions for AI in the country. In a recent pilot project, Pour Demain held background discussions with the technical directors from critical infrastructure sectors – healthcare and energy – on the use of AI systems. David will show how the information gathered therein lay the foundation for an evidence base that can be used to make important decisions for Switzerland as a location for science and business.

He will lead an interesting session to look at how AI can be exploited in the health sector, for instance by using image recognition algorithms for early detection of certain types of cancer.

The session will look at the pros and cons of AI, such as the potential for accidents or misuse, which can be devastating, especially when error-prone AI systems are in critical infrastructures such as the energy sector.

Join this session and learn how data on the development of the AI landscape in Switzerland is collected to understand its impact on society.