AI conference will be a glimpse of what's to come

March 2017

The Melbourne public are encouraged to attend IJCAI 2017 public festival in August to experience the impact that artificial intelligence will have on our lives.

The International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) is the premier international conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and will be held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 19-25 August 2017.

Club Melbourne Ambassador, Professor Michael Georgeff, CEO of Precedence Health Care and former founding member of the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute, helped attract the conference to Melbourne.

Professor Georgeff believes that we have been selected to host IJCAI 2017 because, “we have a very vibrant AI community in Melbourne. People are also interested in Australia because of the strong Asian investment in AI technologies and the potential for Australia to play a significant role in this region .”

IJCAI brings together the world’s leading AI researchers, research institutes and businesses to learn first-hand about their newest research results and developments, and the latest trends in AI research and industry.

For the first time, the conference will be held conjointly with an AI public festival. The festival will host a series of public talks and events highlighting the influence of AI in the arts, law, smart cities, transport, economics, and the future of work.

Professor Georgeff is particularly interested in the AI festival as it will help foster public awareness of artificial intelligence and showcase what is on the horizon.

“We need to be thinking about how AI will transform society and what we should do about it. The AI festival will create a public discussion about what’s possible and what’s not," Georgeff said.

He raises an excellent point. Many of us are unaware of the substantial bearing AI will have on all aspects of life – cities, work, politics and art will all be affected by AI in the not so distant future.  

Professor Georgeff believes that increasingly useful applications of AI will emerge in the next decade, with profound positive impacts on our society and economy.  However, he warns that we need to be a lot more conscious of the influences of technology and decide how we are going to ensure the benefits flow to all members of society.

Professor Georgeff predicts that AI will infiltrate our society in a much bigger way than just self-driving cars, stating that automation of the knowledge industry will make many areas of white collar work redundant, citing law and financial services as sectors that will be affected.

“Anyone who wants to understand AI in greater depth should attend. This includes academics and people involved in information technology, irrespective of whether they specialise in AI or not,” Georgeff said.

Whatever your opinion on AI, IJCAI 2017 is a great event for those curious about our rapidly changing world.

By attending, you will see what sort of future we are heading towards, rather than relying on the speculation of science fiction.