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Artificial intelligence is revolutionising the world at an unbelievable pace - from how companies do business, to how NGO’s tackle climate change, to how students write essays. But is AI worth the hype? Is it something we should embrace or fear?

At Platform X, KPMG's digital innovation hub in Dublin, UU Connects brought together a panel of Ulster University graduates, who are experts in the field of AI, to unpack these questions and tease out the plethora of issues to consider.

Our expert panel was made up of: Dr. Samuel Moore, Lecturer in Computer Science at Ulster University; Jason McDermott, Cloud Advanced Support at Google; Mary Carty, CEO of Wilson & Keys; and Paul Browne, author at Packt. We were delighted to be joined by KPMG's Director of Applied Intelligence, Alan Lavery, who led the facilitation of the panel discussion.

"At this hugely exciting time for Ulster University, this UU Connects event created an opportunity to bring together our community of alumni and friends based in Dublin, to share ideas and discuss the exciting potential and impact of Artificial Intelligence on our lives and wider society. The ‘UU Connects’ event series puts into practice the university's core mission of unlocking the value of our network of people, and growing partnerships to build sustainable futures. We encourage all staff, graduates, and students to look out for our next event in the ‘UU Connects’ series and come along to connect, network and be inspired!"

- Karen Delgado, Deputy Director (Alumni and Corporate Engagement) at Ulster University.

There are huge opportunities for AI, particularly in the ‘tech for good’ space and new multi-modalities of AI e.g. artwork and video AI, bringing us beyond the language-model currently popular through ChatGPT. However, we must exercise caution. AI is intellectual property that must be owned by someone; protocols and regulations must be worked out, ethics around who gets paid should be transparent, and we should always be wary of engineering bias in AI. A key takeaway from the discussion was to understand AI as a tool, not a replacement for human creativity in new technological discoveries. We should move away from the dichotomy of AI being either a friend or foe, it can be both!

Our panel's main advice:

  • Talk about AI in your own context, whether at work or in your community.
  • Be transparent about using AI tools to counter fears and suspicions.
  • Lead with a problem you are trying to solve within your area of interest – don’t just jump on the latest trending AI tool.
  • Tap into a wide range of free resources available online, at a range of experience levels, and broaden your knowledge of AI.
  • Test out an array of AI tools to find what works for you.Humans are the pilot and AI is the co-pilot. AI responds to human prompts and instructions, but you are leading the way.

One panel member recommended The AI Product Manager's Handbook for those interested in business or using tech to meet the needs of customers.

"Thanks to the UU Connects team for pulling this event together. Really loved the audience questions - ranging from ethics, to next steps, to how can I compete when everybody else is faking their CV using ChatGPT?"

- Paul Browne, UU graduate and AI expert panel member.

Do you have an idea for a UU Connects event? We would love to hear it! Get in touch with us -