Bengaluru: Alliance University hosts groundbreaking AI & Society Confest 2024

Media Release

Bengaluru, Mar 4: Alliance University successfully concluded its AI & Society Alliance Confest 2024, a three-day exploration of Artificial Intelligence's multifaceted impact on society from March 1 to 3.

Held at both the Alliance University Anekal campus and the Bangalore International Centre (BIC), the Confest brought together leading academics, industry professionals, and artists for a stimulating exchange of ideas.

The Alliance School of Design & Creative Arts showcased remarkable design installations on the university campus, crafted by both students and faculty. Among them, Infinite Binaries stood out, inviting viewers into the boundless realm of technology, where a meticulously crafted room brimming with tactile elements symbolizes the intricate workings of a computer's mind.

The Confest began with Abhay G Chebbi, pro-chancellor of Alliance University, envisioning Bengaluru as a global nexus for the convergence of technology, culture, and the arts.

Dr Michiel Baas, the event curator and a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute, delivered a keynote address illuminating the creative dimensions of AI and its potential to foster innovation and artistic expression.

"Through the AI Confest, the Liberal Arts team at Alliance University has curated a gathering of leading experts across diverse fields such as philosophy, warfare, governance, media, psychology, culture, and design, alongside top Indian artists leveraging AI in their work. Over three days, participants engaged in a thought-provoking exploration of AI's implications on society, addressing its risks, potentials, and realities.", said Dr. Anirudh Sridhar, Dean of Thought Leadership at Alliance University and the visionary behind the AI Confest.

The programme delved into various facets of AI's influence on society, including a panel discussion on "Beyond AI Evangelism" examining the practical implications and ethical considerations surrounding AI adoption.

Dr Hiroki Habuka, research professor at Kyoto University, provided valuable insights into AI governance frameworks. The interplay between AI and the media landscape was explored in a session featuring Sannuta Raghu, executive producer, and Lakshmi Sivadas, programme manager at London School of Economics and Political Science.

On the second day, chief guest Prof (Dr) T G Sitharam, chairman of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), highlighted Alliance University's pivotal role in advancing AI research and innovation.

Discussions on the future of education in the AI era, personalized learning experiences, and ethical considerations of AI-driven military technologies ensued.

A series of discussions on diverse topics followed, including sessions on AI and design, AI and mental health, and AI's implications for governance. The day concluded with a captivating musical performance by the Generative Jugalbandi.

The final day, held at the BIC, featured a vibrant AI art exhibition showcasing the works of talented artists. A panel discussion titled "Deconstructing AI as an Idea and Practice" offered a historical analysis of artificial intelligence, while another session explored the implications of AI for governance, featuring Dr. Hiroki Habuka and Dr. Charru Malhotra, Professor at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi.

As Dr Sayan Dey, Assistant Professor in the Department of Language & Literature, states, "This Confest introduces a novel perspective, underexplored in Indian institutions thus far. While AI predominantly resides within business, management, engineering, and technology domains, our confest uniquely invites participants to explore AI through diverse disciplinary lenses such as culture, society, media, philosophy, and psychology. By broadening the discourse, we aim to democratize AI understanding, fostering engagements that transcend traditional frameworks, envisioning AI not just as a technology, but as a holistic paradigm and way of life."

The Confest concluded with insightful discussions on AI and culture, featuring Dr. Francesca Ferrando and Tanuj Solanki, author of "The Machine is Learning."

A "Curatorial Overview" allowed participating artists to discuss how AI serves as a catalyst for artistic innovation. Dr. Michiel Baas provided a guided tour through the captivating art exhibition, highlighting the intersection of technology and creativity in the 21st century.

“The fusion of AI and art provides a unique entry point for newcomers to the art world. We curated discussions on technology and art, culminating in an exhibition at the BIC, reflecting our university's vision. As Bengaluru emerges as India's AI capital, Alliance University is dedicated to leading in technological innovation and shaping conversations about its societal impact. Our three-day conference convened a diverse array of experts to explore these intersections”, said Dr Ravi Chakraborty, director of communication for Liberal Arts, Department of Language in his closing remarks.

"Alliance University aims to redefine academia, fostering a dynamic space where contemporary ideas are openly debated. Recognising AI's transformative impact, the School of Liberal Arts integrates it across disciplines. Positioned as a cultural nexus, the University endeavors to set a new standard, epitomized by its forthcoming AI art gallery- a precursor to future museum experiences”, Dr Anirudh added underscoring the institution's commitment to interdisciplinary exploration and cultural innovation.




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Title: Bengaluru: Alliance University hosts groundbreaking AI & Society Confest 2024

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