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Meet a Humanoid Robot, Explore Impact of AI on Workplace at ST Education Forum 2024

Since ChatGPT was launched in 2022, the generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot has taken the world by storm and the topic of AI has found its way into everyday workplace conversation.

From chats at water coolers to discussions in boardrooms, the question on everyone’s lips seems to be: “Will robots take my job?”

A report in March 2023 by Goldman Sachs suggested that about 18 per cent of work globally could be automated by AI, and 300 million full-time jobs could be lost to generative AI.

The relentless advancement of AI has thrust the workplace into an era of unprecedented transformation, as competition has seemed to ensue between this cutting-edge technology and its human counterparts.

But instead of fearing the rise of machines, we can embrace the opportunity to understand, adapt and harness the power of AI to shape a future where humans and technology coexist harmoniously.

The Straits Times Education Forum, titled The AI Revolution: Are You Ready For It?, seeks to tackle the issues surrounding the permeation of AI in the workplace, and provide solutions for stakeholders. 

The forum, which is to be held in partnership with the Singapore Management University (SMU) on March 8 from 9.30am to noon, will feature guest speakers – including a humanoid robot – who will share insights, perspectives and, most importantly, solutions on how to leverage AI in the workplace.

Helming the first session is ST’s newsroom strategy editor Jeremy Au Yong, along with Sophia the Robot, the brainchild of Hanson Robotics. 

As the world’s first robot citizen, Sophia represents the convergence of science fiction and reality, and embodies the cutting-edge frontier of AI and robotics. 

The first session will be followed by a panel discussion on AI in the workplace, moderated by SMU’s vice-president of partnerships and engagement Lim Sun Sun.

The panellists include Dr Jason Grant Allen, director of the Centre for AI and Data Governance at SMU, Mr Tan Kok Yam, chief executive of SkillsFuture Singapore, and Mr Ben King, country managing director of Google Singapore. 

ST editor Jaime Ho said: “There’s no doubt AI is the biggest topic of the moment. 

“The ST Education Forum this year presents a unique opportunity to explore and understand the benefits and risks we face with the rapid advances in AI technology.”

More than just learning about AI and how to thrive in this new era, certain shifts in perspectives are necessary to address the concerns brought forth by AI, said Professor Lily Kong, president of SMU.

“I would make the case that universities play a pivotal role in this aspect, not only by preparing graduates and professionals with skills to leverage technology, but perhaps more importantly, sharpening in them human attributes that machines cannot replace,” she said.


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