Provost Patrick Prendergast has opened this year’s Trinity Business and Technology Forum by appearing to attendees over hologram, which was powered by the Hololens, a pair of mixed reality smart glasses.
The 2018 Business and Technology Forum took place in Tercentenary Hall in the Biomedical Sciences Institute. The theme of the event was “Work 4.0 – Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work”.
The hologram was provided by Volograms, a Trinity based spin-off and technology start-up. Volograms create the experience by using a set of videos taken from different angles and turning them into volumetric holograms. The Provost, in augmented reality, welcomed the audience and introduced himself as the “44th Provost of Trinity College Dublin, but the first to appear as a hologram”.
As he spoke about Trinity he mentioned in particular that he was proud of the “entrepreneurial spirit that turns ideas into solutions and then enterprises with global economic and social impact”.
The event saw Lord Mark Price, former UK Minister of Trade and Deputy Chairman of John Lewis Trust offer the keynote address. Lord Price discussed employee engagement and inclusive capitalism in a post-Brexit world, and the importance of happiness in the workplace. During his speech he stated that, “there is a positive correlation between an engaged and happy workforce and commercial success”.
The forum also saw Professor Andrew Burke, Dean of Trinity Business School, and Trinity Research Director, Leonard Hobbs offer addresses.
Two panel discussions on Artificial Intelligence also took place at the forum. The first of which, “AI: from Disruption to Innovation” concerned the key benefits, challenges and opportunities of introducing AI for business and the importance of balancing the social and technological elements when introducing AI in business.
The second of these discussions, ‘Humans Need Not Apply’ considered what Digitisation and AI will mean for the future of work. The panel debated ethics, economics, business opportunities, implications for workers, and organisations of AI. The panel also discussed AI’s ability to allow us to reduce the amount we work without removing jobs.
Professor Andrew Burke gave the closing remarks for the 2018 forum and Trinity Business School announced that the 2019 Forum is to be held in March.