Conference Sparks Innovative Discussions on AI Machine Learning

May 9, 2019

On May 8, New York Institute of Technology, in partnership with LISTnet and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., gathered tech experts and aficionados to discuss cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) advancements impacting and disrupting today’s businesses. The event, titled “Artificial Intelligence: Fueling the Next Wave of Innovation,” took place at the NYIT de Seversky Mansion in Old Westbury, N.Y., and was held in conjunction with Creative Tech Week, a crowdsourced festival that connects expert creative technologists with the people interested in their work.

Kicking off the event, New York Institute of Technology President Henry C. “Hank” Foley, Ph.D., acknowledged some of the skepticism surrounding AI, but noted the technology’s potential to improve fields such as health care, cybersecurity and advertising. “AI has had a long history starting with perceptions in the 1950s and with ups and downs, but now it will stay up; it will continue to grow exponentially,” said Foley.

Following Foley’s remarks, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran noted AI’s ability to restore trust in government relationships with vendors, citing the county’s newly launched anti-corruption partnership with a global regulatory and financial crime, risk, and compliance company. The partnership leverages AI to automatically research public records for data that could signal a vendor’s past investigations and potential red flags.

The event’s keynote speaker, Shobhit Varshney, partner for IBM Services at IBM, provided an engaging presentation on the state of AI and how organizations can architect their businesses for change and competitive advantage. On a larger scale, he also mentioned human success in implementing narrow AI, which is programmed to extract information from a specific data set, and society’s need to expand into broader AI usage to harness the technology’s full potential.

Following Varshney’s address, a discussion titled “The Future of Work in the AI World” provided fascinating discussions by Kris Skrinak, AI/ML lead and PSA at Amazon Web Services, and Nicole Tricoukes, senior maverick for machine vision and AI at Zebra Technologies. Skrinak shared insight for businesses looking to expand AI practices, while Tricoukes discussed wearables in the workplace.

A fireside chat with Joanna Austin, publisher and senior vice president, Long Island Press, and Ilya Meyzin, vice president, data science strategy and operations/office of the CEO at Dun & Bradstreet, focused on AI’s impact to businesses and their individual employees. Messages were also echoed by Paul Trapani, president of LISTnet, who noted, “Companies and organizations are looking to artificial intelligence as a way to deal with the growth in size and complexity of networks and data.”

The event also sparked wide-ranging discussions from industry experts who touted the value of AI across various industries, as detailed below. Their impressive speaker profiles can be found here.

AI and Health Care. Panelists noted machine learning’s ability to help health care professionals mine vast patient records to identify significant data, as well as AI’s potential to recognize early signs of underlying disease. The panel was moderated by NYIT School of Health Professions’ Mindy Haar, Ph.D., and speakers included Purna Prasad, Ph.D., vice president and CTO for Northwell Health; Kerstin Kleese Van Dam, Ph.D., director, Computational Science Initiative for Brookhaven National Lab; and Gonzalo Otazu, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical sciences, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.

AI and Advertising and Marketing. Nicole Larrauri, president of EGC Group, explored AI’s disruption of internet advertising, a field currently driven by cookies that track user behavior, noting that this may change with new privacy rules, thus machine learning will be the future of web-based marketing. Other topics included the use of voice searches replacing web searches and the ability for AI to demonstrate creativity, as proven by a robot that composed an original song to mimic the styles of the Beatles and Beach Boys. Larrauri also noted AI’s impact on the marketing workforce and questioned whether robots will in fact one day replace copywriters and creative directors.

AI and Cybersecurity. Moderated by Michael Nizich, Ph.D., director for NYIT’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center and NSA/DHS CAE Cyber Defense Education Program, the panel focused on AI’s potential to thwart cybercrime. Panelists noted that anomaly detection, including robotic detection of human emotions, could be key in preventing attacks. Speakers included Houwei Cao, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences; Benjamin Dynkin, co-founder and co-CEO at Atlas Cybersecurity; Paul Ferrillo, J.D., Cybersecurity Corporate Governance Specialist at Greenberg Traurig; Justin Fier, director for Cyber Intelligence and Analysis at Darktrace.

Long Island Press provided media sponsorship for this event.

About New York Institute of Technology

New York Institute of Technology offers 90 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in more than 50 fields of study, including computer science, data, and cybersecurity; biology and biomedical studies; architecture and design; engineering; health professions and medicine; IT and digital technologies; management; communications and marketing; education and counseling; and energy and sustainability. A nonprofit, independent, private, and nonsectarian institute of higher education, New York Institute of Technology welcomes more than 9,000 students worldwide. The university has campuses in New York City (Manhattan) and Long Island (Old Westbury), New York; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as programs around the world.

New York Institute of Technology embraces its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, give all qualified students access to opportunity, and support research and scholarship that benefit the larger world. More than 100,000 alumni comprise an engaged network of doers, makers, and innovators prepared to change the world, solve 21st-century challenges, and reinvent the future.

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