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Researchers and partners showcase transformative power of AI at global festival

  • Date

    Wed 17 Feb 21

Promotional poster for the inaugural AI Global Festival

Essex research helping transform businesses through the innovative use of artificial intelligence will be at the heart of the AI Global Festival from Wednesday 24 February to Thursday 25 February.

Researchers will discuss projects they are working on alongside business leaders who have successfully harnessed the power of AI thanks to collaborating with Essex.

Backed by BT and Orbital Global, the festival is a unique initiative that will explore the implications for business, skills and employment in relation to what could be the defining technology of the 21st century. BT and Orbital Global have both worked with Essex on successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

The AI Global Festival’s aim is to demystify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of AI in the context of business, skills and employment. It will also highlight the breadth of AI related businesses, research and innovation taking place in this region, positioning it as the UK’s preeminent location for this technology. This is underpinned by the fact that East Anglia is one of the world’s most prolific locations for AI related patents.

Head of Business Engagement Rob Walker said: “We’re incredibly proud of the way we’re connecting with businesses in the region and beyond to develop new products and services using the latest AI across so many markets.

“Our academics will be joining other leaders in this sector to highlight AI’s huge potential. I’m also thrilled that many companies we have worked with will be able to share their experiences of how AI can unlock so many opportunities and drive growth.”

Speakers from Essex and its partners include:

  • Will Hitchcock, Chief Executive of Above, who will be joining the energy workshop discussing wind farm maintenance, energy storage and system failure prediction.
  • Joint Managing Director of Wilkin and Sons Chris Newenham who will be giving a keynote speech on the use of AI in a progressive farming business.
  • Executive Director of CEASEFIRE Mark Lattimer who will take part in a discussion on AI based predictions and combatting potential bias, and will be joined Essex academics Dr Jon Chamberlain and Dr Kakia Chatsiou.
  • Chief Executive of Filament AI Phil Westcott will close Day One with a keynote speech focusing on how any business can build their AI capability without investing millions - a pragmatic playbook for business leaders.

Other talks and keynote speeches will be given by leading global brands such as Google and Astra Zeneca.

Peter Brady, CEO of Orbital Global and VirtTuri, said: "We are proud to launch AI Festival which will include a range of influential speakers, from a variety of trail-blazing tech companies and organisations. Artificial intelligence is impacting and will impact, every facet of our lives. We believe it is critical that there is broader understanding of its implications and opportunities for business, skills and employment."

Professor Tim Whitley, MD of Research at BT, who completed a PhD at Essex and is a Visiting Professor in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, said: "The East of England is one of the world’s leading locations for AI innovation. At BT we’re proud to play a leading role in that as the UK’s most prolific filer of AI patents, so we’re delighted to broadcast this inaugural event virtually from Adastral Park, our Martlesham R&D campus."

The event, co-founded by Orbital Global and BT, is sponsored by a range of businesses and organisations including: Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN), New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Suffolk County Council, University of Essex, University of East Anglia, University of Suffolk, and VirtTuri.

Our Business Development Managers can be found in the Virtual Exhibition Hall during the event, to talk through the different ways businesses can work with Essex.

Register today.