On 18 October 2023 up to 150 industry representatives from across the south east gathered together with artificial Intelligence (AI) experts to explore this emerging technology and how it is set to change the future in The Discover AI Event.

Created by the ICS Technology Gateway at Walton Institute and South East Regional Skills Forum, The Discover AI Event aimed to make knowledge of Al accessible to a wide audience and understand the potential impact it may have on many sectors in Ireland such as healthcare, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, transport, hospitality and tourism, and retail.

With Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Healy of Healy Communications at the helm, the impressive line-up for the day featured keynote speaker Margaret Corrigan, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at CluneTech, a suite of companies providing tech solutions that simplify global business, who explained how her business has successfully adopted and implemented AI. While presentations from Dr Indrakshi Dey, Head of Division at Walton Institute, addressed the current and future business applications of AI; Satish Barot, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) showcased how their company Klearcom is an AI driven business; and Jamie Meehan, Digital Manufacturing Ireland Collaboration Manager, examined how digital technology is transforming manufacturing.

This was followed by a dynamic panel discussion about AI’s potential to transform industry which sparked interesting debate among the panellists: Dr Indrakshi Dey, Head of Division, Walton Institute; Margaret Corrigan, CISO, CluneTech; Liam Dunne, CEO, Klearcom; Satish Barot, CTO, Klearcom; Jamie Meehan, Collaboration Manager, Digital Manufacturing Ireland; and Philip O’Brien, Technical Lead in AI, Walton Institute.

“This event has enabled employers in the south east hear from the experts and see examples of AI for themselves,” said Edmond Connolly, South East Regional Skills Forum Manager. “The Regional Skills Forum supports companies to identify and acquire the skills to enable them to compete successfully into the future, and this has been very helpful to companies in the south east.”

Exhibits from a variety of sectors from Advanced Manufacturing, Fintech, and Information and Communications Technology, to Hospitality, Retail, Transport and Logistics, were also on display allowing attendees to engage with and further understand how AI is being practically applied by organisations such as Brightbeam, Salesforce, Irish Hotels Federation, Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, Walton Institute, South East Technological University (SETU), Ireland South East Financial Services Cluster & member companies such as TriLateral Research and Kreoh.ie. Attendees were also treated to ChatGPT and Design AI demos by SETU Department of Computing, Carlow campus.

Speaking of the effect AI is having on Irish businesses, Liam Fitzgerald, ICS Technology Gateway Manager said, “AI has huge potential benefits for business in supporting the activities of people. I think today’s event helped ground the conversation around AI and make it business relevant.”

He added, “ICS Technology Gateway is the commercial interface of Walton Institute with access to more than 70 ICT researchers and professionals and a developed understanding of business innovation supports. We are delighted to support business in the south east and all-around Ireland in exploring the application of AI and other digital technologies that improve business performance.”

The ICS Technology Gateway at Walton Institute, SETU, is an advanced software R&D organisation with particular expertise in communications services, immersive technologies, machine learning, data analytics, future networks, digital platforms, internet of things, and AI.

The ICS Technology Gateway Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021-27. To learn more visit: https://waltoninstitute.ie/industry/technology-gateway