Ministers, COGS, and Robots – Oh My!

Friday already and what a week.  The Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training,  opened the morning with his optimistic outlook on the current and future state of the sector.  He referenced the goals set out in the National Strategy for International Education 2025 and emphasised how valuable the open lines of communication have been with the sector.  Much of the Minister’s address covered familiar ground, but I think it’s important to reiterate the accomplishments, work underway, and the potential successes still yet to be realised.

Following his official address, the Minister perused the exhibition hall.  Escorted by Phil Honeywood, he seemed to be receiving some explanation around a few of the posters on display before jetting back off to Canberra.

The closing plenary appropriately bookended the conference with a look at current and future trends in leveraging technology, and in particular, the concept and rise of cognitive computing.  The Global Education Industry Strategy and Solutions Leader at IBM, Simon Eassom, highlighted industry convergence as the biggest trend on the horizon, which is only possible through co-creation – a concept that has been peppered throughout this conference as being critical to establishing viable and sustainable ‘connections’.

We were introduced to the exciting and frightening world of cognitive computing where robots take over the WORLD!!!  Well…maybe not take over the world, but developers are giving it a red hot go in building computers that can be trained to understand, reason, and learn just like humans…

So as we ponder a world dominated by artificial intelligence and robots, it’s time that the 2016 AIEC conference comes to a close.  It has been a great week. Let’s say we do this again next year!  Look forward to seeing you all in Hobart!

– Dawn

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