Latest News

Latest News

Blogs (Latest News)

Record Turnout for AI Speaker Dinner

There was a great roll-up for the Club’s Speakers event on Thursday, June 8. The panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence clearly caught the current AI zeitgeist. Both the Neutral Bay Veranda and the Carabella Dining Room were packed to the gunwales with over 170 members and their guests. Needless to say, with such a crowd, not a ‘t’ was left uncrossed on the lighting, audio, visuals, screens and filming for the event. 

Our MC,  Gary Aitchison, our three panellists – Professor Lyria Bennett Moses, Principal Anna Dickinson and Professor Toby Walsh – and our “*prompt engineer” – brought two professorships, over 20 Diplomas, Bachelors and Masters degrees and 3 PhDs to the podium. All this earned from nine of some of the world’s best tertiary institutions.

Above: Professor Toby Walsh and Principal Anna Dickinson 

Early in the evening, it was clear we were richly endowed with academic talent and in for an informative night.

It can be said that our members like the “MC and a Panel on a Podium” format for our dinner talks. Our last such popular evening Speakers event – the wrap-up for our member participation in last year’s Rolex Sydney to Hobart race – was further evidence of this.

Above: 170 Guests gather in the Carabella Room for AI Speaker Dinner

Again, this time, it was the panel format for our MC Gary Aitchison, a serial entrepreneur who lives and breathes AI, to interview our three panellists –  University of NSW Faculty of Law  Professor Lyria Bennett Moses, NSW University Faculty of Computer Science Professor Toby Walsh and the Principal of our closest neighbouring school, Loreto Kirribilli, Anna Dickinson.
As we all know, AI is a difficult subject to understand. Our MC asked each of our legal, computer and educational experts these questions:
  • What should we be most excited about with this rapidly unfolding technology?
  • What should we be most concerned about, in both the short term and the long term? For us as individuals but also as a society?
  • How can we use AI now, especially for the tech illiterate amongst us, to positively impact our work or play?

It is probably fair to say that by the end of the evening, we were all a little more enlightened, worried and relieved about our future with what seems to be the inevitable all-pervasive and all-powerful AI that we will live with, like it or not.

There was great interest in the Q & A part of the evening. We ran out of time. It seemed like it could have run until midnight.

Stephen Wall
Speakers Committee

Above: Chair of the Speakers’ Committee, Mr Stephen Wall

*Prompt Engineering, a brand-new profession, acts on the basis of when asking an AI chat program, it “is not what question you ask but how you ask it.” i.e. the more specific the question, the better the answer.