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CCDS Plans Un-Conference on Future of Work and AI

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The Center for Computational and Data Science (CCDS) at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) will host the second Syracuse University Research Un-Conference in April.

The purpose of the Un-Conference is to bring together faculty and Ph.D. students from the Syracuse University community in a space that allows for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration, and creativity around the themes of this event, the future of work & artificial intelligence (AI), and allow attendees to make connections and formulate plans for collaboration around research and teaching.

Kevin Crowston

“This is our second Un-Conference, this time led by Professor and CCDS affiliate, Kevin Crowston,” explained Alexandra Sargent, project manager at CCDS and one of conference organizers. “CCDS was motivated to organize our first Un-Conference in the fall of 2018 following productive discussions around big-idea initiatives that led to ‘Cuse grants, and given the great success we experienced with bringing together faculty from different schools for our first Un-Conference, we’ve decided to host another!”

CCDS organizers envision the Un-Conference as a participant-driven event, where the agenda is set by those who attend, creating a space for networking and conversation in a more informal setting than a typical conference. Attendees are encouraged to participate in sessions, as well as lead a session focused on one of the event’s themes or question they’d like to discuss.

The Themes of future of work and AI were selected for the Un-Conference given the relevance and interest in these topics that CCDS researchers have noticed at Syracuse University and in academic community.

“The fast pace of technological evolution is also raising more questions about the future of work, and such discussions of work are often consumed by an economic analysis of the possibilities of people being put out of work by automation, and policy solutions to that problem,” Sargent said. “In addition, discussions of technology are often driven by the technical challenges with little attention to how the systems will work with people. We hope that participants will dive into these concurrent topics as these themes relate to their own research and classes.”

The Future of Work & AI Un-Conference will be held on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, in Hinds Hall. The event begins Friday afternoon with drinks and appetizers as the group gets acquainted and plans sessions. Saturday kicks off with breakfast followed by two break-out session times (each featuring multiple sessions). The day will conclude with lunch and wrap-up discussions and highlighting of plans to put conversations into action.

The conference is open to all faculty and doctoral students at Syracuse University. Those interested in attending are asked to please RSVP by March 29 by filling out the online form. Questions can be directed to Alexandra Sargent at asargent@syr.edu, or by calling 315-443-6139.

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