Empowering Tomorrow: Unleashing Creativity through Generative AI

Gary Hughes

More than 800 Kent students, staff and alumni attended our recent AI conference (18 October), which set out to showcase the latest research on and applications of AI.

This included an exploration of the risks and challenges the technology poses, as well as its opportunities for the likes of education, research, healthcare, creativity and business.

Among those presenting or discussing AI were: Dr Bogdan Vrusias and Dr Anna Grüebler from Amazon Web Services;, Anna Pessoa from AIREEN (AI Real Estate ENgine); and Xavi Herce from Fermat.

Kent was represented by colleagues from the E-Learning, Employability and Library teams, Kent Business School (which hosted the event), the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) and the School of Computing. Matthew Bagura, Kent Union‘s Vice President Academic Experience, also gave a presentation on a student’s perspective on the use of AI in education. Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education & Student Experience, provided the welcome and chaired the panel on AI in education. 

The event closed with a fascinating demonstration of live piano versus AI improvisation by pianist Dr Esther Fee Feichtner, a performance that left its mark on student Warawan Jongthan, who said: ‘I was very impressed by how musically talented the AI was. However, the pianist’s emotional expression was beyond that of the AI.’

Dr Phil Anthony, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University, said: ‘This was a really exciting event that brought together a community of over eight hundred curious students, staff and alums, both in-person and online, who actively participated in the many important discussions throughout the conference. To me, this conference really highlighted the shared passion of a community, eager to influence and shape the future of generative AI, rather than just imagining it.’

Student Thet Htar Nyein added: ‘This event opened doors to a world of possibilities, and I can’t wait to explore what’s next.’