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AI serving our exhibition needs?

EW finds how members of the UFI Digital Innovation Committee view AI. 

How does the UFI Digital Innovation Committee view AI? Below are some comments from our group members that describe the potential it offers business:

Matthias (Tesi) Baur: 

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a digital hot topic that’s sure to dominate discussions in the months to come. Indeed, in a recent article by Stephan Forseilles, the Digital Innovation Committee identified AI as a key development to influence the exhibition industry.

"Recent research has shown that most C-level managers in the industry see AI as a positive development for the exhibition world. However, will we make the same mistake with AI as we have with social media, staying largely inactive and not pushing for developments that specifically serve our needs? In the past, topics such as ‘social media’ and ‘communities’ featured heavily in discussions, yet no proactive steps were taken. Too often, we wait until a supplier develops digital functionality to enhance our business model for us.

"As an industry, we should be more proactive in specifying and investigating which AI functionality could enhance our offering for customers."

Stephan Forseilles: 

“AI is potentially a revolution for our societies. Some think it will impact us as much as the invention of fire or the wheel. However, AI is not a miracle solution to all our problems. We have to make sure we properly educate everyone in our organisations (but particularly in our C-suite) about the real capabilities of AI. It needs to become another natural tool in their strategic arsenal.”

Peter Tubak:

“Every new technology is a potential source of new services and products. As AI imitates (follows) the processes of human cognition, it is predestined to have a game-changing role in industries dealing with human interactions. I am sure that, with the evolving power and miniaturisation of ‘AI hardware’, we will see start-ups growing up and reforming/reshaping (maybe even disrupting) the event industry.”

Gunnar Heinrich:

“To make AI a real competitive differentiator (and it definitely has the potential to be exactly that), it also needs a data strategy and valid data. In our industry, you often find at C-level still only the vague feeling that data could be somehow beneficial. But then it is lacking a clear idea of how to derive a data strategy from the overall corporate strategy and put it into action.”

Maria Drozdova:

“AI is an essential part of technological progress and it will continue to develop rapidly in the years to come. How will it influence the event industry, with a great degree of human resource involvement and the contribution of certain personalities playing a significant and determining role? AI doesn’t have to replace people, but it can simplify and speed up the processes. To help arrange meetings? Yes. To choose your business partner or to contribute to the dialogue? Not sure at all. AI is a tool and human is still human.”

Silke Hoersch:

“Every new technology brings with it some measure of fear. When we first saw trains, critics said mankind will pay for the hellish invention. In fact, new technologies have brought to us things that have extended the human experience in some profound ways. AI will support the event industry by reading data streams and interpreting them to help us get better at what we are doing. There are many opportunities where AI can enhance the event experience – by conversing with humans in a natural language, by identifying emotions and by recognising objects. What the providers of such solutions will have to learn is to build systems that have ethical and moral values.

“It is clear that AI is important and that it offers huge potential for us as an industry. We need to combine our expertise to push this topic forward. As the Digital Innovation Committee, we are dedicated to providing a platform for this topic. Please talk to us and share your thoughts and any best practices you’ve seen so that we can share this with the industry as a whole.”

For more information, check out the group section: https://www.ufi.org/about/committees/digital-innovation-committee/objec…

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