UST holds AI Summit 2024

The University of Santo Tomas held the AI Summit 2024 on March 18 and 19, 2024, at the Grand Ballroom of the Bl. Buenaventura García Paredes, O.P. Building. 

With the theme “Advancing AI Capability and Promoting AI Safety,” the AI Summit 2024 brought together more than 400 educators, researchers, industry practitioners, government leaders, non-government, and educational organizations and agencies to engage in meaningful conversations on the impact of the rapidly evolving field of AI on education, the workplace, and society. 

Opportunities for Innovation and Collaboration

The AI Summit served as a platform for fostering innovation and collaboration. It provided a unique opportunity for industry professionals, researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, share insights, and explore cutting-edge advancements in AI technology. By facilitating interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration, the summit created an avenue conducive to pushing the boundaries of AI innovation further.

AI’s Impact Across Industries

One of the main objectives of the summit was to explore the diverse applications of AI across various industries. From industry experts, educators, AI professionals, policy-makers, researchers and beyond, AI is revolutionizing traditional processes, enhancing efficiency, and driving unprecedented levels of productivity. Through the keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, participants were able to gain valuable insights into how AI is reshaping industries and creating new opportunities for growth and development.

The AI Summit 2024 kicked off with keynote speeches from policymakers, program developers, academics, and industry practitioners to provide perspectives and guidance on navigating artificial intelligence at present and in the future, promoting innovation and collaboration. The morning plenary session on Day 1 included the following speakers and their presentations: Prof. Shafika Isaacs, Ph.D. of the University of Johannesburg (Advancing AI Capability in Education – critically & with caution), Prof. Lev Gonick, Chief Technology Officer of Arizona State University (Global Frameworks for AI Policy and Program Development), Ms. Michelle Alarcon, President of the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AI Governance Framework in the Philippines), Mr. Jack Madrid, President and CEO of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (Preparing the Future Workforce for the Needs of the IT-BPM Industry), Asst. Prof. Joseph Benjamin Ilagan, Program Director of the IT-Entrepreneurship Program of the Ateneo de Manila University (Generative AI and Emerging University Startup and Entrepreneurship Initiatives), and Prof. Cheryl Peralta, DrPh, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of UST (Harnessing AI’s Potentials and Overcoming Challenges for Educators).

The afternoon session of Day 1 presented the whys and hows of AI capability building for relevant and acceptable use in the workplace, education, and even in daily social activities. This provided opportunities to explore the diverse applications of AI across various industries. The speakers and their presentations included: Dr. Ethel Agnes Villanueva, Chairperson of the Technical Working Group on Lifelong Learning at the Commission on Higher Education (AI Competency Frameworks and Standards for the Future Workforce), Ms. Kyle Bowen, Deputy Chief Information Officer of ASU (One Size Fits One Learning Experiences), Mr. Sherwin Pelayo, Executive Director of AAP (Using the Philippine Skills Framework for Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (PSF-AAI) for Workforce Development), Ms. Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, Columnist of The Manila Times (Creativity is Integrated into Education), Mr. Beato Bongco, Co-Founder and CEO of (Prospects of AI for Startups: The Case of Generative AI for the Legal Profession), and Asst. Prof. Anna Cherylle Ramos, Director of the Educational Technology Center of UST (Harnessing AI’s Potentials and Overcoming Challenges for Educators).

Ethical AI and Responsible Innovation

As AI technologies continue to evolve, the importance of ethical AI and responsible innovation cannot be overstated. The summit provided a forum for discussing the ethical implications of AI deployment, addressing concerns related to bias, privacy, and algorithmic transparency. By fostering discussions on responsible AI practices, the summit ensured that AI development remains aligned with societal ethical values and promotes the greater good. These concerns were the main focus for the morning session of Day 2 of the summit. 

The speakers and their presentations included: Hon. Cong. Mark Go of the House of Representatives (AI Safety in Education), Prof. Vicente Antonio Pijano III, Chancellor and COO of the Philippine Women’s College, Davao representing the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (Acceptable AI Policy Development for Educational Institutions), Dr. Allison Hall, Senior Director of ASU Enterprise Technology (Drafting Course Policies for Acceptable AI Use), Mr. Dominic Vincent Ligot, Founder and CEO of Cirrolytix (AI Ethics for Education and the Workplace), Mr. Miguel de Guzman, AI Safety Researcher of Data Ethics Ph and Council for Responsible Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (Promoting AI Safety: Findings from Recent Research Evidence), and Asst. Prof. Leo-Martin Angelo Ocampo, academic staff of UST (Strengthening Humanity and Human Agency in the Era of Artificial Intelligence).

Next Generation of AI Leaders

The AI Summit maintains its commitment to nurturing the next generation of AI talent. Through mentorship programs, networking opportunities, and educational workshops, the summit empowered aspiring AI professionals to hone their skills, expand their knowledge, and make meaningful contributions to the field. By investing in talent development, the summit sought to foster a vibrant AI ecosystem that thrives on diversity, creativity, and innovation.

Given these aspirations for future AI leaders, the plenary sessions were capped by launching the MasterTrack Specialist Certificate on AI-Integrated Learning and Development under the AI Core Certification for Educators (ACE) Program of the University of Santo Tomas. This post-baccalaureate certificate program is anchored on the Philippine Skills Framework for Analytics and Artificial Intelligence and the Philippine Skills Framework for Human Capital Development and comprises six MasterCourses. Each MasterCourse will run for 54 hours, 5-6 weeks, equivalent to a 3-unit course in the University, for a total of 18 units.

Finally, the afternoon AI Summit 2024 concluded with parallel workshops on Introductory AI Tool Navigation and Immersive Experience in Specific Disciplines, discipline-clustered parallel sessions that allowed participants to experience Generative AI tools relevant to particular disciplines work, navigate these tools, and reflect on their experience regarding their possible uses, advantages, pitfalls, implications on learning and development, and key considerations before use. There were also parallel workshops on Course Level Policy PlAI-Ground  (Reflecting on Considerations For Classroom-Level AI Use), AI acceptable use policy writeshops for educators who want to draft course policies to help guide AI integration to instruction. 

The Road Ahead

The Artificial Intelligence Summit 2024, with all its partners and experts, stood as a beacon of inspiration, guiding the education sector towards a future where AI-driven innovation enhances lives, drives economic prosperity, and fosters social progress. By bringing together the brightest minds in AI, the summit paved the way for a future where the possibilities of artificial intelligence were proven limitless.

Ultimately, the summit stood as a testament to the transformative power of AI and the boundless potential it holds for shaping the future. Through collaboration, innovation, and responsible stewardship, UST can hopefully harness the full potential of AI to contribute to various sustainable development goals in order to build a brighter, more inclusive future for generations to come.

The AI Summit 2024 was successfully undertaken with UST’s collaborating partners: the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU), Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC), USAID-RTI International in partnership with the UPSKILL Design Collaboratory Arizona State University (ASU)- University Design Institute, and CirroLytix. The AI Summit 2024 also had supporting partners: the Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Association of the Philippines (AAP), the IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), and the Rotary Club of Makati.

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