ACS Athens Hosted AI Panel Featuring Michael Kratsios

ATHENS – ACS Athens, the noted International pre-K through 12 school, recently hosted an expert panel discussion moderated by ERT Journalist/Anchor Apostolos Magkiriadis addressing a timely issue with the title ‘Harnessing the power of AI – A benefit to humanity or a harbinger of obsoletion?’ The answer to question posed is not straightforward, as the impact of AI on humankind can be both beneficial and harmful depending on how it is used and implemented.

More than 300 participants registered to attend this unique event at the Theater of ACS Athens in the suburb of Halandri. The keynote speakers and expert members of two panels addressed the following: How education can respond by aligning human and artificial intelligence. How important it is to explore the unquestionably positive impact of AI on our lives in an ethical and regulated manner? What are the skills required for success in the future?

The event’s keynote speakers were Michael Kratsios, Managing Director at Scale AI/4th Chief Technology Officer of the United States (2017-2021), and Christian Talbot, President & CEO of Middle States Association, Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Kratsios offered valuable insight into current and future skill needs in the job market that have emerged due to the rapid growth of AI. He stated, “we are entering the industrialization era of AI; every day in AI is a month in normal business time. The best AI use will assist rather than take over. The AI winners of this decade will dominate in the next century.”

Talbot extended his knowledge and expertise from the field of education and explored ways of keeping human intelligence relevant in the age of AI. He emphasized that we need to work with AI and not against it because we can’t win the battle, but we can’t give up and let AI make decisions for us. He asked, “are we preparing our students to be the next Socrates and work with AI?” As for ChatGPT, he said, “what we need is stringent governance and regulation so that responsible use is freely available.”

Dr. Peggy Pelonis, President of ACS Athens, represented the only K-12 school at the event and offered valuable insight on preparing the next generation for the age of AI. She stated, “education must lead in preparing young people for the future with AI. We are calling on all educational institutions to engage in this dialogue because it is our responsibility to pay attention to these changes. Education is the perfect place to develop ethical lenses. We call it conscious citizenship. We want kids to see themselves as problem-solvers who can position themselves to improve life and living”.

ACS Athens Hosted AI Panel Featuring Michael Kratsios. (Photo ACS)

Nikolaos Bakatselos, President of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, said: “After the revolution caused by ChatGPT, artificial intelligence is once again in the spotlight. The ability of a machine to answer and provide arguments by simulating a human, to such a great extent, both impresses and shocks. We are therefore called upon to determine our position and future”. Bakatselos also emphasized the importance of remembering that humans teach how AI ‘behaves’ because AI is here to stay.

The first panel discussion delved into the subject of skills needed in an AI-driven professional environment from a variety of perspectives and one of its key takeaways is that “AI is changing everything, and the impacts are dramatic. It’s imperative that we move quickly, or we’ll get left behind. The AI winners of this decade will be the dominant forces for the next century.”

The members of the first panel were: Panos Papazoglou, Senior Advisor, EY Greece; Alkistis Kyriakopoulou, CEO at DeepSea Technologies; Nikos Maniatis, General Manager, IBM Greece; and George Megas, Horizon Europe National Contact Point team leader and EIT Health HUB coordinator at the National Documentation Centre (EKT).

The second panel emphasized that, “to fully embrace the change, young people must be inquirers and ethical decision-makers. We must develop conscious citizenship in young people so they can ask the right questions and be part of the solution.”

The second panel included: Peggy Pelonis, President of ACS Athens; Panos Vlachopoulos, Executive Dean of Deree – The American College of Greece; George Nounesis, Director & President of the BoD of the NCSR ‘Demokritos’; and Fotis Draganidis, ISV & Digital Natives Sales Manager for Central Eastern Europe, SMB Team, Microsoft EMEA.

The event was organized by ACS Athens and its Institute in cooperation with the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and its Innovation, Education, and Entrepreneurship Committee.


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