Opportunity Fair | 5th Youth Summit

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14 August. 2019

Opportunity Fair | 5th Youth Summit

20th and 23rd July 2019

RISE, the Research Centre of Excellence in Cyprus focusing on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies was one of the main sponsors of the 5th Youth Summit of EYP Cyprus. The 5th Youth Summit of EYP Cyprus was hosted at the premises of the University of Cyprus, located in the capital city of the island, Nicosia, and took place between the 20th and 23rd July 2019.
As an organization, RISE’s social and economic missions support the centre’s active involvement in the RTDI focused entrepreneurial ecosystem involving not just scientists and engineers, but also students, entrepreneurs, business executives and policy makers. RISE encourages technology-led innovation (through supporting workshops, competitions, school visits and so on) and as the 5th Youth summit took place under the theme Science and Technology: Paving the way to the future, and targeted individuals between the ages of 18 and 25, RISE chose to be one of its main supporters. The Opening Ceremony’s first speaker was Mr. Spyros Nikolaou (CEO, RISE) who addressed the participants and encouraged them to engage in an open and constructive dialogue in exploring new tools and innovative solutions to tackle some of the important challenges our society is facing today. Dr Loizos Michael (Pillar leader of RISE, Associate Professor, Open University of Cyprus), represented RISE at the Opportunity Fair, on the 22nd of July, with his inspiring talk titled: The Assembly-Line Era of Machine Learning.
The confluence of two technologies contributed decisively to the ubiquity of modern Machine Learning technologies: (1) the availability of massive amounts of data coming from the Web and the IoT, and (2) the unprecedented computing power of massively-parallel computational units. Perhaps because of the context in which modern ML has emerged, the role of humans in training systems has shifted from that of skillful knowledge engineers to that of “blue collar” data annotators. Interestingly, an analogous shift had happened in the role of manufacturing workers during the transition from the first to the second industrial revolution. What would it take for humans to end up having a “white collar” role akin to what manufacturing workers are envisioned to have during the ongoing fourth industrial revolution? We suggest that humans should engage more actively and dialectically with smart systems not only during development but also during run-time, asking the systems to explain their actions, and offering feedback on how humans would have acted differently when they happen to disagree with the systems’ actions.
The 5th Youth Summit theme was chosen based on the fact that technology is progressing and scientific knowledge is expanding faster than ever before. The European Union is in the middle of a rapidly changing and dynamic social ecosystem, faced by paradigm shifts, ethical dilemmas and tensions in the political environment. The rise of artificial intelligence calls everyone to the table for discussion: entrepreneurs, ethics committees, governments, clinicians, scientists, citizens. Access to information and rights to privacy fuel the debates of many young people, while scientific progress brings novel cancer treatments, revolutionising the healthcare sector. The food industry is facing immense pressures and is constantly challenged by public opinions and legislation. Finally, climate change is calling for action whilst driving research and development. To stand any realistic hope of tackling challenges, policy, science and technology need to stay a step ahead of the game. And what better way to do this than bringing enthusiastic, passionate and highly-motivated individuals to collaborate, learn and discuss about the possible future steps of the European union.

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