Melbourne Business Analytics Conference tackles rise of AI
Australia’s top experts and business leaders will converge to discuss artificial intelligence and automation this year.
The rise of artificial intelligence will take centre stage in August as the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference returns for its sixth year.
One of Melbourne Business School's largest annual events, the 2023 conference will be held at The Grand Hyatt Melbourne with the theme “Leading the Way: Navigating Data and Digital Transformation in the Age of AI and Automation”.
Anita Arbogast, Executive Director of the Centre for Business Analytics, said the theme was an important opportunity to demystify AI and machine learning for business leaders in the age of ChatGPT.
“It’s important to make sure the right information is out there about what AI really is, what the potentials are, and also what kind of safeguards and protocols need to be put in place to make sure that biases are mitigated to some degree,” she said.
Top AI experts among guest speakers
Speakers at this year’s conference will include Stela Solar, the inaugural Director of the National AI Centre at CSIRO; Professor Eduard Hovy, Research Professor, Language Technologies, Carnegie Mellon University; and Professor Karin Verspoor, Executive Dean of the School of Computing Technologies at RMIT University.
In her role leading the National AI Centre, Ms Solar is tasked with coordinating the country’s capabilities for a strong, collaborative and focused AI ecosystem that benefits all Australians. Before joining CSIRO, she was the Global Director of AI Solutions Sales and Strategy at Microsoft.
Prof Hovy was a Program Manager for language technologies at DARPA – the US Department of Defense research agency in Washington, DC – and also has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Yale University. Prof Hovy is also the Executive Director of Melbourne Connect and teaches at the School of Computing and Information Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Currently an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Prof Verspoor was previously its Director of Health Technologies of the School of Engineering and Deputy Head of the School of Computing and Information Systems, before joining RMIT University. She is also the Co-Founder of the Australian Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.
Australian and international business leaders
As well as exploring the latest trends and developments in AI, the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference will also include sessions on leadership, the role of data analytics in decision-making and interactive workshops led by industry practitioners.
Senior business leaders who will share their insights at the conference so far include:
- Sarah Hunter, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Officeworks
- Rodrigo Pizarro, Chief Executive Officer at L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand
- Stephen Brobst, Chief Technology Officer, Teradata (USA)
- Harleen Thethy, Global Head of Data at BBC News (UK)
- Elisa Koch, Head of Data and Analytics at the AFL
- Dr Leo Lopes, Head of Data Science at Seek
- Dr Amina Crooks, Director, Data & AI and Digital Transformation at Deloitte
“We’re trying new things, but what has brought people to our conference in the past will remain the same: CEOs and C-suite speakers who will talk about the business impact of data analytics at the highest levels alongside global academics who will discuss the most cutting-edge developments in data science,” Ms Arbogast said.
Second annual Practice Prize competition
This year’s conference will also see more time allocated to the $10,000 Practice Prize, which was launched in 2022 to celebrate outstanding applications of business analytics with significant organisational impact.
The first-ever Practice Prize was awarded last year to a team from Suncorp who used a combination of geospatial data, AI and machine learning to inform the way property insurance risk is assessed and priced.
To make room for a rich discussion, the Practice Prize sessions have been expanded to 20 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of Q&A. So far, this year’s semi-finalists for the Practice Prize include Downer, L’Oréal, Thoughtworks, Seek and Taylor Fry.
“Attendees really enjoyed our Practice Prize last year. It’s just a nice intersection of academia and practice and they were so well-received we just had to make more time for them,” said Ms Arbogast.
This year’s Practice Prize judging panel will include:
- Dr Jenny George, Chief Executive Officer at Converge International
- George Saoud, Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Businesses at Coles Group
- Natalie Field, Chief Digital and Data Officer at Bupa
- Professor Huseyin Topaloglu, Howard and Eleanor Morgan Professor in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University
- Professor Nicos Savva, Professor of Management Science and Operations and Chair, Management Science and Operations Faculty at London Business School
- Professor Tava Olsen, Deputy Dean, Academic at Melbourne Business School
To learn more and book tickets, visit the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference page.
For more analytics information and research, visit our Centre for Business Analytics page.
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