‘Confluences: Digital Revolution and Everyday Life’ is a public event focusing on the increasing presence of artificial intelligence (AI) and related digital technologies in everyday life.

The event is co-hosted by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and MOD. at the University of South Australia, as well as the French Embassy to Australia and forms part of an international suite of activities supported by the French Government’s Night of Ideas initiative celebrating the free circulation of ideas and knowledge through conferences, forums and artistic performances. The Night of Ideas focus this year is on “(Re)building together”.

‘Confluences: Digital Revolution and Everyday Life’ will involve two interconnected activities:

  • Firstly, at MOD., Director of the Behaviour-Brain-Body Research Group Siobhan Banks and Director of the Empathic Computing Laboratory Mark Billinghurst will discuss the increasing impregnation of digital technologies and AI in peoples’ homes, workplaces and other everyday environments. Audiences will be encouraged to consider how this digitisation of everyday life is impacting people, shaping social interactions and altering politics.
  • Following this discussion, audience members will be invited to a cocktail reception and networking event at MOD. where they can bring the lines of thought being developed to bear on exhibits and displays that signify the invisible presence of AI in everyday life.

The event will be chaired by MOD. Director, futurist and engineer Dr Kristin Alford. It will also include contributions from French scholars and experts on AI, including Jean-Marie John-Mathews, coordinator of the ‘Good In tech’ academic chair at Sciences Po, France. Audiences will also have the opportunity to view a robotic display presented by PhD researchers at IRL CROSSING, a French-Australian International Research Laboratory for Humans-Autonomous Agents Teaming.

Free entry.  Drinks and Nibbles provided. 

Meet the Panellists

Professor Siobhan Banks is Director of the Behaviour-Brain-Body Research Group at the University of South Australia. Her research focuses on the impact of sleep deprivation and shift work on psychological and physiological functioning and how countermeasures may be used to prevent the negative effects of disturbed sleep, in particular work schedules, novel technologies, dietary interventions, napping and caffeine. She is a member of the Australian Space Agency’s Technical Advisory Group on Space Medicine and Life Sciences and also previously served on the Australian Sleep Health Foundation Board of Directors. In 2019 she was awarded the Australian Council Graduate Research Award for Excellence in Promoting Industry Engagement in Graduate Research.

Mark Billinghurst is Director of the Empathic Computing Laboratory, and Professor at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia, and also at the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand. He earned a PhD in 2002 from the University of Washington and is an expert on how virtual and real worlds can be merged, publishing over 650 papers on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, remote collaboration, Empathic Computing, and related topics. In 2013 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and in 2019 was given the ISMAR Career Impact Award in recognition for lifetime contribution to AR research and commercialization.

Dr Kristin Alford is a globally recognised futurist and the inaugural Director of MOD., an award-winning future-focused museum at the University of South Australia. She is President of the Australia Science and Technology Engagement Network (ASTEN), a Regional Editor for the Journal of Futures Studies and in advisory roles on the Accreditation, Recognition and Certification Committee for the South Australian Certificate of Education and the Art & Culture Advisory Board for innovation district Lot Fourteen. From a mixed background that includes qualifications and experience in engineering, human resources, strategy, science communication and futures thinking, she actively works across a range of sectors to help people create sustainable, prosperous, and equitable futures.

Associate Professor Jean-Marie John-Mathews, is a researcher in algorithmic ethics. He is coordinator of the academic chair Good In tech (Institut Mines Télécom/ Sciences Po) and lecturer at Sciences Po, PSL University and Paris-Dauphine University. His research focuses on the development of so-called “responsible” tools in artificial intelligence. His research has been published in several scientific journals such as Technological Forecasting and Social Change and the Journal of Business Ethics, as well as in international conferences such as the International Conference on Information Systems. In the past he worked as a data scientist in consulting then industry after training in mathematics, economics then philosophy.

This event is supported by the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Project, Discourses on European Union I4.0 Innovation (DEUI4I).