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Get ready to ’embrace volatility’: PACT’s Phorum 2023 will discuss the role of AI in technology, talent and the planet

How will innovation get funded when artificial intelligence-driven R&D gets more efficient, but capital costs are higher? Where will infrastructure hit limits? The May 3 event will cover these topics and more.

At Phorum 2018. (Photo courtesy of PACT)
This is a guest post by Sarah Carter, PACT's director of marketing. is a media partner for PACT's Phorum 2023.

Unless you’ve been on retreat for the past several months, you’ll know what we’re talking about when we tell you that we gave OpenAI’s ChatGPT the following prompt:

Human: Why should someone come to PACT Phorum?

In 12.6 seconds, we got this unedited response:

ChatGPT: PACT Phorum is an event that provides a platform for attendees to network, learn and share ideas and insights with industry experts and peers. It is an opportunity to gain knowledge, insight and new perspectives on the latest trends and developments in the industry, and to connect with others who share similar interests and goals. This can lead to new business opportunities, collaborations, and long-lasting professional relationships.

Well said — and in the words of Congressman Ted Lieu, whose degree in computer science makes him a techno-literate outlier in DC, are you “enthralled”? Are you “excited”? Are you “freaked out”? Check all that apply.

From roughly zero Google search traffic before November of last year, ChatGPT has surged to more than 20 times the volume of searches for the nearly 70-year-old phrase “artificial intelligence.” ChatGPT adoption has shattered records as the first application to engage a hundred million users in its first two months. Moreover, ChatGPT is merely the most discussed example of the “generative AI” that quickly redefines expectations and prospects for educators, authors, service providers, and even elite professionals in a wide range of fields.

If that were all that had happened since PACT’s Phorum 2022, we’d have a lot to discuss. But …

This year’s Phorum, to be held Wednesday, May 3, at Malvern’s Penn State Great Valley Conference Center, takes place in a context of inflation rates not seen since 1990. Costs of capital are higher than they’ve been at any of our previous gatherings. It also comes amid prospects of a pivotal disruption of human capital, due to simultaneous changes in demographics and work practices, even as AI challenges whole classes of employment.

Whether starting a company (and needing to interest investors who can get risk-free returns of better than 4% per year in T-Bills) or seeking approval for a technology acquisition (and facing headwinds of macroeconomic and geopolitical turbulence that were not being predicted a year ago), the rules of many games have changed. We’re glad to say, though, that the uniquely multi-disciplinary breadth and outreach of our Phorum program team are still in play, and we’ll be exploring intersectional challenges and opportunities including:

  • How will roles be redefined when costs of tasks like programming and copywriting effectively go to zero?
  • How will innovation get funded when AI-driven R&D gets more efficient, but capital costs are higher?
  • How will we manage and govern AI-generated work in different industries, especially regulated ones?
  • Where will infrastructure hit limits — and what will be the outcome of decentralization versus winner-takes-most?
  • How will companies’ data assets become buy-ins to collaborations aimed at high-impact problems?

Over 2000 years ago, the poet Ovid wrote: “Add little to little, and there will be a big pile.” A decade of negligible capital costs and frictionless globalization fostered “big piles” in companies, governments, healthcare, education, and other institutions. Join us this year as we deconstruct the pile, incorporate new capabilities, and build new frameworks for disciplined but still innovative transformations for the planet and its inhabitants.

We hope to see you at Phorum 2023.

Register here
Companies: PACT

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