Witteveen+Bos organises successful knowledge session on Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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On Thursday 25 April 2024, the Alliance Smart Zwolle together with alliance partner Witteveen+Bos, organised a knowledge session on Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). The session took place at Witteveen+Bos' new office on Verzetslaan in Deventer.

Keynote speaker: Deborah Nas

Deborah Nas, associated with TU Delft, took the audience through her fascination with generative AI and showed how this technology is transforming our world. Besides highlighting innovations and applications of generative AI, Deborah also addressed possible resistance people may experience towards this technology. Her presentation provided a unique opportunity for both AI experts and the curious to learn more and discuss the impact of generative AI on our society and within organisations.

Societal challenge in the AI pressure cooker

During a short working session, participants got to work on their own. They were divided into two groups and given guidance to solve a societal challenge (the decrease in biodiversity), using ChatGPT and CoPilot. Despite the short time they had for this, the results were surprising and even inspiring. The process of coming up with the ideas and solutions was particularly interesting. It was fascinating to see the differences between the solutions they came up with.

Two photos of the presentation during the knowledge session.

Practical insights: Lessons from digital transformation

With ongoing digital transformation in mind, the alliance partners have a good understanding of the challenges posed by rapid developments such as generative AI. Three digital transformation frontrunners within their organisations shared their own experiences during the event. These frontrunners were: Antoinette van Kolthoorn, Head of Information Management and Digital Support at Witteveen+Bos; Henk Vonk, Innovation Manager at Zwolle Municipality; and René Nelissen from Kien. They shared not only their stories, but also the lessons learned. Through propositions, they made the connection between a company with 1400 employees, an alliance focused on innovation and an emerging city campus acting as a knowledge leader. Together with the participants, they discussed how to further promote digital transformation in the large and complex organisations they work in.

A successful knowledge session

The knowledge event was a successfull  one event, with a focus on sharing knowledge and experiences. The goal of getting smarter and gaining insights was achieved. Although discussions on AI and its potential are not yet complete, this event laid an excellent foundation for further exploration and collaboration.