‘Big words demystified’: Creativity is a key skill

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UP Alumni discuss Artificial Intelligence and sustainability

INDEED there were big words, and indeed they were demystified by speakers Dr. Chris Liban and Elzar “Dodjie” Simon in a talk hosted by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Greater Los Angeles (UPAAGLA) on Monday, November 25. Both gentlemen are U.P. Alumni themselves, so UPAAGLA President Ethel Rubio introduced them proudly to the attendees.

The Echo Park Library was filled with curious individuals in rapt attention in a talk moderated by City of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Budget and Planning Miguel Sangalang. Speakers Elzar “Dodjie” Simon, and Dr. Chris Liban filled in the crowd about the seemingly doomsday notion of Artificial Intelligence, and the importance of sustainability in taking the path to the future.

Simon, whose book “A.I. Hacked” is gaining mass attention, cautioned that robots may replace human jobs. Simon stresses that realize that this will replace clerical jobs, and those which are mechanical and repetitive. Humans must therefore retain, develop and focus on creativity, something that artificial intelligence (A.I.) cannot replace. He reminds us that A.I. is not human, and the future generation must train to me middle management of higher to thrive in the future. Empathy is a trait that only humans can have, and cannot be learned by A.I.

Dr. Cris Liban oversees the LA Metro’s internationally recognized Environmental, Sustainability and Energy initiatives. As Executive Officer on Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, he mentioned that we must always consider the impact of technological advancement, and that that education system must catch up. He shared that upon learning that Finland, one of the most advanced countries in education, has one hour of instruction only in school, and the kids are sent to play outside. He says they implement this is meant to stimulate the natural curiosity of humans to learn about the surroundings that they experience, touch, feel and see.

Attendees included Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Commissioner Eric Elnar, and UP Alumni Association of San Diego  President Joe Garbanzos. It was a mixed crowd of common interest: some high school and college students, UP alumni, members of UPAAGLA, leaders of other Asian American organizations and the general public..

Simon personally signed “A.I. Hacked” books and donated part of the proceeds to UPAAGLA’s Endowment fund.

UPAAGLA President Rubio closed the program by thanking the event sponsors:  Alliance Group, Global Legacy Ventures Group, LLC., Fiesta Fastfood and Global International Equipment.

This event is part of a series of programs that will raise the profile of the UP alumni and the Filipino American contributions in different fields in the Greater Los Angeles community.  For more information about UPAAGLA, visit www.upaagla.org. 

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