Canadian University Dubai hosts academic conference of Silk-Road Studies network

Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has inaugurated the 7th annual academic conference of the International Association for Silk-Road Studies (IASS 2022), bringing together delegates from across the globe to debate the theme, ‘The Role of Higher Education in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities’.

The opening ceremony convened a virtual audience of dignitaries and higher education practitioners to witness the launch of the international event and to hear from distinguished speakers from academia and industry. Welcoming guests to the conference, Prof. Karim Chelli, President and Vice Chancellor of CUD, opened the event with an introduction to the key themes under discussion throughout the extensive 16-week program.

Prof. Chelli said, “Through our day-to-day undertakings in higher education, we are already validating or experimenting with emerging innovative transformations, like smart classrooms, personalised content, integrated admissions systems, and round-the-clock learning. This conference will allow us to share insights and exchange ideas around these and other themes; to identify innovative solutions and best practices, and to explore new frontiers in the application and advancement of AI and big data in higher education.”

The audience went on to hear from Prof. Sungdon Hwang, Secretary General of the
Silk-Road Universities Network, who discussed the history of the annual IASS conference and paid tribute to the organizers and delegates of this year’s edition for the transformative approach to staging the event. Pioneering a new model for academic conferences, the forum has adopted an innovative format of delivery, with a four-month program of virtual panel discussion and research presentations that aim to build partnerships and sustain the dialogue into the future.

Following Prof. Hwang, President of IASS 2022 and CUD professor of engineering, Prof. Adel Ben Mnaouer, provided an overview of the forthcoming program, which will include keynote speakers, research paper presentations, and panel discussions, as well as a series of industry showcase sessions. Mr. Chulbae Lee, Vice-President, Executive Head and Corporate Senior Vice President of Life Innovation Design Center, LG Electronics, Inc. led the first of these sessions during the opening event, speaking on the subject, ‘Shifting into a New Era – Living with AI & Metaverse’.

Mr. Lee discussed the evolution of technology and the key inflection points that had sparked industrial revolutions in the past, based on the deployment of power, innovation, and digitization. He revealed the prediction that the current decade will see the next stage in industrial advancement, through a cognitive transformation driven by robotics, AI and big data. Mr. Lee went on to showcase some of the innovative projects LG is developing in relation to the metaverse, including the OMNIPOD, a futuristic autonomous smart vehicle.

Delivering the final speech in the first session of the weekly program was Dr. Aiman Erbad, Associate Professor and Head of Information & Computing Technology at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar, who spoke about pervasive AI for Internet of Things applications.

The annual IASS conference is a flagship event of the Silk-Road Universities Network, an international academic consortium established to promote co-existence and co-prosperity in the spirit of the ancient Silk Road. The conference started in Gyeongju, Korea, in 2015 and the hosting of the 2022 edition by CUD was organized to coincide with EXPO 2020 Dubai, with the opening ceremony taking place during UAE Innovation Month. The next weekly session in the event program is set to explore AI and big data in the management of business and wealth.