The weeklong virtual conference brought together AI knowledge from across our global community
Generative AI is unveiling a realm of new possibilities for businesses. A 2023 BCG survey of more than 1,400 C-suite executives found that more than half expected AI to deliver wins for their businesses, including cost savings and gains in productivity. AI has rapidly risen to the top of executives’ agendas, becoming one of the top three tech priorities for 89% of those polled.
However, the same survey revealed that many business leaders are concerned they could be falling behind the curve on AI. Despite any opportunities that lie ahead with AI, the majority felt they weren’t yet well-positioned to take advantage:
● Only 6% said they had started upskilling their workforce in any meaningful way.
● 66% were ambivalent or dissatisfied with their progress on AI.
The survey suggests that many business leaders are still figuring out how best to seize the moment with AI – a challenge that Volaris Group aimed to address with our first company-wide event of 2024.
Introducing the first-ever Volaris AI Summit
Volaris recognized an opportunity to help leaders get up to speed with the latest AI advancements.
To kick off 2024, Volaris Group held its first-ever AI Summit, a weeklong virtual conference that pooled together insights from across our vast global network. More than 1,700 AI-curious members of the Volaris community enrolled in sessions where they shared cutting-edge insights, heard about practical use cases, and saw technical demonstrations. Event organizers ran concurrent sessions in several streams that covered different applications of AI and machine learning.
Understanding AI implications from all angles
Presentations focused on seven areas of knowledge that included product development, technical development, support, marketing, tools, governance and ethics, and legal implications.
Participants heard about a range of topics, including:
- How to quickly deploy customer support chatbots
- Using natural language processing to enhance marketing content generation
- An overview of business-ready AI tools
- Considering liability around AI-based devices
- How to craft an acceptable use policy for AI
- Developing an AI product
- Building an in-house large language model (LLM)
Attendees commented that the event gave them additional data and validation they needed to be able to make decisions more confidently.
As a participant, I just loved seeing what other people are doing and how they’re incorporating this new technology into their teams and jobs. It feels like we’re on the journey of learning together.
-Kelly Chapman, Digital Marketing Manager, Modaxo
Attendees came away from the event with an array of ideas for how to upskill staff. They could also access guidelines about how to manage risks and implement AI responsibly.
What participants said about the AI Summit
The inaugural version of the event was met with positive feedback from both presenters and attendees.
Ian Reay (L) and Kelly Chapman (R) were presenters at the AI Summit who also attended sessions presented by peers. Reay's presentation focused on deploying AI assistants to help with technical troubleshooting, product configuration, employee enablement, and software testing, while Chapman presented a session about how AI can support and enhance the marketing function.
“I’d been a bit overwhelmed about what I could be doing in this space. The summit has helped me to narrow my focus and connect to the ‘why,’” shared Kelly Chapman, Digital Marketing Manager at Modaxo.
“I’ve now formed a clearer, more attainable path forward for how my team will implement. I’ve broken up the possible AI technology we could be using into digestible, relevant pieces that we can connect to our work, and established the metrics we’ll be using to measure success.”
Another leader said the summit demonstrated Volaris Group’s unique advantage as a home where software companies can grow and invest in their people.
“Volaris provides an opportunity for learning and brainstorming that I've only ever seen in higher education communities, where people can share opinions and strategies in a very open way between institutions,” said Ian Reay, Chief Technology Officer at Bravura Security.
He further added: “Speaking about challenging or disruptive topics is critical if we are to evolve our businesses and stay or get ahead of the curve.”
Tapping into the Volaris network to ensure ongoing success
In addition, many presenters and attendees took the opportunity to expand their networks by getting to know colleagues who they could call on for advice, additional perspective, or collaborative brainstorming.
It’s truly unique having such a diverse peer group that spans the world and industry verticals. There are few organizations I can think of where I can talk to more than 200 engineering leaders, or where I can brainstorm with leaders from such diverse industry verticals.
-Ian Reay, Chief Technology Officer, Bravura Security
The AI Summit is just one of several learning programs that employees can access within Volaris. Other programs designed for our business leaders include Volaris 101, Quadrants, and Peer-to-Peer sessions.
“I have benefited so much in my learning journey with Volaris and been able to bring those learnings back to my job,” said Kelly Chapman. “This AI summit is setting me up for success to unlock some powerful efficiencies and ideas for 2024.”