June 5, 2024
Insights from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference at C2 Montréal
Équipe de rédaction Touché! Touché!'s redaction team 4 mins
  • Insight and Strategy

The AI conference day at C2 Montréal was a profound exploration of the challenges and opportunities presented by this rapidly growing field. Here are four key takeaways that resonated with the Touché! team.

Atypical Intelligence and Neurodiversity

The discussions began with an exploration of atypical intelligence and neurodiversity. The Touché! team was struck by the idea that technology could play a crucial role in enabling people with atypical intelligence to express emotions that might otherwise be inaccessible, thus opening new perspectives on the diversity of intelligence in our society.

There was a clear consensus on the urgent need for leaders to effectively guide and represent the various forms of atypical intelligence. This topic resonated strongly with Touché!, aligning directly with our ongoing efforts. We are currently training all our managers to identify barriers to neurodiversity inclusion, adopt inclusive practices to support neurodivergent colleagues, strengthen the ability to create a psychologically safe environment, and consider actions tailored to the organizational context.

Panelists highlighted the lack of diversity in leadership positions and called for more equitable representation in decision-making spheres, recognizing that neurodivergent diversity can lead to greater creativity in leadership and creative groups.

Regeneration and AI Use

Another discussion that captured our team’s attention was the role of AI in regeneration, particularly in health, biodiversity preservation, and supporting Indigenous communities. A significant point was the potential of AI in preserving Indigenous languages, optimizing health data tracking, and ecosystem preservation, emphasizing the importance of creating value rather than merely seeking efficiency.

Diversity and Representation

The importance of diversity and representation in AI was also a key focus. Panelists stressed the need for genuine diversity, both superficially and in decisions and policies, calling for thorough consultations with affected communities to ensure authentic and meaningful representation. This topic is particularly relevant to Touché!, as evidenced by the agency's numerous efforts. Touché! is proud to offer accommodations tailored to individual employee needs, continuously evaluate its practices and policies to ensure equity, provide annual EDI training, and offer specific recruitment training to raise awareness among managers about inclusion and diversity.

Ethics and Regulation

A deep reflection on crucial issues surrounding democracy and global governance in the AI era was also engaged. Discussions highlighted the challenges posed by the rapid pace of technological innovation and the need for a new political order to address global challenges such as AI and climate change. Participants expressed concerns about trust in traditional governments and institutions, underscoring the need for more inclusive and ethical governance to advance humanity in this era of rapid transformation. It is crucial to align incentives across all stakeholders and recognize that AI cannot exist in isolation but must be integrated into an ethical and sustainable framework.

“From the media industry perspective, consumer privacy regulation appears imperative to effectively preserve privacy. AI and walled gardens must be regulated to no longer solely serve capitalism. As Canadians, we must use our Western privileges to foster any form of consensus.” - Samantha Kelley, CEO at Touché!

The AI conferences at C2 Montréal were rich in insights and reflections, providing a valuable space to explore the challenges and opportunities of AI in our complex and interconnected society. “The main takeaway is that AI is a tool, and its utility should not be confined to siloed issues. It integrates into multiple dimensions (human, political, ecological, etc.) and its use generates effects that transcend each dimension. It is up to us to direct it based on the mission of creating value, not merely the quest for efficiencies.” - Alexandre Simard, Vice-President of Digital Activation at Touché!



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