Ned Watt standing in front of QUT building
Ned Watt, PhD student from the QUT node of the ADM+S Centre.

ADM+S researcher shares insights on Generative AI at 2023 STEMFest

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 8 December 2023

Ned Watt, PhD student at the QUT node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) shared his research insights on generative AI technologies at the recent 2023 STEMFest award ceremony.

STEMFest, an annual event that brings together year 7-9 students from schools in the Northern suburbs of Brisbane, encourages participants to tackle real-world challenges using science and technology.

Ned’s keynote titled In the Age of Powerful Technologies we need Powerful and Compassionate Minds, reintroduced GenAI tools such as Microsoft’s Dall-E and OpenAI’s ChatGPT and summarised some of the accompanying social implications and controversies surrounding them.

The presentation targeted a broad audience, including students, teachers, and parents/guardians, with the aim of informing critical dinner-table and classroom discussions about the increasing role of GenAI in our lives. 

“Based on my experience studying GenAI technologies in the context of my research into fact checking, I focused on the creativity fostered by these technologies as well as some of their limitations; namely model bias and AI-assisted manipulation, “ explained Ned. 

In addition Ned provided strategies for users to mitigate harms caused through the widespread uptake and application of GenAI. 

Students and parents seated and standing in high school hall listening to presentation
Students, teachers, parents and guardians attending the 2023 STEMFest awards ceremony.

“Being able to synthesise and communicate insights from my research in a way that is accessible to my local community has been an enriching process and I would encourage all researchers and practitioners to consider how their unique (and sometimes seemingly obscure) insights could be used outside their work and seek to engage with the broader public in ways they may not expect or be remotely prepared for.

Ned commended the exceptional work showcased at the STEMFest award ceremony.

“My already high expectations of the quality of work and insight at STEMFest were obliterated by the intuition, attention to detail, and high standard of work produced by the young competitors.”