On September 25, 2018, Lee Tiedrich, the co-chair of Covington’s global Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) Initiative,  participated in a roundtable discussion on the future of innovation, the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the need for multidisciplinary approaches involving the entire eco-system to address the adoption of new technologies in society. She was joined by Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, and Dean of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Bill Boulding.

This program began with a discussion of Singapore’s growth over the last sixty years into a global innovation hub. The Ambassador shared lessons from Singapore’s growth since the 1960s and its investment in its future through Smart Cities partnerships, transportation, and education. He stressed Singapore’s emphasis on building a fertile ground for international investment and innovation to prosper.

The conversation then pivoted to the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” and what it means for government, society, academia, industry and the workforce. In particular, Lee emphasized the need for multidisciplinary approaches that involve inputs from all stakeholders in order to address the complex challenges presented by artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies.

The conversation then moved to education and preparing a workforce ready to meet the challenges of AI and other disruptive technologies. Ambassador Mirpuri discussed Singapore’s continual learning model, which allows employees to retool their skillsets throughout their career to match the workplace demands and societal challenges of the time. Dean Boulding mentioned his work with the Fuqua Business School and the interdisciplinary approach Duke has adopted in educating students.  And as a member of the Board of Visitors of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, Lee praised the University’s commitment to interdisciplinary approaches and discussed, among other things, how Pratt has introduced data analytics focused on real world problem solving into the freshman engineering curriculum.

The event, hosted by Duke in D.C., the alumni community of Duke University in Washington, D.C., was held at the Embassy of Singapore.

(We thank Jayne Ponder for her contribution to this post.)