Answers from Elena Ornig
On the 21st of January, members and guests were warmly greeted by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Gold Coast Chapter Convener – Michael Blumstein. Michael is an Associate Professor and Dean (Research) of the Science, Environment, Engineering, and Technology Group at Griffith University.
In his address, Michael Blumstein reminded us that the Australian Computer Society is a professional body for computing in Australia. He clarified a number of benefits for members:
- Connection to the largest network of ICT professionals in Australia
- Entitlement to be connected to events in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast and around Queensland
- Discounted tickets to these events
- Access to multiple libraries and other benefits
We learnt that the ACS Gold Coast Chapter started to govern its own territory a few decades ago, influencing IT, computing and the profession in the region, answering to the ACS Queensland Branch which is based in Brisbane. The strong suggestion to seriously think about joining ACS and becoming a member was well received and later a few new members were nominated from the floor. In a formal manner, Michael Blumstein who has been Convener since 2006 reported that the ACS Gold Coast Chapter had won dozens of events on the Gold Coast and hosted national and international speakers. Michel announced that he is ready to move on from his current role and that whilst he is stepping down from his position he will remain on the committee as the past chairman to insure the continued liaison of the committee with community, IT industry and Griffith University.
Following the formal AGM Michael invited Dr. Clarence Tan to speak and named him as a true pioneering entrepreneur and a prominent figure in the IT industry with significant business and entrepreneurial community affiliations. He praised Dr. Clarence Tan for his fantastic work for the Gold Coast and at State level. Michael concluded his introduction with: “Dr. Clarence is Ambassador for the Singularity University in Australia and Malaysia, an Adjunct Professor at Bond University and Griffith, a founding member of the Gold Coast Angel Investors Group, the receiver of the Queensland government’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Fellowship and we are privileged to have him here“.
With the opening “I was lucky enough to go to Singularity University in 2011”, Dr. Clarence Tan commenced his inspirational talk. He then quickly relaxed the audience with his unparalleled sense of humor and gave a short introduction about what Singularity University does and means to the global society. Soon, he led us through an existing journey of how exponential technology can be used to address some of the greatest challenges that our world is facing right now. Dr. Clarence Tan shared some amazing insights such as:
- Merging your brain to live in a computer
- Personalized health and quantified-self (also known as self-tracking or personal informatics)
- Gene design
- Gamification and its non-game applications
- Sustainable micro-financing
- Glove Tricorder to detect breast cancer
- Growing meat from stem cells
- Remotely controlled surgery
- Child-driven learning
- Disruption in business
- Protein folding and many different breathtaking concepts some of which have already become reality
Dr. Clarence Tan had a very powerful message for the young generation who are concerned with the issue of finding a good job in the future. He simple said: “There is so much more we can do if we are able to see beyond the kind of paradigm that we have right now.” He also gave good advice: “In the future if you can be replaced by a machine, you will be replaced by a machine. That is why I am saying that you should learn entrepreneur skills not because you want to be entrepreneur but because you need to know how to survive the dynamics of business.”
At the end, before he was flooded with countless questions, Dr. Clarence Tan explained why he is driven to organize a competition on the Gold Coast to find the best candidate from Australia or New Zealand with the opportunity of sending the winner to Singularity University.
True inspiration comes from the belief that something great and meaningful for many can be done. Feel like getting inspired and motivated? Take the opportunity to listen to people like Dr. Clarence Tan and in the meantime think about how you can contribute to or influence future developments in technology in Australia by joining the Australian Computer Society and become a member of the Gold Coast Chapter.
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