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The 2024 Crestron Modern Work Summit: AI at Work
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2024
The 2024 Crestron Modern Work Summit: AI at Work

A day of sessions to help understand how AI impacts the hybrid workplace

Feb. 26, 2024 - The term is seemingly everywhere: AI — artificial intelligence. It’s generating bizarre images on social media, creating essays and articles seemingly out of thin air, and driving predictions about our future human condition that seem to swing from utopian to apocalyptic.

It’s also impacting the way we work — and the tools we use to do that work — right now.

That’s why it’s a central theme of the 2024 Crestron Modern Work Summit. This edition of the summit — sponsored by Crestron — focuses on the way work is changing and how specifiers need to adapt. To quote the organizers directly, it’s designed to “inspire digital workplace specialists, IT managers, facilities representatives, and HR leaders to proactively rethink the modern workplace and will cover the cultural shifts and realignments of today’s organizational climate.”

Those tasked with creating the best possible “organizational climate” — already feeling the huge impact of the widespread adoption of hybrid work — are now grappling with the introduction of AI-driven technology into collaborative spaces. As the dynamics of meetings change with the rise of hybrid permanence — with its blend of in-person and remote staff as the status quo — how can AI improve that experience?

Learn more about the 2024 Crestron Modern Work Summit and register now.

AI Arrives in the Meeting Space

The one-day event — held in conjunction with Crestron Masters 2024 — will begin with a broad overview of the solutions that are currently on the market (or in development). Hosted by Crestron CEO Dan Feldstein and VP Brad Hintze, the opening keynote will look at “solutions designed to make organizations more intelligent, nimble, collaborative, and better positioned for what is to come.”

That’s followed by a session called “Welcome to Artificial Intelligence in Meeting Spaces,” presented by Intel’s Global Sales Director Nicole England. England will dig into the social consequences of using AI to communicate in the world of hybrid collaboration. England’s especially suited for this exploration, as she’s spent a good portion of her two decades in tech working with those who are integrating cutting-edge advances into their personal and business lives.

The morning sessions wrap up with a presentation from Andy Ellis, CEO of Duha: “AI-Driven Hospitality in the Modern Workplace.” In this instance, “hospitality” means satisfying individual needs in the workplace while maximizing positive outcomes — and achieving both at scale. How can AI help in this regard and keep employees productive and satisfied — a key to reducing the “staffing churn” so many businesses have dealt with in the post-pandemic world?

For his part, Ellis founded Duha, a boutique advisory firm focused on providing strategic consulting in the areas of leadership, management, cybersecurity, technology risk, and enterprise risk management. The former chief security officer of Akamai Technologies, Ellis spent two decades “making the Internet suck less,” witnessing first-hand how humans make critical decisions about security and safety. Ellis has a broad range of insights on Internet safety, risk management, decision-making, and security governance. Part of his work involves how and why humans make risk choices and decisions, and how they impact security.

The Evolution of the Office

The first session after lunch is a real 30,000-foot-view of “The Reinvention of the Modern Office.” The synopsis summarizes the questions that will be answered here: “With the return to the new normal, what does the workplace look like? Who is coming back and why? What are the new goals for the modern office?”

Those are pretty big queries, and a panel of experts has been assembled to answer them, including:

  • Kelby Green, the CTO and co-founder of VergeSense — who’s also the original creator of the platform’s artificial intelligence and machine learning functions. With no less than 19 patents to his name, Green understands what’s next as AI impacts hybrid workplaces.
  • Dan Noullet, who’s spent 25 years in higher ed at a renowned institution of computer science (not to mention art and drama), Carnegie-Mellon University. Noullet has been examining every aspect of incorporating AV systems into educational environments, from creating immersive experiences to budgeting. It’s all info that can easily be applied to any business enterprise.
  • David Hatz, CTO at RoomReady, a technology integration firm with years of experience creating collaboration solutions that simplify meeting room experiences. Hatz starts with the end-user experience foremost in his designs, and he’s been studying how AI impacts collaboration technology and workforce optimization.

Next up is a presentation from Craig Durr, a research director for the Futurum Group: “Helping Your Customers Move Beyond Hybrid Work 2.0: AI Insights & Trends for the Workplace.” This session addresses the potential workplace obstacles that were made glaringly apparent during — and after — the pandemic: changing health conditions, conflict with new organizational goals, and employee resistance.

Durr leads the Workplace Collaboration practice at the Futurum Group, channeling two decades as an analyst and tech exec into comprehensive market analysis, sizing projections, product evaluations, emerging trends, and end-user and buyer expectations. Durr studies the human elements of work in addition to tracking technology — he’s interested in the way people and tech converge and how they can better connect businesses to both their employees and their customers.

Putting It All Together

Microsoft’s Worldwide Channel Sales Leader, Mehryn Corrigan, leads the following session, and it’s a biggie — dubbed “Employee Experience: Beyond Hybrid Work,” she’ll speak about the creation of a new operating model for work that’s tailored to the people doing that work, the processes that they’re using, and the places in which that work’s being done.

Microsoft is helping realize that model through AI meeting applications such as Copilot. To find out what Copilot can do when it comes to meetings, we asked the app itself. Copilot told us how it can assist a collaborator, and we’ve edited its answers slightly:

  • Real-Time Summaries: During a meeting, Copilot can summarize key discussion points, including who said what and where people are aligned or disagree. It suggests action items on the fly, helping you stay focused and organized.
  • Catch Up on Missed Meetings: If you join a recorded or transcribed meeting late (5 minutes or more after it starts), Copilot provides a summary of what happened. Simply select "Open Copilot" from the meeting controls, and the summary will appear on the right side of your meeting window.
  • Thought Partner: Use Copilot to ask natural language questions during the meeting. For example: “Where do we disagree on this topic? How did [a meeting participant] respond to this proposal? What questions can I ask to move the meeting forward?" and more.