The University and Salamanca Town Council join forces for sustainable business development

More than 200 students attended the conference "Salamanca Tech. AI and Sustainability: Transforming the business world", held at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Salamanca. The event was attended by the Mayor, Carlos García Carbayo; the Secretary General of the University, Josefa García Barrado; and the Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science of the University, Juan Manuel Corchado; the event was promoted by Isabel Mª García Sánchez, Professor in the area of Financial Economics and Accounting.

The event brought students closer to the importance of artificial intelligence and highlighted the need to familiarise themselves with the use of AI, at both the knowledge and business levels.

"People are afraid of AI, but many of the things we work with have generative AI and we don't know it, such as mobile phones, televisions and aeroplanes. Everything is AI and that's OK. There is no need to be afraid," said Juan Manuel Corchado, who gave an introductory class to students in the field of economics.

In addition, the Professor and Director of the BISITE Research Group at the University of Salamanca stressed that no sector is left out of the technological revolution that generative AI represents, which is why he stressed the importance of adequate training, announcing the launch of new courses by his research group and the AIR Institute technology centre, the foundation he presides.

In this regard, the secretary general of the University of Salamanca also emphasised the transformation that artificial intelligence is generating within the academic institution and the value of training to be at the forefront in this field.

The University and the Town Council are working hand in hand on their commitment to make Salamanca a technological and innovation hub in south-eastern Europe in a model based on knowledge, the biochemical industry and the green economy.

In this line, the Mayor, Carlos García Carbayo, has highlighted the development of a Business Park on the site of the former Mercasalamanca, a large urban space where companies, entrepreneurs and entities linked to research, innovation and new technologies will be able to operate. The project, which has an initial investment of 11 million euros and will allow for the creation of a Technology Park in the town, will join those that have been developed in the Puente Ladrillo neighbourhood with the establishment of the AIR Institute Centre for the Internet of Things and AI, the TORMES+ Training and Entrepreneurship Centre and a High Performance Centre for Digital Production. "There are opportunities for the young people of Salamanca", insisted the mayor and encouraged young students to train in AI, as a fundamental aspect for their future work.

A roundtable was also held on "AI, sustainability, financial markets and auditing", moderated by Manuel Martín Portillo, Director of Technology and CIO of the Global Exchange Group. Participants included Luis Enrique Corredera, Director of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Deloitte; Soraya García Merino, Regional Director for Iberia and Latam at Tradedoubler; José Alberto García Coria, Director of Marketing and Communications at Viewnext, and María Jesús Daza Muñoz, Director of Solutions and Data at the Global Exchange Group.

At the start of the roundtable, Manuel Martín Portillo stated that artificial intelligence already affects all sectors and professions, which has many advantages, but also "brings with it ethical and social difficulties and has a direct influence on the financial markets". In this regard, José Alberto García Coria stated that in a matter of weeks companies have changed their strategic plans to adapt to the great expansion of AI, which "can help us tremendously by complementing our tasks". María Jesús Daza responded by assuring that it will be necessary for the government or companies to help ensure "that the integrity of the data is guaranteed". Luis Enrique Corredera recalled that Spain has published the royal decree for the creation of a regulation and, from the point of view of digital marketing, Soraya García believes that "there is a very fine ethical line between the use of data and the privacy of users".

Training in artificial intelligence was a fundamental part of the roundtable. The speakers agreed on how essential it is for the members of the companies to be aware of the latest developments and the current state of this technology. "To avoid fear and to be confident in what we do, we must be informed and trained", said María Jesús Daza. For Luis Enrique Corredera, it is important "to be aware that generative AI can have biases", with experts agreeing on the need to take this type of data into account in order to make appropriate, sustainable and responsible use of artificial intelligence.