DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > iD Lab’s conference on AI brings together industry, students and faculty

iD Lab’s conference on AI brings together industry, students and faculty

For many Fortune 500 companies, innovating on the frontier of artificial intelligence is a top priority. This fall, the Optimizing Digital Innovation Conference brought together talented professionals in technology to share knowledge among industry, students and faculty.

Olayele Adelakun, director of DePaul’s iD Lab and an associate professor in the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media, hosts the conference to amplify opportunities for students. “Our students think differently than people who have been in the industry a long time. Companies want to understand how younger generations think and problem solve,” he said.

Rob Manuel and Yele Adelakun
President Rob Manuel and Olayele Adelakun, director of the iD Lab.
DePaul President Robert Manuel welcomed those gathered in the room to learn about groundbreaking innovation strategies.

“We have faculty who care about the creation of new knowledge and its connection to the next generation of people who will own it,” Manuel said. “We have industry who cares about what happens in the classroom, making sure that we're not just learning but moving into application. And we have students who are passionate about the possibilities that are out there before them. At DePaul, this means applying them to some of the most difficult questions of our time.”

Prioritizing translational research—including work that uses artificial intelligence to help innovate solutions within companies and communities—is a focus area for Designing DePaul.

DePaul alumni at the conference spoke about how the iD Lab is driving forward their careers. Isabela Samudio graduated from the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media earlier this year with a master’s degree in management information systems. She says working in the iD Lab “changed completely what my career looks like today.”

“I got to experience real-life projects, work with real clients, and learn about teamwork and leadership,” Samudio says. “Definitely that helped me to be where I am today.” She said the conference brings together a great mix of professionals working in technology.

Isabela Samudio
Isabela Samudio, a DePaul alum, presented at the conference and credited the iD Lab for preparing for her career.
“Even as an alum, I love to be back and see what projects they’re working on,” Samudio says. In her current role as a data analyst at Gallagher, she is now one of the lab’s corporate clients.

Speakers at the event included executives from Abbott Labs, KPMG, CCC and Bosch.

The exact details of many of the lab’s projects remain confidential, though case studies are available on the lab’s website, including projects for Bosch and Allstate.

Among the presenters was Jinesh Jain, a senior architect for data analytics at Abbott Labs, who shared a preview of a project DePaul is leading. They’re working together on a subset of artificial intelligence called computer vision, a proprietary project that would enable computers to recognize and differentiate features of humans, animals and others.

What started as a three-month contract with Abbott has now expanded over a year. And while details are still confidential, the excitement at DePaul is real.

“We only work with innovative ideas—that is the core of iD Lab,” says Adelakun.

Learn more about the lab online.