AI Week 2023: Voices of the volunteers
The RWTH AI Week 2023, from 25 to 29 September 2023, was a complete success, not least thanks to the incredibly great volunteers. Below we have compiled a few voices of the helpers who report on their experiences:
„Organising the AI Week at RWTH Aachen University from 25 to 29 September, 2023, was an incredibly challenging, exhausting but also rewarding experience. The events aimed to bring together the scientific community, the industry and the general public to explore the current state and latest developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The planning process began about five months in advance, which was still a relatively short time span for such a large event programme and required lots of dedication and hard work from the organising team. Coordinating different aspects such as speakers, different types of events, logistics and marketing demanded a lot of attention to detail and the ability to keep track of all event aspects at all times for everyone involved and sometimes having to be at several places simultaneously and constantly multitask, while still being available as a contact person to our guests and all colleagues and organisations involved in the programme, but it was all worth it when the event finally kicked off, especially with the spectacular drone show we worked so hard to organise. During the AI Week, we had the privilege of hosting renowned experts in the field of AI, notably 17 Alexander von Humboldt Professors in AI from all over Germany, who delivered insightful keynote speeches, constructive panel discussions and workshops. It was a fantastic opportunity not only for the participants to learn, network, and exchange ideas but also for me as non-specialist to discover more about the research my colleagues and the AI Center I work with are specialized in. One of the most rewarding aspects of organising this event, apart from seeing the enthusiasm and engagement of our guests during the events, was the remarkable commitment of our volunteers, all of them students interested in AI topics and willing to spend a lot of efforts and of their free time to help us organise the individual events. Without them, the AI Week wouldn’t have been possible. Reflecting on the AI Week 2023, I feel like our small organisation team did its absolute best and we should be proud of what we have accomplished with limited time and resources. This challenging week has taught me many new things about event management, working with academic and scientific staff and my personal ability to deal with a high level of stress and pressure. Thanks to the AI Week, I have gained valuable experience that will help optimize processes, get ideas for further events, and better reach out to the general public in the future."
- Maddy Ruppé; Organization team
„When I heard about AI week, I saw it as an amazing opportunity to spread this knowledge and get more people as excited about it as I am – so I volunteered. It was a great atmosphere among the helpers – it was lovely working alongside people as excited about AI as me toward the common goal of making the week the great success it turned out to be. Participating in the AI week helped me broaden my knowledge on AI and learn about interesting applications of AI I hadn’t yet thought of. By volunteering, it was easy for me to approach everyone involved in the organisation and get to know new people and discuss a variety of topics. However, I didn’t expect that volunteering would help me with my own research: I had the opportunity to discuss my ideas and thoughts with experts from academia and industry and got advice, feedback and a different perspective on my work. In general, I would say that volunteering for the AI week really helped me improve my research, broaden my network, and spread knowledge about Process Mining in the context of AI.”
- Nina Graves; Volunteer
„I volunteered for the AI week purely because I wanted to understand how such an event should be organized. It gave me an insider's look as to how events and topics must be curated that cater to the interests of the people attending. Being a volunteer I had the opportunity to talk face to face with some of the experts of their field and learn from both academic and industry perspectives. This volunteer experience helps me by providing yet another networking opportunity and to also brush up my language skills while interacting with many people. As a part of the volunteering team it surely has its benefit with the reputation of the event and goes to show my interest in being involved with AI."
- Allen Joshey; Volunteer
„I took part in the Family Day of RWTH AI Week 2023 and also helped to organise this great event. On the one hand, it was very exciting for me to see how such a big event is organised and how all the helpers are coordinated. I saw first-hand what passion it takes to pull off such a great event. On the other hand, I had a lot of fun getting in touch with children and their parents at the Family Day and talking about our project (AI booklet for kids). I was really pleased with the great interest in our project."
-Diana Safarpour; Organization team