Digital Agency

Conjure Circle Highlights: September

Sam Hannah

October 16, 2023

Key takeaways from September’s Conjure Circle Breakfast: Exploring Digital in 2023 and Beyond.

In this Conjure Circle Breakfast, we were joined by industry leaders from a variety of companies. This month’s event saw us delve into what might be disrupting industries when digitising, what’s next for digital transformation, some of the success stories of digital implementations across companies, and a few other key issues.

Below, Anna and Bea from Conjure’s Product and Design teams delve into their key takeaways from the conversations.

Anna’s Key Takeaways

September’s Conjure Circle breakfast was attended by an incredible mix of people who each brought an interesting voice and point of view.

One of the most eye-opening discussions at Conjure Circle revolved around the issue of racial bias in AI tools. It was highlighted that, by default, AI tends to generate results featuring white individuals unless explicitly specified otherwise.

This revelation shed light on the pervasive nature of bias in technology. The conversation underscored the importance of addressing and rectifying these biases, as AI continues to play an increasingly influential role in our lives. This angle on AI’s impact on racial bias was a perspective I had never encountered before, emphasising the need for more inclusive and equitable AI development.

Another significant point of discussion during the event revolved around the notion that a return to physical office spaces plays a pivotal role in fostering learning and personal development.

In light of the recent surge in remote work arrangements, some had questioned the necessity of maintaining physical office locations. However, Conjure Circle offered a different perspective. The event highlighted that being physically present in the office allows for valuable opportunities to learn from peers and mentors in an organic and spontaneous manner.

This insight resonated with me, as it signalled a potential shift back towards working from the office, driven by the recognition of the unique learning experiences it can offer. While remote work has its advantages, the event also emphasised the challenges it poses, especially for newcomers and recent graduates.

Remote work can hinder the learning experience, as it limits the opportunities for on-the-job training, mentoring, and spontaneous interactions that are often vital for personal and professional growth.

Bea’s Key Takeaways

This month’s Conjure Circle breakfast was very varied in terms of the topics discussed. The subject of AI did arise (surprisingly), but alongside a variety of other subjects, such as: the crafting of a digital utopia, inclusive technology, design team mentoring, and how digital devices influence people’s daily lives.

One of the key highlights of the session, for me, was the discussion around user inclusivity in voice assistance functionality. In the context of the Spotify voice assistant, we discussed the importance of providing different voice options for the user to select, so that the functionality is accessible and inclusive for different user types.

Aspects such as: language, tone, accent, and pace were mentioned. We considered how it can be alienating for users with different attributes to always hear a specific voice style; particularly if it is one that is not generally familiar to them.

The discussion around whether people strive to craft a digital utopia, on their mobile devices, was also incredibly interesting. We considered the structures people put in place, on their phones, to feel comfortable and to create a degree of certainty.

Along with the ways in which people create and portray ‘perfect worlds’ on their devices such as on social media or through health apps. It was suggested by some that people strive for a digital utopia to deal with every-day realities.

Closing statement

Thank you to all who attended this Conjure Circle event. The engagement, perspectives, and ideas you have brought to the table were incredible and helped make the breakfast a real success.