SBDC Summit Schedule of Events

The SBDC Summit: Exploring Artificial Intelligence will focus on the following goals:
Connect Alaskans with AI opportunities
Discover how AI can help address Alaska’s unique challenges
Navigate Ethical Challenges

  • SBDC Summit 04 March 2024
  • Main Hall
  • Business Track
  • Culture Track
  • Education Track
  • Government Track
08:00 AM - 08:30 AMSummit Check-inMain Hall

Welcome to the Alaska SBDC Summit: Exploring Artificial Intelligence! Please plan to check in in the lobby located on the ground-level floor of the Captain Cook Hotel.

08:30 AM - 09:30 AMWelcome Keynote By Sean Parnell, UAA Chancellor | Shawn Greenway & Javier Velazquez, Founders, Formwise AI | Jon Bittner, Alaska SBDCMain Hall

Kick off the SBDC Summit with Jon Bittner, Alaska SBDC State Director and Master of Ceremonies, enjoy remarks from UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell, and then dive into growth strategies with founders Shawn Greenway and Javier Velazquez, whose company Formwise is reshaping the future! 

12:10 PM - 01:30 PMLuncheon Keynote: UAA Debate Team By UAA Seawolf Debate Team | Christine Resler, AES | Christi Bell, UAA BEIMain Hall

Get ready for a thought-provoking luncheon keynote like no other!

Join Master of Ceremonies Jon Bittner, Alaska SBDC State Director, as he hosts a captivating debate with the UAA Seawolf Debate Team on the risks and benefits of artificial intelligence development and deployment.

Judges: Christine Resler, CEO, AES, and Christi Bell, Executive Director, UAA BEI

Debate topic: The potential risks posed by the development and deployment of AI outweigh the potential benefits

With the potential for great rewards and significant societal implications, this session will ignite insightful discussions and challenge your perspective. Take advantage of this captivating and engaging debate!

04:10 PM - 05:00 PMClosing Keynote By David Reeser, Founder, OpiAID | Jon Bittner, Alaska SBDCMain Hall

Join us as we reflect on the conversations surrounding AI and its impact and implications on Alaskan business, culture, education, and government.

Keynote: David Reeser, Founder, OpiAID
Closing Remarks: Jon Bittner, State Director, Alaska SBDC

09:40 AM - 10:45 AMAI Solutions for Small Business Growth: Strategies and Insights By Moderator: Kristen Fowler Garland, CEO, TonboBallroom 1

Panelists will share insights, best practices, and real-world examples of how AI technologies can empower small business owners to streamline processes, make data-driven decisions, and drive sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive landscape. The panel also addresses potential challenges, ethical considerations, and practical strategies for integrating AI into small business operations while maximizing impact and value.

Moderator: Kristen Fowler Garland, CEO, Tonbo

  • Meredith Noble, Co-Founder, 
  • Justin Milette, Realtor/Founder, Aspire Realty Group 
  • Kyle Easterly, Chief Technology Officer, Pango Technology
10:55 AM - 12:00 PMFuture-Proof Your Marketing: Increase Efficiency & Effectiveness with Our Top 7 AI Marketing Tools in 2024 By Introduction: Harley Tennant, Alaska SBDC | Jennifer Christensen, Beacon Media & MarketingAdventure

Jennifer Christensen will provide actionable insights and information on how to vet the most effective AI marketing tools that you can utilize in your business or agency today. She will provide a list of over 50 AI tools that Beacon Media + Marketing has vetted and share the top 7 in more depth and detail. 

Introduction by Harley Tennant, Alaska SBDC Communications Manager.

  • Jennifer Christensen, Co-Founder + CMO, Beacon Media + Marketing
01:40 PM - 02:45 PMLow Code, No Code, and Limitless Possibilities   By Introduction: Tyler Arnold, Alaska SBDC | Shawn Greenway & Javier Velazquez, Co-Founders, FormwiseBallroom 2

Learn how to create new tools powered by artificial intelligence without formal technical knowledge and how to prototype the dreams that may change your organization!

Introduction: Tyler Arnold, TREND Program Director and SSBCI Equity Director, Alaska SBDC

  • Shawn Greenway, Co-Founder, Formwise
  • Javier Velazquez, Co-Founder, Formwise
02:55 PM - 04:00 PMAI in the Last Frontier: Creating AI Solutions Based on Local Needs & Business Challenges By Introduction: Kendra Conroy, Alaska SBDC | Carlos Machuca and Ian Grant, Alaska SBDCEndeavor

How Alaska SBDC Leads the Charge in AI-Driven Solutions & Strategies

Discover the cutting-edge approach of Alaska’s SBDC in harnessing AI for business innovation. Led by Anchorage Center Director Carlos Machuca MBA and Rural Program Director Ian Grant, this presentation offers deep dives into overcoming business challenges through AI technologies, including GPTs and chatbots. Uncover Alaska’s blueprint for transforming statewide needs into strengths, offering both short-term solutions and long-term strategies. Join us to gain actionable insights that will empower your business and contribute to Alaska’s economic growth. Step into the future with guidance that sets your company apart.

Introduction: Kendra Conroy, Alaska SBDC Associate State Director

Carlos Machuca, Alaska SBDC Anchorage Center Director
Ian Grant, Alaska SBDC Rural Program Director

09:40 AM - 10:45 AMArt & Artificial: Potential & Peril By Introduction: Tim Pearson, Pearson Consulting | Julie Decker, Anchorage MuseumBallroom 2

Thinking aloud about AI and art, artists, museums, and creativity. Looking at ways artists are employing artificial intelligence as a tool and ways they worry about what’s next. A presentation that doesn’t provide the answers but looks at the landscape.

Introduction: Tim Pearson, Professional Coach, Pearson Consulting

  • Julie Decker, Director of the Anchorage Museum
10:55 AM - 12:00 PMArt & Algorithms: Exploring the Intersection of Artists and AI By Moderator: Kris Swanson, Photographer | Rico Worl, Trickster Company | Nathan Shafer, Artist | Joel Loosli, The Cove | Brooke Hartman, AuthorBallroom 2

Panelists will share insights, experiences, and diverse perspectives on how artists can leverage AI to push the boundaries of creativity, experiment with new mediums, and engage with audiences in novel ways. The panel also delves into ethical considerations, challenges, and the evolving relationship between human intuition and machine intelligence in the realm of artistic creation.

Moderator: Kris Swanson, Photographer 

  • Rico Worl, Founder, Trickster Company
  • Nathan Shafer, Artist
  • Joel Loosli, Artist and Owner, AK Clothing Co.
  • Brooke Hartman, Author of The Littlest Airplane
01:40 PM - 02:45 PMPixels & Algorithms: The Evolution of Entertainment and Design with AI By Moderator: P. Shane Mitchell, TBA Theatre | Katie Wallack, SAG-AFTRA | Michelle Klouda, RIM Architects | Heather Masters, Five Nights at Freddy's | Erin Hamilton, Erin Hamilton Design | Paul Linford, ComposerBallroom 1

Panelists share insights into how AI technologies are reshaping their respective industries, from performance and storytelling in film and voice acting to optimizing design processes and creating immersive environments.

They critically examine potential impacts such as job displacement, loss of creative autonomy, and ethical concerns surrounding AI-generated content, fostering a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay between human creativity, technological innovation, and the future of entertainment and design.

Moderator: P. Shane Mitchell, Artistic Director, TBA Theatre

  • Katie Wallack, Contract Education Strategist, SAG-AFTRA
  • Michelle Klouda, Managing Principal, RIM Architects
  • Heather Masters, Voice Actor, Five Nights at Freddy’s
  • Erin Hamilton, Owner, Erin Hamilton Design 
  • Paul Linford, Composer
02:55 PM - 04:00 PMAdapting the Narrative: AI’s Impact on PR and Journalism By Michelle Egan, Alyeska Pipeline Company | Adelyn Baxter, KTOO | Vicky Ho, ADN | Nat Herz, Northern JournalBallroom 2

Join us to discuss the evolving strategies, tools, and ethical considerations necessary for navigating the intersection of AI and storytelling. Michelle Egan joins Adelyn Baxter, Nat Herz, and Vicky Ho to examine how AI is reshaping content creation, dissemination, audience engagement, and media consumption patterns.

Additionally, they critically assess the proliferation of fake news, algorithmic bias, job displacement, and the erosion of traditional editorial standards, emphasizing the need for responsible AI usage and human oversight to mitigate these challenges and preserve the integrity of PR and journalism.

  • Michelle Egan, Chief Communications Officer, Alyeska Pipeline Company
  • Adelyn Baxter, Audience Engagement Editor, KTOO
  • Vicky Ho, Managing Editor, Anchorage Daily News
  • Nathaniel Herz, Journalist, Northern Journal
09:40 AM - 10:45 AMSecuring the Future: Exploring the Role of AI in Cybersecurity By Moderator: Geoff Wright, Alaska SBDC | Mitch Kitter, GCI |.Peter House, Deeptree Consulting | Troy Lofven, CISAEndeavor

Panelists will explore the evolving role of AI in detecting, mitigating, and responding to cyber threats, addressing topics such as threat intelligence, anomaly detection, and automated incident response. Discussions also delve into the ethical implications, challenges, and best practices for leveraging AI to fortify defenses, protect sensitive data, and safeguard digital infrastructure against emerging cyber threats, all while acknowledging that AI itself poses potential cybersecurity concerns, such as adversarial attacks and exploitation of AI vulnerabilities.

Moderator: Geoff Wright, Funding Specialist, Alaska SBDC

  • Mitch Kitter, GCI
  • Peter House, CEO, Deeptree, Inc.
  • Troy Lofven, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
10:55 AM - 12:00 PMAI and Academia: Charting the Course for Higher Education Policy By Moderator: Bill Anker, University of Alaska | Dr. Helena Wisniewski, UAA | Dayne Broderson, UAF | Dr. Mike Jones, UAA | Kenrick Mock, UAAEndeavor

In this panel, experts and stakeholders in higher education policy converge to address the transformative impact of AI on academia. They explore the evolving landscape of higher education policy, considering the integration of AI technologies, their implications for teaching and learning, and the broader societal implications.

Discussions delve into issues such as equity, access, privacy, and the ethical use of AI in shaping the future of higher education, fostering critical dialogue and strategic insights to navigate this rapidly evolving terrain.

Moderator: William “Bill” Anker, Executive Director, Strategic Programs Office of Information Technology, University of Alaska 

Dr. Helena Wisniewski, Marion Porter Chair, Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Alaska Anchorage 
Dayne Broderson, Program Manager, Alaska Center for Energy & Power; Teaching Through Technology Lead, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Mike Jones, Research Assistant Professor of Economics, Institute for Social and Economic Reliance, University of Alaska Anchorage 
Kenrick Mock, Dean and Professor – Computer Science & Engineering, UAA

01:40 PM - 02:45 PMDeciphering the Dilemma: Assessing the Pros and Cons of AI-Aided Writing By Moderator: Doug Franklin, Airhounds | Don Rearden, UAA | Dante Medema, Alaska SBDCAdventure

Join a thought-provoking dialogue about the intricate dynamics of AI-aided writing. Don Rearden and Dante Medema explore the nuanced advantages and challenges inherent in leveraging artificial intelligence tools in the creative writing process. Through candid discussions, they delve into topics such as the enhancement of productivity, the preservation of authorial voice, ethical considerations, and the enduring value of human creativity amidst technological advancements.

Moderator: Doug Franklin, Sci-Fi Author, Airhounds

  • Don Rearden Professor, Author; Chair of the Department of Writing, Community Technical College, University of Alaska Anchorage 
  • Dante Medema, Author, The Truth Project; Communications Specialist, Alaska SBDC
02:55 PM - 04:00 PMLearning in the Digital Age: K-12 Education and AI Integration By Moderator: Andy Holleman, ASD Board | Justin Ainsworth, MSBSD | Kern Mcginley, King Tech | Jacqueline Summers, HealthTie | Charlotte Bittner, West High​ StudentBallroom 1

Panelists will delve into how AI technologies are reshaping teaching and learning practices, curriculum development, student assessment, and educational equity in the digital age. Participants examine promising AI applications, ethical considerations, and practical strategies for effectively integrating AI into K-12 classrooms to enhance student engagement, personalize learning experiences, and prepare the next generation for the challenges of an AI-driven world.

Moderator: Andy Holleman, Anchorage School Board Member

  • Justin Ainsworth, Associate Superintendent of Secondary Schools, Ed.D., Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
  • Ali Larijani, Program Administrator, iTech Online & Summer School, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
  • Kern McGinley, Ed.D., Principal, King Tech High School & The Alaska Middle College School
  • Jacqueline Summers, HealthTie
  • Charlotte Bittner, Student, West High School
09:40 AM - 10:45 AMAI in Government Contracting: Two Scientists Share Their Work By Dr. Brian J. Pierre, Sandia National Laboratories | Lauren Decker, PolArcticAdventure

Join in for two presentations from experienced government contractors to learn how they are utilizing AI in their work.

  • Dr. Brian J. Pierre, Manager, Power Systems Research Department, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Lauren Decker, Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer, PolArctic
10:55 AM - 12:00 PMDemocracy in the Age of Algorithms: Elections, Campaigns, and AI By Moderator: Miles Baker | John-Henry Heckendorn, Ship Creek Group | Andrew Halcrow, With All Due Respect | Mark Begich, Northern Compass Group | Amber Lee, Amber Lee StrategiesBallroom 1

Local experts will explore how artificial intelligence, including the emergence of deep fakes, is reshaping elections and campaigns. From the challenges of algorithmic transparency to the implications of synthetic media on political discourse, they will examine the urgent need for strategies to detect and mitigate the spread of misinformation while emphasizing the importance of media literacy in navigating the complexities of the digital age.

Moderator: Miles Baker

  • John-Henry Heckendorn, Founding Partner, Ship Creek Group
  • Andrew Halcrow, Host, With All Due Respect
  • Mark Begich, CEO, Northern Compass Group
  • Amber Lee, Marketing & Communications Strategist, Amber Lee Strategies 
01:40 PM - 02:45 PMLeveraging Generative AI in Local Government By Introduction: Melanie Lucas-Conwell | Brendan Babb, Municipality of AnchorageEndeavor

Local government has unique properties and challenges that make Generative AI a potentially useful tool. Local governments produce lots of open data and we will cover how to use Chat GPT+ to quickly analyze data and gain insights for additional research. Local governments often have a lot of difficult to understand regulations and procedures.

We will show an example of a Custom GPT that lets you ask questions about Anchorage Land Use and Building code in a conversational manner. We will also explore current and possible use cases for Generative AI in local government from across the US.

Introduction: Melanie Lucas-Conwell, Director, 49th State Angel Fund and C-PACER Clean Energy Financing Program, Municipality of Anchorage 

  • Brendan Babb, Chief Innovation Officer and i-Team Director, Municipality of Anchorage 
02:55 PM - 04:00 PMAI in State Government: Enhancing Efficiency and Innovation By Bill Smith, State of Alaska | Fadil Limani, Alaska Department of Revenue | David Braun, State of Alaska | Michael Cruz, MicrosoftAdventure

Panelists will focus on the ways AI technologies can enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and drive innovation across various government functions. Participants delve into real-world examples and potential challenges associated with leveraging AI in state government operations, highlighting opportunities for improved service delivery, data-driven decision-making, and citizen engagement. 

  • Bill Smith, Chief Information Officer, State of Alaska
  • Fadil Limani, Deputy Commissioner, Alaska Department of Revenue
  • David Braun, Financial Examiner, Banking and Securities, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
  • Michael Cruz, Director, Data & AI – Pacific NW US State and Local Government, Microsoft