Engineering Intelligence

A conference on the effects of AI on industry, research, and teaching

משתתפי מהנדסים את הבינה
משתתפי מהנדסים את הבינה
משתתפי מהנדסים את הבינה

In June 2023, Afeka College of Engineering in Tel Aviv held its first Engineering Intelligence conference, which examined the effects of AI on industry, research, and teaching.

This marked the culmination of a series of events initiated by Afeka’s Center for Promoting Teaching, aimed at the correct and effective implementation of technological advances, and particularly AI, within the various academic programs.

The conference, held on campus and attended by faculty and guests from industry and academia, opened with a fascinating lecture by Prof. Eviatar Matania, presenting a new viewpoint on technology in the modern era.

Prof. Matania addressed several aspects, including the importance of providing technological building blocks for learning and applying them from elementary school age in order to train the next generation for success in a rapidly developing world. Additionally, he mentioned the global AI race and the various markets taking part in it, and of course his former role as head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau.


The conference included a fascinating panel moderated by Dr. Sharon Yalov-Handzel, senior lecturer at Afeka’s school of data science and artificial intelligence, on the effects of using AI models in fields of engineering and science.

The panel featured Dr. Tomer Simon, chief scientist at Microsoft Israel R&D; Dror Gil, founder and CEO of Gamdala; Inbal Orpaz, a strategic innovation consultant; Dr. Oshrit Hopper, a faculty member at Afeka’s school of electrical engineering; and Dr. Boaz Tamir, a lecturer at Afeka’s intelligent systems program.

The panel focused on our current technological position, potential threats, and of course future predictions.


The conference also included two fascinating lectures.

The first was by Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, senior fellow and head of the Democracy in the Information Age program at IDI, on decision-making and the role of people and machines in our environment.

The second was by Dr. Ella Rabinovich, natural language processing researcher at IBM’s Research Labs, on the encounter between artificial language and natural language.


The conference’s closing panel dealt with generative AI in academia and the changes to academic teaching and research. The panel was moderated by Dr. Lior Rosenzweig, head of Afeka’s school of data science and artificial intelligence.

The panel featured Eran Yariv, MSAI group leader at Microsoft Israel R&D; Dr. Amir Gefen, director of the AI in education lab at the Ministry of Education’s R&D section; Dr. Hisham Abdulhalim, a lecturer at Afeka’s intelligent systems program; Dr. Yehudit Aperstein, founder and director of Afeka’s intelligent systems program; and Dr. Maya Golan, faculty member at Afeka’s school of industrial engineering and management.


Dr. Sharon Yalov-Handzel, senior lecturer at Afeka’s school of data science and artificial intelligence: “The conference included renowned experts on generative AI who reviewed the increasing challenges it poses to engineering, science, and academia as an institution for engineer training and research. The conference generated discussion on existing concerns, on the reasons and justifications for them, and on new directions using language models to optimize the training process of future engineers and teaching the skills needed for the new era.”

Dr. Irma Jan, director of Afeka’s Center for Promoting Teaching: “There’s no doubt that in the not-so-distant-future AI tools will replace professions that are built on repetitive tasks, and not so much professions that involve emotion, creativity, or complex decision-making. In light of this reality, it is important to provide future generations with the building blocks that will allow them to remain relevant in the job market, including social skills, abilities from the humanities, and the ability to think flexibly and not in black or white. Afeka’s Center for Promoting Teaching strives to assist faculty with whatever they need to realize this philosophy.”


Thank you to everyone who took part in this fascinating and important day!

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