Data Literacy and Skills (Parallel Session 3.3)

November 12, 2018 - 17:00 - 18:30
Room B2
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  • Welcome & Introduction – Edward Curry (LERO)
  • Panel Discussion – Interacting Q & A with Panel and Audience
    • Q1: Are we seeing the death of the data scientists?
    • Q2: How well is society prepared for the AI Innovation?
    • Prof. Sylvie Ilieva (Sofia University)
    • Gerhard Schagerl (AVL)
    • Viktoria Pammer-Schindler (Know-Center)
    • Edward Curry (LERO)
  • Recap & Closing Statements – Viktoria Pammer-Schindler (Know-Center)


The rise of Big Data has caused a huge demand of data analysts, data scientists, data engineers and data-savvy business executives. As the AI wave becomes transformational across end-markets from enterprise to consumer platforms, from cybersecurity to robotics, the demand for data scientists is growing exponentially. Universities across the world are rising to meet this demand with new degrees and courses. However, the unprecedented demand for data science talent is creating a considerable gap between the demand and supply of data scientists. A recent article in the New York Times estimated that only 10,000 people worldwide have the skills necessary to tackle serious AI research.

What does this mean for our society?
What do individuals need to know about data analytics and AI?

This Interactive Debate Session will explore these questions by bringing together a rich set of panellists from multi-disciplines to offer a different perspective from the academic and university community, Industry, and Public Organisations. n order to foster the participation of the audience in the session, we propose an “Interactive Debate” session. After a brief introduction (5 min.) from the moderator, the following two discussion questions will be debated for 40 minutes each:

1. In the context of AI, are we seeing the death of the data scientists?
2. User, SME, Entrepreneur: Is European society prepared for AI-driven Innovation?

At the start of the question, we will use an “Interactive Poll” to gauge the level of support for the positions. Two selected panellists will present their different perspectives on these questions followed by a Q&A discussion with audience questions. At the end of the question, we will again poll the audience to gauge the reaction to the discussion. This format provides an active method, engaging the audience, and because the process is somewhat anonymous, even the most reluctant attendants will be motivated to participate.

At the end of the session, the moderator will provide some concluding remarks to engage the community in the skills activity of the BDV PPP.



he objective of this session is to discuss the evolving nature of Data Science skills needed to deal with Big Data and AI technology. The session will enable a diverse group of cross-disciplinary big data and AI stakeholders to a network to discuss challenges and opportunities for Europe in Data Science Skills. The outcome of the session will support the BDV PPP and the larger audience by gaining further information from stakeholders about the challenges for data science and AI skills. As a result of the three interactive debate questions, we will have an overview of the evolution, future role and skills required by data scientists, organisations and the wider society. We will have insight on the lessons learnt from the broader introduction of computer science skills into society. We will explore the skills challenges associated with AI-driven innovation. Answers to these questions are vital to understanding research and policy needs, good practice recommendations and possible future actions with the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. Finally, the session will conclude by inviting participants to join the BDV PPP in its actions to move the Data and AI skills agenda forward and support the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.


Edward Curry
Professor at Insight Centre
Gerhard Schagerl
AVL List GmbH
Gert Breitfuss
Senior Researcher at Know-Cente
Sylvia Ilieva
Director at GATE Institute at GATE Institute
Viktoria Pammer-Schindler
Assistant professor at Graz University of TechnologyResearch Area Manager at the Know-Center
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