CLEAR's President's Message- January 2024

Posted By: Ashley Peterson CLEAR News, President's Message,

“This is, hands down, the best conference I have ever attended.”

Those were my closing words to 65 regulators from Australia, Europe, Canada, and the United States at CLEAR’s Winter Symposium on "Coding Kindness: Regulatory Approaches to Technology and Compassion" in Tucson, Arizona.  And I meant every word.  Last year, we heard that regulators who want to remain modern and relevant in a constantly changing landscape have to embrace the technology that allows us to increase efficiency, reduce errors, synthesize information, and anticipate trends.  As one Symposium speaker aptly quipped, “I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.”  

But, this year, we went on to learn about the biases behind software code, the illusion of technological objectivity and the ways that people can be left behind.  Will regulation supported by artificial intelligence still be there for me when I feel alone, vulnerable and need someone to care about me?  That was the question that guest speakers, panelists, educators, software developers, and regulatory leaders from around the world explored throughout the day. 

Here are some of my favorite takeaways:

- "Not everything that matters is easily measured"

- "We are storytellers at heart"

- "We often don't say a lot but we tend to use a lot of words"

- "AI will not replace you but the people using AI will"

- "[ChatGPT] gives me perceptions I never had before"

There were two other highlights of the day that I am very proud of.  First, it was a powerful moment for me to announce CLEAR’s launch of its mentorship program, a meaningful way that we can support each other in anticipating regulatory trends and becoming more diverse, inclusive and thoughtful leaders.  I was also excited to share news of CLEAR’s new scholarship program, designed to provide funding for persons who would like to attend CLEAR’s conferences but may not have the means to do so.  Both are steps to bring CLEAR closer to our goal of being an international organization that everyone, everywhere can see themselves in.  

Those announcements were a wonderful way to jump-start the Midyear Business and Board of Directors Meetings that took place over the next two days, culminating in the creation of our Annual Education Conference program which will showcase novel approaches to everyday challenges. This year, CLEAR received 108 submissions, including more than a dozen internationally comprised sessions, on topics spanning international workforce mobility, emerging technologies, and how compassion and cultural sensitivity can lead to better public safety for all of us.

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” Echoing poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s observation, I invite you to join us for this fresh journey and look forward to seeing you along the way.

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Marc Spector 

CLEAR President