Ashley Aitken

Ashley Aitken

Business IS & IT | Enterprise App Development | Startups & Disruptive Innovation | Professional Training & Coaching

Ashley is an IT consultant, business analyst, software engineer, disruptive innovation specialist, and professional trainer and coach. He helps organisations with enterprise software systems, innovation, and coaching / training.

His software consulting company is Running Code Productions: https://www.runningcode.com.au

His startup and innovation consulting company is Innovately: https://www.innovately.com.au

He has a PhD in Computer Science & Software Engineering from UNSW and expertise in CQRS/ES, backend and frontend development, cloud deployment, and Artificial Intelligence. His PhD was on how the neural networks of the cerebral neocortex may work.

He is an evangelist for the Lean Startup (Eric Ries) with Customer Development (Steve Blank) approaches to startup and corporate innovation and runs the Lean Startup Perth meetup. He has completed the Founder Institute, Curtin Accelerate, Edutech startup accelerators.

Ashley has co-founded three tech startups (sadly unsuccessful but great learning experiences) and two consulting and professional training businesses, His latest startup is the Lean Explorers Club, which you can check out at https://leanexplorers.club

Area of Expertise

  • Business & Management
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Government, Social Sector & Education


  • Software
  • Innovation
  • Startups
  • Artificial Inteligence
  • Agile Lean
  • Cognitive Science
  • Research & Development

I AM A COMPUTER... and so are you!

Our current best theory of what mind is and you areis the “Computational Theory of Mind.” It says that your mind is a computer. However, that doesn’t mean you have a CPU, RAM, and hard disk. Come along to learn what it really means for your calculator, your phone, and for YOU to be a computer.

This is not a talk about machine learning algorithms, it’s more about what it means to be a thinking machine. It’s not only about helping computers think more like us, but also helping us to understand that we are more like computers. It will help you prepare for the coming wave of “thinking machines.”

AI/ML software has already beaten the world’s best humans at Chess, Jeopardy, Go, and some video games, and now it’s learning how to play games from scratch, writing text, writing code, and more. As a result, it’s also time for us to start talking more about “machine with minds.”

This talk will also hypothesise about what it means for a computer (and you) to be aware, self-aware, to have free will, and to feel like we do, i.e. to have a mind. It combines research in Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, even and some Philosophy of Mind.

The speaker has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence (including Cognitive Science and Neuroscience) from UNSW. They have written and published research and conference papers on AI. They have provided advice and guidance to AI startups, and to organisations keen to use AI to improve their operations.

ANTI-FRAGILE People, Teams, Software and Businesses: Thriving in a volatile and unpredictable world!

Our lives, our work, our software, and our world are becoming more volatile and unpredictable than they have ever been before, often due to improvements in technology and networking that make everything more connected and more reactive. Things are fragile and breaking. So what do we need to do?

The answer is to embrace anti-fragility!

Antifragile systems, which are the exact opposite of fragile systems, thrive on volatility and stress. They don’t just survive it, they get better as a result of significant stressors and unexpected events. They are much more than just robust and resilient systems (that we currently tend to focus on building).

The term and concept was first defined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, an influential and controversial author and former options trader and risk analyst. There are many examples of antifragile systems in nature, and naturally developed systems, but so far we haven’t widely focused on designing antifragile teams, software, and businesses.

This talk will explain the key concepts in antifragility and antifragile systems. You will learn how to be more antifragile yourself and the principles and practices you can follow to design teams, software systems, and businesses that will not only survive in these crazy times but will get stronger and better as a result.

This talk is essential for everyone wanting to not just to survive but to thrive in the world going forward.

Antifragility, FTW!

Ashley Aitken

Business IS & IT | Enterprise App Development | Startups & Disruptive Innovation | Professional Training & Coaching