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UAE leads GCC in adopting Fourth industrial revolution

UAE leads GCC in adopting Fourth industrial revolution
‘Ai Everything Summit 2019’ kicked off in Dubai on 30 April

Mubasher: The current industrial revolution will not include organisations that do not adapt by using new digital technologies, including the internet of things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Such entities are expected to fail to be ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), with forecasts that two-thirds of their markets will be gone by 2022.

The World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs Report’ predicts that leaders and organisations will eventually need to understand and learn to harness four major technologies; the 5G network, cloud technology, big data, and AI.

One of the most significant of these technologies is AI into which leading companies have started to direct their investments. In January 2019, the co-founder of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, told Bloomberg Television that the company mulls at least 10 billion Chinese yuan ($1.5 billion) investment on artificial intelligence (AI) and smart devices over the coming five years.

As for the GCC and the Middle East, the UAE has become the pioneer in launching more than one initiative in the 4IR and its technology, starting in 2017 when the UAE became the first nation on Earth to create a government position for the development of AI; the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence with its current minister Omar Al Olama.

With several sectors adopting the 4IR eventually, some have concerns over AI taking over current jobs, Regional Director and Head of Research and Valuation at Colliers International MENA, Ian Albert, told Mubasher that “The debate over the impact of 4IR on all economies varies between 10% and 50% of current jobs being partially or completely taken over by some form of AI.”

Introducing technology to our daily routine has become a necessity, especially with the fact that technology is embedded in everything we do, improving our lifestyles, and the way we experience the world.

The World Economic Forum insight report said that almost all organisations in the future will be digital, and 60% of all global gross domestic product (GDP) will come from digital sources by 2022.

On 27 March, the lifestyle digital bank by Emirates NBD, Liv., announced its agreement with the US-based Kasisto, creators of the KAI Banking artificial intelligence (AI) platform for finance, to introduce Liv.’s conversational AI-based chatbot ‘Olivia’, through which the customers of Emirates NBD’s Liv. can get all their account information and insights on their spending as if the users are texting a friend.

On 28 April this year, Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) and China’s Sogou Inc. jointly announced the development of the first AI News Anchor that will present news in Arabic and English on ADM’s channels.

For such importance of AI for the economy, the UAE held ‘Ai Everything Summit 2019’ which kicked off in Dubai on 30 April and lasted for two days.

Dubai Design District (d3) is a fine example of implementing the concept of AI technology today, as d3 aims to engage, inspire and enable emerging talent, and educate the next generation about the power and importance of all forms of design. It also provides a platform to showcase Middle Eastern creative talent to a larger, global audience.

In April, the UAE government has opened the Emirates Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) in Dubai, in cooperation with the World Economic Forum (WEF), to be the first of its kind in the region and the fifth on a global level, as part of the WEF’s centres which aim at developing future solutions and transforming them into opportunities.

The concept of self-driving means of transportation, known as autonomous vehicles, has been talked about for several years. Therefore, in June 2017, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has signed an agreement with German’s VOLOCOPTER Company to launch the first AI vehicle capable of carrying two passengers.


(Contributed by Ingy ElSafy)