AI to lead pandemic recovery


A visitor at the Rig booster at the Gitex 2020 exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Photo by Shihab
A visitor at the Rig booster at the Gitex 2020 exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Photo by Shihab

Dubai - The pandemic, experts say, has shown that technology is key to driving business continuity and long-term success


Rohma Sadaqat

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Published: Thu 10 Dec 2020, 2:09 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Dec 2020, 2:10 PM

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a critical role in aiding economies in their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, experts highlighted at the Gitex 2020 exhibition.

“AI has come to the fore in 2020 due to its successful application in combating the spread of the novel coronavirus,” said Dr. Mohammed Yaqub, assistant professor at Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. “From research into vaccines to faster diagnoses, AI-based technologies have elevated the healthcare, scientific and research sectors by providing new tools to augment current capabilities. This is not just helping in the fight against Covid-19, but also accelerating solutions in current and future healthcare problems.”

Key sectors that have benefited from the investment in AI include the healthcare and education sectors. Moving forward, Yaqub said that both sectors will continue to see greater investments especially as the technology develops and different institutions set targets for themselves. One key point for the future, he stressed, has to revolve around teaching students about the technology early on.

“The government of the UAE understands that there is still lots of work to be done to create sustainable solutions,” he said. “We have to look at providing the right services in a cost-effective way. We need to introduce AI to students in school because early education plays a big role in the acceptability of a technology as well as training the proper talent for the workforce of the future.”

Fady Richmany, director and GM – UAE, Dell Technologies, said that digital cities are built on a foundation of robust technology and flexible IT infrastructures and that the UAE has always been at the forefront of adopting advanced technologies to become a global hub of innovation and drive wider economic growth.

“With AI specifically, the UAE seeks to be a major hub for developing AI techniques and legislation with the world’s first Ministry of Artificial Intelligence being set up in 2018,” he said. “In addition, the UAE National Program for Artificial Intelligence – BRAIN – Building a Responsive Artificial Intelligence Nation - is a compilation of resources that highlight the advances in AI and Robotics, with special emphasis on the UAE’s policy objective to become a leading participant in the responsible use of AI and its tools, globally. From health, transportation, utilities, safety, security, education and environment to culture and tourism, the UAE is harnessing the power of AI to build the digital cities of the future.”

The pandemic, he said, has shown that technology is key to driving business continuity and long-term success and more than AI, organisations realised that data is the fuel driving innovation. “So, a confluence of advances in the Edge, IoT, AI, ML and related technologies are delivering the infrastructure, tools and processes that organisations need to become digital enterprises of the future.”

Similarly, Kseniia Starostina, co-founder of MeStar Technology, a Dubai-based technology startup, said: “We live in an age of unprecedented technological transformation and acceleration. While the Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging period that has made many of us feel overwhelmed, it has always been a catalyst for change and self-improvement. By encouraging us to dream big, set new goals and expand our horizons, AI is on track to becoming a game-changer in health, wellbeing and personal development – driven by Dubai-based startups like us at in5.”

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