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Special: AI will cement its place across various industries

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 23, 2020 | Last updated on September 23, 2020 at 06.51 am
A human-centered approach to ethical AI will be responsible for driving growth across many sectors

(Photo: Alamy)

Experts noted that agile data collection and research is necessary to meet the needs of the hour.

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will only increase across various industries as more and more organisations look to adopting the technology to improve their effectiveness and efficiency, experts said at the third edition of Artelligence - The Artificial Intelligence Forum.

Presented by Khaleej Times, the event brought together various experts to highlight the latest in AI technology as well as steps that governments are taking to ensure its safe and ethical use. The event was organised with the help of several sponsors including Darktrace as the AI Cybersecurity Partner; Denodo as the Gold Sponsor; SAS as the AI & Analytics Partner; Oracle as the Technology Partner; Dell Technologies as the Enterprise Technology Partner; and Elixir Group as the Technology Investment Partner.

Alexy Sidorov, chief evangelist, Denodo, UAE, spoke about the importance of clean, timely, and well-organised data, which is the core of Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics. Enterprise Data Fabric, he explained, is an innovative way of managing and connecting disparate sources of data to create a quantum layer of the information.

However, he noted that many organisations are still hesitant to adopt a new data framework as long as their old technology works. "If they want to build their new technology capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence, then they will need to make the transition."

Benedict Dellot, head of AI Monitoring at the Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation, UK, also spoke about various challenges that policymakers face when it comes to governing new technologies. These include cutting through the hype of the technology, and managing difficult tradeoffs, such as the competing desire to collect more data with the need to protect the privacy of citizens.

"Policymakers could benefit from more timely information about how data-driven technology is developing and what it is capable of. That in turn requires researchers to be more agile in how they investigate issues, continually updating policymakers with the latest evidence to help them make better decisions," he said.

A key challenge revolves around the malicious use of AI technology. "Many experts are now concerned about the spread of deepfake videos, which allow people to create altered videos of politicians, celebrities and others. Although it's worth emphasising that most deepfakes are still low quality and can be easily identified."

Matthias Schindler, global head of AI, BMW Group, Germany, spoke about how BMW Group has brought AI to the shop floor and in their production plants.

"At the BMW Group, we believe that technology serves people," he said. "Currently, we are helping to reduce boring and repetitive tasks with the use of AI."

He also highlighted how the company had taken a human-centered approach to AI and is using real time AI to control quality in the press shop. This includes using AI to check if all the parts are in order before assembly at the production plant.

Schindler also noted that BMW Group is committed to open source, which is why the group shares its AI algorithms that are used in production. "AI and open source are highly connected. We use AI to shorten quality control loops, and system integration in the BMW production system; anyone that wants to learn can check out and adopt the algorithm since it is open source."

There is a decidedly competitive advantage for firms in prioritizing Ethical AI, said Hubert Etienne, AI ethics researcher, Facebook, France.

He explained that governments should promote good practices, and inform their population about new technology and the consequences of the use of that technology. If they fail in doing so, then they leave the population vulnerable. Similarly, firms looking to adopt AI solutions should ensure that they are collecting the data in an ethical manner.

"We need full transparency in data collection," he said. "Also, an organisation should be seen as taking responsibility from the very beginning in order to build trust."

Dr. Danny Ruta, AI clinical lead, Guy's Cancer Centre, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, UK, also raised the question of whether regulation should be allowed to stifle innovation. AI technology has to reflect the values of the country where it is being deployed, and governments have to play a part in setting an ethical framework. This is vital in sectors such as healthcare and insurance, he said.

"If organisations don't get consent from all the parties that are involved when it comes to gathering data and research, then there will be a backlash that will result in stifled innovation," he said.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.


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