Fear need not be a factor in tech development

Let us face reality. Yes, I am abreast with the latest in technology, and how IoT and AI will actually impact lives.



By Mustafa Al Zarooni

Published: Thu 8 Mar 2018, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Mar 2018, 8:21 PM

Technology is developing at such a fast pace that it has become a concern to people - government officials, businesses, and even societies. Content curation, influencers, sales funnels, growth hacking, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and many more are 'life-changing' terms, not so familiar with the common man, who fear such changes will impact their lives. And they live in fear, imagining, rather reckoning a world where life in itself will become a challenge. They believe their methods will become obsolete at work, that social media will isolate them, that families will get affected and that they will not be able to enjoy their privacy. In short, fear takes over. But this is not often the case.
Let us face reality. Yes, I am abreast with the latest in technology, and how IoT and AI will actually impact lives. I was present at three editions of the Mobile World Congress, the last of which was held in Barcelona, and the biggest of its kind worldwide. And I was fortunate to be first party to the 'telecommunication' revolution.
Of one thing I am clear. Our fears are misplaced, exaggerated. We are apprehensive about robots doing tasks, rather replacing us within a few years. But these are just fears, misplaced as usual.
In real life things are just normal. Yes, technology is developing, but at a pace we can keep up with. The concept is being hyped up, often by media. Sometimes, they are only projections of the real picture. Technological development depends on how fast inventions occur and how many can invest in them considering the risks involved.
The development of the UAE especially in the economic sense has enabled it to invest in the latest in technology. And nobody here seems technologically challenged. Most people own a smart-phone, TV and a car.  The UAE has also secured the first place - the second time in a row - in the installation of wide range fibre optics internet network.
The country has succeeded in covering 94.3 per cent of its homes with fibre optics network technology, which enables it to have the fastest internet connection across the world. In fact, we were the forerunner in setting up a specialised internet free zone back in 1999. Add to that the colleges of technology instituted a long time ago. With time, the UAE has become an attractive destination for those willing to invest and work in this sector. The country has potential, with immense manpower and sophisticated infrastructure in terms of modern and fast networks, which has placed us on the map of technological economies.
Emiratis should be encouraged to enter the field, they should be made to understand and engage in developing technology. Innovation centres and business incubators should be adopted by government and semi-government entities. The country should rely on talent within instead of blindly following prototypes brought from outside.
malzarooni@khaleejtimes.com
 


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