AI a must for the benefit of society

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AI a must for the benefit of society
Reza Khorshidi, chief data scientist at AIG; Richard Vdovjak, principal scientist for data science and AI at Royal Philips; Abhijit Akerkar, head of AI business integration at Lloyds Banking Group; and Dr Scott Nowson, AI lead at PwC Middle East, during a panel discussion at Artelligence.

Dubai - Right usage and education of AI and machine learning are very important because they would massively transform every aspect.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 5 Sep 2019, 7:00 PM

Artificial intelligence (AI) should not be used just for the sake of it but for the benefits of society, industry executives said at a forum on Wednesday.
"AI is there not just for the sake of AI but to benefit all of us, the entire society. AI should be used to replace boring jobs and instead allow people to do interesting jobs," said James Dening, vice-president for Europe at Automation Anywhere.
Addressing Artelligence - The Artificial Intelligence Forum, hosted by Khaleej Times in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review GCC on Wednesday, he emphasised that the Gulf region is very important for the growth and development AI.
"Rather than being treated just another technology, there is a sustained focus on this new-age technology in this region."
But he stressed that right usage and education of AI and machine learning is very important because it would massively transform every aspect, whether it is in retail, healthcare, manufacturing and other sectors.
He pointed that around 20 per cent of any white-collar workforce will be digital workers while 50 per cent of all office-based human workers will have digital assistants.
"If you're a legacy company, you will have competitors that are natively digital in just few years," he said in a stark warning to companies not embracing new-age technologies. "As a business leader, how to make sense of the data and use it to make decisions is very important. Data is usually in an unfriendly and unstructured format and that is where AI comes in," he informed the audience.
Dr Scott Nowson, AI lead at PwC Middle East, predicted that AI will contribute $320 billion to Middle East GDP by 2030. "The overhyped media coverage is helping accelerate the AI conversion within companies and governments. Saudi Arabia announced AI initiative so this level of engagement is going to take AI to the next level in the region," Nowson said.
Rahul Misra, vice-president for applications for Gulf countries at Oracle, said new-age technologies such as machine learning, blockchain and AI have the power to change and impact the way people and businesses interact with each other.
"The future that we are talking about is already here. AI and its impact is already in play and it is integral to our lives," he said, adding that the digital market could add $95 billion per year to the Middle East's annual GDP by 2020.
Adrian Ewer, vice-president and general manager for the MEA at Blue Prism, also addressed the forum about connectivity and robotics process automation.

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