HomeChannelsFeaturedAfrica to be digital hub

Africa to be digital hub

Arabian Post Staff

Africa is set to power the world’s digital transformation with its huge young talent base powering an offshore services export revolution with Egypt in pole position and Ghana set to lead on bridging the digital gender divide, day one GITEX GLOBAL Leaders Vision Summit in Dubai heard today.

Speaking on the Africa focus opening day of the inaugural Leaders Vision summit, H.E Dr. Amr S. Talaat, Egypt’s Minister of Communications & IT, revealed the country’s ITC Vision 2030 aims to transform the nation into a world-leading digital services exporter.

Dr. Talaat said the vision was already producing results with 3,000 software engineers now exporting services to Europe’s automotive industry with more to come. He said 2,500 electronic engineers were now working in government design hubs which are collaborating with 50 companies using the hub labs as talent incubators.

“By 2030 Egypt will be a digital services export centre backed by available talent,” he said.

In order for AI to truly improve the lives of citizens, it must be accessible to everybody, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Economy and Remote Working Applications, said in his keynote address.

“AI is in every single sector and is collecting all of this incredible data. This wealth of data needs to be protected and it needs to be optimised so that we get the services we need. Ultimately, why do we improve technology? It is to improve the lives of every single person,” HE Minister Al Olama said.

“But we need to answer some questions. Questions of ethics, privacy, the distribution of this technology so everyone has access to it. Cities will benefit the most from AI, but it shouldn’t just be cities, it needs to be everybody. People in rural areas, people living in suburbs. Everyone should have access to this new technology if we are going to improve lives.”

Daniela Rus, Director of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT, insisted robots and AI are our friends not enemies and will enable more creativity among humans.

In her session ‘Empowering Digital Cities with Robots and AI – Opportunities and Perils, on day one of the Digital Cities x AI Conference at GITEX Global, Rus outlined the distinct benefits of advanced technology.

“It is all about using what people are best at with what robots are best at to answer some of the biggest challenges facing us today,” said Rus.

“People question the future of the workforce, but I’m very optimistic. There are issues the workforce is facing but we can’t stop advancing technology. We shouldn’t be scared by computers and robots. The point is that there are aspects that can be improved by machines but only where machines operate. There are so many tasks we do, that machines can’t do.”

“Give machines the operational ‘boring’ tasks. That will free up people to more creative, do more critical thinking, creative thinking. It’s a lot easier to get a robot into Mars than to clean your desktop.”

No comments

leave a comment