Artificial Intelligence is the next big opportunity for cities. That was the unanimous agreement at a future-focused panel featuring Apple’s Data Scientist, Mohammad Shokoohi-Yekta; Dr Mazen Melibari, AI Lead, MiSK Innovation; Renil Paramel, Senior Partner, Strategy of Things; Megha Kumar, Research Director, IDC MEA; and Andrey Belozerov, Strategy and Innovation Advisor to CIO, Moscow, at Day Three of GITEX 2018.
Taking to the stage to discuss ‘AI in your city: An apocalypse or the next business opportunity?’, the power-packed panel highlighted how the AI we experience today is still at an early stage and set for further transformations. Calling AI ‘the most beautiful concept today’, Shokoohi-Yekta highlighted how the technology is not just about saving companies money, but also saving lives, ultimately adding a lot of convenience to people’s lives.
Talking about innovative solutions in San Mateo, California, Paramel highlighted how AI technologies activate blowers to push out polluted air when an excessive number of cars are circling in a parking lot looking for a place to park. Recalling the need to ensure the highest levels of crowd safety at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Belozerov commended the city of Moscow for using AI-powered cameras for security, preventing unwanted elements from entering stadiums.
Concluding the discussion, the panellists reiterated that people don’t need to worry about their safety or jobs. AI will ultimately create efficiencies and move redundant jobs to machines. For aspiring Smart Cities, AI will simplify tasks and be complementary to the roles humans play in government and city-wide operations. The next step in the AI evolution will be in showing people how these technologies will work, thereby transforming cities, lives and businesses.
Zurich Insurance showcases award winning AI-based cognitive technology to revolutionise claims programme
Gero Gunkel, Group AI Lead, Zurich Insurance Company, delved into the Swiss company’s award-winning cognitive solutions that leverage AI algorithms to make decisions like a human brain; analysing text to understand the meaning, structure and logic of policies.
In his discussion, Gunkel illustrated how innovative technologies can be harnessed to improve business performance to ultimately improve the end value to the customers. The company’s cognitive technology enhances risk prevention by quickly assessing and resolving deviations from customers’ expectations and improves service by allowing underwriters to conduct deeper, more value-adding risk insights.
During his address, Gunkel spoke about Zurich Insurance’s first project in 2017 where they deployed AI in deciding personal injury claims and reviewing medical reports.
“It helped us cut down processing time from 58 minutes to five seconds and helped us free up 40,000 work hours per year,” said Gunkel.
While everybody talks about what AI can do, Gunkel felt that we tend to exaggerate the progress we are actually making and end up creating hugely inflated expectations. Talking about what AI cannot do, he said that machines need exponentially more data to analyse information, compared to humans who are better at taking decisions with the information they have.
“Machines need to have a robust decision-making algorithm as they can be easily confused – the object recognition and scene understanding is also not the same,” said Gunkel.
Saudi Arabia ripe for disruption as entrepreneurial experts heap praise on the Kingdom as a hotbed for exciting startups
Saudi Accelerator Day got underway at GITEX Future Stars with panellists from three of the Kingdom’s leading investment and research firms declaring the country one of the GCC’s prime launchpads for startups.
Discussing ‘Investing in Disruptive Opportunities in Saudi Arabia’, Waleed AlBalla, Partner, Saudi Technology Ventures (STV); Omar Almajdouie, Founding Partner, Raed Ventures, Salman T. Jaffrey, Chief Investment Officer, Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, and Sultan Bin Khaled, Head of Investments, TAQNIA .
Almajdouie said: “The most common thing that we are seeing in some amateur entrepreneurs is overpromising, which is not really correct when approaching investors. What they should convince us about is how they think the market can adopt what they are proposing and also be able to convince the more old-school and traditional clients to come to their new model. This is the key thing.”
Jeffry added: “A lot of startups are overly concerned about valuation and they need to have a sense of long-term picture especially in a market like the Middle East where their exit may take longer than anticipated. It’s important for them to see the bigger picture.”
ASOS’s Brian McBride insists evolution is key in the disruption revolution
Brian McBride, the former chairman of ASOS and brains behind Amazon’s takeover of the UK marketplace, has issued a stark warning to customer-focused industries in the tech age – evolve or die.
Speaking at GITEX Future Stars’ digital marketing conference, McBride illustrated how disruption is affecting every industry, with more now almost constantly expected – especially across how businesses communicate with customers. He insisted firms simply cannot afford to miss out.
He said: “Look at what Netflix and Amazon have done to the traditional content TV industry. It is happening everywhere and if you look at the pace of it, it is just going to accelerate so there is no option to stand still. My message to you is that you are going to have to evolve or your business will end up dying.
“There is no doubt that tech disruption is dramatically increasing the demise of big companies out there. The average company last year was estimated to live 60 years, this year the average is 20 years. The life of the company is getting compressed by this disruption.
“There is no middle way and you cannot stand still. You have to evolve.”