By Ludmilla Figueiredo / Entrepreneur ME - Image Credit: Shutterstock
If the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity -MENA's annual gathering for the creative communications industry- was all about big data and influencers in 2017, the topics discussed at the just-concluded Dubai Lynx 2018 were all surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI). It seems that the market picks on the buzz words very easily but reality is that AI is here to stay- and I was specifically intrigued by this week's announcement of Salma.
In case you are wondering who or what it is, Salma is an Arabic Siri-like AI assistant that Jordan-based startup Mawdoo3.com introduced at Dubai Lynx 2018. In my opinion, Salma is a worldwide promise as it will bridge the gap between different dialects of Arabic language for Arabic natural language processing. If you heard of Google Home, Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, you know who Salma is.
I find Salma to be very important for the Middle East because it gives priority to Arabic language. Whilst big global players advance in their technology and sophisticate its enhancements, it has not been properly done in Arabic yet. Startups in the region are just scratching the surface with their involvement in AI, and especially when they cater to Arabic language. Many of them are doing really well. For example, the UAE-based Narrativa is always on my radar when it comes to delivering AI solutions.
At the event, I also met a couple of other companies which are really tackling interesting parts of AI, such Intuition Intelligence thaat can predict what digital content and topics can go viral, what movies will have impact and so on. This has a tremendous effect on media budgeting and decision making.