UAE’s optimism on AI at workplace

UAE has developed quite a reputation as the ‘bed of innovation’, and it won’t be long before the implementation of AI takes over the workplaces in the country.

The CEO of Centrigent and the Head of MEA operations at the Michigan Ross School of Business, Jay Srage, said: "We are seeing robotics process automation starting to be deployed across large enterprises like etisalat, Emirates, Adnoc and others. This is the first and necessary step towards AI- and machine learning-driven automation. The top industries that will benefit from such AI-driven automation will be the telecom sector, oil and gas, and transport. We should start to see this shift in the UAE as early as late-2019 and Expo 2020 will be a great showcase of UAE innovation.”

"The UAE has been a global leader as a government to push AI into its economic sectors to drive future growth, and gain higher competitiveness as a global economy. Starting with the inception of the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence, through its implementation across government agencies to improve and streamline customer service, and finally with the establishment of the AI Academy and the UAE AI Council. Now, as solutions are developed by blue-chip tech companies like Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and others, and by disruptive startups and mid-size companies, we are at a stage where the environment of government facilitation and solution availability will drive the adoption across industries."

He had also commented on the discourse of if AI is going to replace a lot of human workers. "Whenever there is disruptive technology, there is a shift in labour skills, which results from the creation of a new economic sector. ATM machines were expected to eliminate bank tellers; however, that did not happen since the job function of the teller has changed as result. AI will have a similar impact. New jobs will be created. Old industry jobs will be eliminated, and those placed in those jobs will undergo a transfer of skills that will allow them to work in different industries. It happened before, it will happen again," added Srage.

According to Khaleej Times, Citrix carried out a survey to take the opinion of the local workforce. The survey results are quite optimistic indeed. 45 percent of the participants think that AI inclusion in workplace will bring positive outcomes in the next five years, while the rest 55 percent thinks it will bring both positive and negative effects. They were also asked about the benefits of AI within the workplace. 47 percent thinks AI will make complex tasks easier for them, while 35 percent said AI will make them free from the most repetitive tasks.

"It is evident that the UAE workforce believes the outlook of AI and robotics within the workplace is a positive one. This is a green light for technology companies to continue to adapt and evolve our solutions that will aid in this transformation," said Ali Kaddoura, UAE country manager at Citrix.

Ali has also expressed his thoughts about the concern of the workers if AI is going to replace them in the workplace. He thinks AI will give the workers more room for creativity.

The Founder and President of FutureCitiesCouncil.org, Dr Oualid Ali, said: "The future is here, if you want to be part of it, you have to take action today and now. Most of the successful nations are the nations that continuously watch the changes and trends of the Vuca [volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous] future. As a futurist and technology watcher, I'm always amazed by the UAE and its futuristic vision and strategies. Today, I think that the UAE is ready for an automated and smart future via its AI strategy under the Ministry of AI. This has put the UAE far ahead comparing, even to the most advanced and developed nations."

"Robots and AI are here, from autonomous car driving us to drones irrigating our farms. If we don't prepare out strategy today, we will face the black swan later and sooner. We live in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the fifth one is coming soon. In this revolution, the technology [especially the digital one] is advancing in an exponential rate. Thus, if you don't transform digitally today, you will die soon. The digital transformation is a must now and businesses have to embrace it, whatever the sector of this business. If you are a new business or startup, let's start digital from now, otherwise, you need to transform. Digital transformation is not only adopting technology only and blindly, it is a full ecosystem from preparing the right culture, the talents and skilled workforce, policies, regulations, etc."


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