Day four of GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars hosted fascinating conference sessions with Dr Ben Goertzel, Chairman & Chief Scientist of SingularityNET, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths and Toys ‘R’ Us co-CEO Phillip Raub, as well as honouring leading startup, smart city and retail companies.
“We’re in the midst of major AI transition”: Dr Ben Goertzel
Addressing a full house on the third day of GITEX Technology Week 2019 held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dr. Ben Goertzel, Chairman & Chief Scientist of SingularityNET spoke passionately about the ground-breaking advancements of artificial intelligence. “AGI’s time has finally come,” he said emphasising the unlimited potential of artificial general intelligence.
After breaking down AGI’s historical timeline and the layers of technology behind it, Dr Goertzel was eager to reveal why it was a paramount tool in shaping the future as we know it. Building smart cities, smarter service robots, and even increasing the longevity of human life were some of the many benefits he touched upon, further explaining the critical role that AGI is playing in society today.
Dr. Goertzel, who was also the Chief Scientist & technical lead behind Sophia the Robot added: “We’re in the middle of a transition. We’re transitioning from the narrow AI revolution to an AGI revolution, where AIs can learn, generalise, and reason like people. That will then lead on to superintelligence far beyond the human level.”
The leading AI scientist then explained how SingularityNET, a platform and ecosystem of passionate minds, can be the right tool to achieve this delicate transition. SingularityNET is a pioneering AI project bringing blockchain, machine learning, and AGI technologies together in the world’s decentralised AI network, where anyone in any industry or pursuit can create, share, and monetise AI services at scale.
“The biology narrow AGI, the smart city narrow AGI, and the smart robot AGI are all going to connect together in SingularityNET, the society of minds’ blockchain-based network. And this is how we are going to get the emergence of real human-level general intelligence.”
Photo caption: Dr. Ben Goertzel, Chairman & Chief Scientist of SingularityNET spoke passionately about the ground-breaking advancements of artificial intelligence
Technology, data and personalisation will shape the future of airports
In a discussion at GITEX Technology Week discussing how technology has transformed airport operations, Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, shared insights about people’s perception of airports and how there is so much more complexity than what consumers see.
Griffiths said that Dubai Airports spends a lot of time and effort to make the ground-to-air transition as easy as possible. He highlighted how new airports are often “conceptualised” without taking customers into consideration. He said that Dubai Airports has grew to accommodate 84.9 million passengers last year, without impacting the customer experience.
Dubai Airports remains focused on bringing together great software, information and data, he said, which is then used to create a better service proposition. For example, by analysing real time data on queues, Dubai Airports is able to rapidly implement solutions that will ensure customers have a world-class experience. Griffiths said that these data-centric insights are viewed by the leadership of Dubai to ensure that Dubai Airports is constantly improving its customer service.
Toys ‘R’ Us CEO: innovation essential for competition
Startups are disrupting the retail sector as we know it. These companies are closing the gap between traditional brick-and-mortar services and e-commerce, adapting to an evolving environment, and most importantly, attracting and engaging with more customers.
At a panel discussion hosted on the GITEX Brick-&-Mortar And Beyond stage, experts discussed the disruption of the retail industry, as well as the ways that startups are intensifying competition with their innovative approaches.
Phillip Raub, Co-Founder & President of retail-as-a-service company, b8TA, and Co-CEO at Toys ‘R’ Us, said, “Innovation has to be embedded within the DNA of a company. Companies have to ensure that the whole business strongly believes in innovation; get employees to understand that they ought to break through barriers to change and adapt, and to accommodate this growing marketplace. The only way is through innovation.”
Paul Kolacz, Co-Founder & CEO of IAMBOT Inc., a platform dedicated to creating solutions that automate interactions between a business and its customers, said, “As we launched our channel, we had one mission; to prove that brick-and-mortar is not dead. You just had to evolve the business model, way of thinking; it’s about experiential retail – coming in, engaging hands-on, tactic experience.”
Lisen Almgren, Head of Soundry & In Store Music at Epidemic, a technology company disrupting the music industry, said, “Companies should not look at offline and online as competitors, but rather breed off of each other. Take a closer look at the consumers worldwide. They are Gen-Z, who are consuming what and when they want, constantly online and in search for the ultimate experience. For this reason, brick-and-mortar need to change and adapt to this new generation in an innovative manner.”
Innovators in retail, smart cities and startups receive prestigious GITEX Awards
GITEX honoured a selection of the most innovative companies across hotly contested smart city, retail and startup categories.
Hosted on the Brick-&-Mortar And Beyond stage, the Best Retail Consumer award recognised retailers, and the Best Consumer Experience Award was won by JPOD, an augmented reality skin sensor holographic solution.
The Best Tech collaboration award, recognised partnerships between retailers and technology providers and was won by Saudi-based Herfy Food Services, who were recognised for their solution developed in collaboration with SAP. Sajan Nair, IT Director of Herfy Food Services said, “We are thrilled to have be awarded with Best Tech-collaboration award. GITEX is indeed the perfect platform to give us visibility to the market.”
The Smart City awards were presented to cities that have exhibited innovative concepts in the past year, with a focus on sustainable, integrated development. The Smart Idea Award went to Advanced Electronics Company for their Smart Mosque Solution. “We are glad that GITEX has taken competency among tech and solution developers to a whole new level by introducing this award,” said Abdularahman Al Mahmoud, VP, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Advanced Electronics Company. “To us, this has been a great opportunity to showcase our journey of improving the solution we developed; especially that the concept has been implemented at a mosque in Riyadh, helping us in enhance the experience of worshippers and entities that manage mosques. We believe that GITEX is the best place for global tech developers to meet and network.”
The Smart Mobility award was won by CitiCAP LAHTI. “We are very proud and honored that the judges named our project as a future-oriented solution for smart cities and mobility. GITEX is the key tech event of the region,” said Bela Batizi-Pocsi, Manager of Sales, Business Development at MOPRIM LTD, a key partner partner of CitiCAP LAHTI.
The GITEX Startup awards were presented to startups who have shown remarkable development over the last 12 months based on growth, innovation and impact with their product and services.
The Startup of the Year award was won by Nayan Technologies. “This award is a testament to all the work my team has done, so it’s not my award, it’s my teams,” Jayant Ratti, Founder and Managing Director at Nayan Technologies, UAE. “I would like to thank all the investors, partners like Dubai Police, and GBM in the region. We did not expect to win. We are extremely excited about the turnout of the event and GITEX this year has been phenomenal.”
The Tech for Good award went to Biel Glasses. “We are really proud to be here because GITEX is one of the main events in the region in terms of high technology and in terms of attendance,” Ana Guasch Seculi, Advisor, Biel Glasses, said. “I am really happy to have received this award as I believe it will open doors not only for funding but also to improve our technology and networking.”