Why AI is dawning in the Middle East
Artificial intelligence is changing everything – as well as revitilising telecommunications in the region.
AI is a powerful engine that drives industry digital transformation. The fundamental characteristics of the technology is its ability to autonomously expand its capabilities by sensing, understanding, acting and learning. This characteristic is creating new experiences across industries and organisations, from computer-aided diagnosis techniques to financial transactions, smart logistics, and more. AI is revitalising industry growth and profitability; it is also having a social impact by improving the delivery of public goods like healthcare, environmental sustainability, and education.
To maximise the potential of AI, at Huawei we are committed to investing in machine learning that is data and power-efficient (i.e., less data, computing, and power needed), secure and trusted, and automated and autonomous. We believe these characteristics have enormous potential to maximise efficiency and open new venues of growth and innovation.
We made a major breakthrough at Huawei Connect 2018, which was the stage for the global launch of our revolutionary AI chipset series. Our AI portfolio now includes our new Ascend series of AI chips – the world’s first AI IP and chip series designed for a full range of scenarios. The portfolio also includes new products and cloud services that are built on Ascend chip capabilities. By launching our full-stack AI portfolio in the region, we aim to provide pervasive intelligence whose impact will reverberate cross all vertical sectors, and build a fully connected, intelligent world.
As president of Huawei Middle East, I’m proud to say that this region was one of the first globally to import these chips. Just a week after our rotating chairperson Eric Xu announced the global launch of Huawei’s AI strategy, as well as our full-stack, allscenario AI portfolio, we introduced these products here in the Middle East on the sidelines of GITEX 2018.
Our partners and customers responded with great enthusiasm to the launch. We were honoured to be joined by prominent industry experts and government leaders at our AI conference, held on the sidelines of Huawei Middle East’s 3rd Annual Innovation Day at GITEX. The attendees included the guest of honour and keynote speaker, H.E. Engineer Mothanna Hamdan Gharaibeh, Jordan’s Minister of ICT, and other leaders who came to strategise on the best path forward to bringing AI to the Middle East.
We organised the conference to foster a discussion on how the Middle East can best position itself to benefit from the imminent arrival of AI, and the strong interest of key players is a highly encouraging sign. Clearly the regional leadership sees the pressing need to develop a national AI strategy, and recognises that AI is vital to the success of national development plans and visions to become diversified, knowledge-based economies.
I firmly believe that the Middle East has all the ingredients it needs to be successful in the age of AI: a young, talented population, visionary and forward-thinking leadership, and a drive to innovate and develop. Again and again we have seen that our partners and customers in the region recognise the value of adopting technology to drive growth, and we are confident that AI will bring nothing but continued progress and success to organisations in the region.
Humanity should be proud of the progress we have made towards AI in the past years, but there is still a way to go. To continuously drive forward the AI industry, we have pledged US$140 million in AI talent education. Globally, we just launched our AI Developer Enablement Programme, and we will soon bring the programme to this region.
The initiative will help Huawei collaborate with developers, partners, universities, and research institutions. We will use the programme to build a better development ecosystem that can support AI resources, platforms, courses, and joint solutions.
AI-driven technologies promise to transform society in a way not seen since the Industrial Revolution. Naturally, it will take work to get there. All progress requires early explorers to take the first bold steps into the unknown. Yet I am confident that by continuous investment in research and development, and tireless training of ICT talent, we are creating a generation ready to lead humanity into the age of robotics.
AI is an important component of a larger tale of digital transformation. We are living through an epoch in which ICT is impacting every person, home, and organisation, redefining how we live, work, and learn. In this great age, Huawei aspires to be a great company. We want to help humankind take the next stride into a fully connected and intelligent world.
I firmly believe that the Middle East has all the ingredients it needs to be successful in the age of AI: a young, talented population, visionary and forward-thinking leadership, and a drive to innovate and develop.”