Sharjah: Artificial Intelligence experts and professionals from government and private sector entities who are integrating AI systems in their operations have shared insights and real-life examples of the transformative power of AI in driving the economic growth of businesses in various sectors during a forum organised by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) recently at its headquarters.
The Sheraa AI Forum was held in the presence of HE Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police; H.E. Mohammed Bin Taliah, Chief of Government Services of the UAE Government; Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, and a representative of the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence office, Sharjah Police General Managers, Minister’s Office of Artificial Intelligence representative and heads of companies and executives from the government and private sectors. The forum also brought together 150 Emirati youth, entrepreneurs and tech founders to shine light on best practices in the field and the opening of new investment opportunities in the public and private sectors with the ongoing adoption of advanced technologies.
During the event, Sharjah Police and Sheraa startups shared their experiences in utilising AI in their products and solutions, noting the transformative power of AI in driving the economic growth of businesses in various sectors.
Sheraa AI Forum, which is aligned with the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, which includes building work teams to enhance artificial intelligence and formulating joint strategic plans to increase the application of AI mechanisms in various sectors. The forum was organised in partnership with the Minister’s Office of Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Sharjah Police, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Fund, Evoteq, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, American University of Sharjah, and the University of Sharjah.
Supporting smart projects
In a recorded video message, H.E Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, said: “The UAE supports projects and digital economy sectors that utilise AI in its workflow and services, which are aligned with the goals and vision of the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031.”
The Minister added: “Through such forums and programs, we aim to achieve a leading digital economy and to create constructive partnerships between various institutions and entities to develop distinguished digital solutions that raise the quality of life and advance government and private sector services.”
Challenges create opportunities
For his part, HE Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, said: "Despite the diversity of future challenges, AI and machine learning contribute to enhancing services and opportunities in various fields."
He added: "We are ready to collaborate with Sheraa to build AI projects in the security field and its related services and we will provide continuous support until they are live. In constructive collaboration with our partners, our goal is to complement and support efforts to maintain security.”
Youth and inspiration
H.E. Mohammed Bin Taliah, Chief of Government Services of the UAE Government, emphasised that the UAE government under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is supporting a new generation of futuristic and digital governmental services through utilising modern technologies and innovative solutions to accelerate digital transformation and providing best services around the clock to enhance quality of life in the community and forge a brighter future for its citizens, residents and visitors, he added.
Bin Taliah mentined the UAE’s government experience in using biometric fingerprints in the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security smart applicationand the challenges that were faced and how were they manged by restorting to smat solutions which contributed to saving thousands of hours of time for both customers and employees. He stressed the importance of strengthening partnerships and collaborations between government bodies, the public sector, private sector, and the community, especially the youth segment, to support the country’s digital transformation journey to provide advanced serices for all segments of the society.
A gateway to innovation
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: “I would like to extend my gratitude to all our partners for helping us organise this event which highlighted the tangible benefits and efficiency and productivity gains that AI solutions bring to various businesses sectors.”
The Sheraa CEO added: “Today, we stand on the brink of a technological revolution that is evolving at an exponential pace. AI is already all around us; it has the potential to increase the efficiency of our lives even more in the coming years. This will usher in an unprecedented era of innovation as businesses adapt to new models and new patterns of consumer behaviour emerge, requiring agile entrepreneurs and innovators to accelerate ways to serve these needs.”
The CEO emphasised that Sheraa AI Forum was an amazing opportunity for founders, entrepreneurs and youth keen on broadening their knowledge and honing their skills in various aspects of AI and machine learning. Participants also gained insight into real-life applications of AI, the challenges of implementation and ways to eliminate technological barriers.
In a presentation at the forum, Sharjah Police highlighted the organisation’s five incubators that are helping transform 50 ideas into real projects. Sharjah Police showcased products and solutions utilising AI to streamline operations and advance security in the emirate, including smart speed cameras, drones, and unmanned aerial vehicles used in hard-to-reach places.
They also demonstrated the smart traffic patrol equipped with five cameras including one that uses biometrics to identify individuals. It is also equipped with a drone and a landing pad.
During a panel discussion, Nadim Shaikli, Vice President, Technology and Solutions, Evoteq, noted the advanced status of AI applications in the UAE and noted that the country holds a leading status internationally in applying AI in government services.
He emphasised the need to advance expertise and qualified cadres, and research more ways to incorporate AI across sectors to accelerate forward to the advanced state of ‘machine emotional intelligence’.
He pointed out that with exponential developments in the AI sector, humankind has advanced machine intelligence to a level where it can make simple decisions, adding that rapid advancements in the field are paving the way for machines and robots to make more complex decisions.
Describing his vision of the future of AI, he said that the world is on the verge of ‘machine emotional intelligence’ where advanced AI leads to making difficult decisions and implementing them without human intervention, based on the machine's understanding of emotions and external circumstances.
In another panel discussion, speakers including Prof. Abbes Amira, Dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of Sharjah; Dr. Fadi Aloul, Dean of the College of Engineering, American University of Sharjah; and Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President for Public Affairs and Alumni Relations at the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, discussed the importance of keeping scientific courses up-to-date with technical developments, especially AI, and the role of universities in building qualified cadre capable of innovating and devising solutions to challenges based on machine intelligence.
The session also reviewed the efforts and achievements of the three universities in the field of AI, noting the need for AI in healthcare to help identify and cure diseases, in addition to its adoption in the field of arts.
During the forum, two Sheraa startups showcased their solutions and innovation in the AI field. Adnane ElSoussi, CEO of Defuzzy Labs, highlighted how his startup has designed and developed solutions using AI for Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), submersed Remotely Operated Vessels (ROVs), and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). Mohamed Alzarooni, CEO of BeyondX, briefed the attendees on his startup, which provides comprehensive technological solutions to help industry leading companies and individuals achieve greater success through transforming traditional business models to ones that utilize AI through certain recommendations that empower the workforce.