Middle East


Artificial Intelligence Powering Boom in Israel's Digital Health Sector

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TEL AVIV, Israel, 16 April 2019--Israel's reams of electronic medical records –health data on its population of around 8.9 million people-- are proving fruitful for a growing number of digital health startups training algorithms to do things like early detection of diseases and produce more accurate medical diagnoses. According to a new report by Start-Up Nation Central, the growth in the number of Israeli digital health startups –537 companies, up from 327 in 2014--has drawn in new investors, including Israeli VCs who have never previously invested in healthcare. This has driven financing in the sector to a record $511M in 2018, up 32% year on year. By the first quarter of 2019 the amount raised was already at $214M. Of the $511M, over 50% ($285M) went to companies in decision support and diagnostics which rely heavily on data crunching.


bcr vidcast 107: AI governance, what are AI and ML, and the future is not here yet - Better Communication Results

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Vikram Mahidhar reminds us all that AI is only as good as the humans supervising it and programming it. The biases and artefacts that come out of the processing are reflective of the biases programmed in at the beginning. A program trained to recognise totalled car bodies for insurance purposes, for example, will need close supervision of its decision-making outputs, for regulatory and consumer confidence and acceptance of the decision. There is a call and a growth in a new class of AI--one that is explainable, and that builds trust by providing evidence. Vikram also reminds us that a governance strategy is key to engendering trust in our organisation, processes and people.


G7 pushes North Korea to continue denuclearization talks with U.S.

The Japan Times

DINARD, FRANCE - Foreign ministers of Group of Seven nations on Saturday pushed North Korea to continue denuclearization negotiations with the United States while vowing to maintain pressure on Pyongyang to encourage it to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. In a communique issued after a two-day meeting in Dinard, western France, the ministers also expressed serious concern about the situation in the East and South China seas -- a veiled criticism of China's militarization of outposts in disputed areas of the South China Sea and its attempts to undermine Japan's control of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The Senkakus are administered by Japan, but claimed by China and Taiwa, which call them the Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively. During the meeting, some G7 members touched on China's expanding global ambitions through its signature Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project, a Japanese official said. But the communique makes no reference to the initiative in an apparent effort to demonstrate unity among the group.


The Construction Industry Needs a Robot Revolution

WIRED

In debates about the future of work, technology is often portrayed as the villain. One recent study calculated that 38 percent of jobs in the United States were at a "high risk" of being automated during the next decade. In the construction industry, predictions are especially dire: estimates of robot-fueled joblessness range from 24 percent in Britain to 41percent in Germany. Borja García de Soto is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), a Global Network Assistant Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and Director of NYUAD's S.M.A.R.T. Construction Research Group. There is no question that automation will change the way people work, but for some sectors of the economy, change is long overdue.


Dubai digital bank Liv launches AI-powered chatbot Olivia

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Liv., the lifestyle digital bank by Emirates NBD and the fastest growing bank in the UAE, has partnered with US-based Kasisto, to introduce Olivia, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. It added that the chatbot can help customers get quick answers on a range of services and can also answer queries on how much customers have spent last month on groceries or in restaurants, helping them plan and manage their finances better. Olivia can also seamlessly hand over the conversation to the Liv. Chatbots are AI-enabled computer programs designed to simulate human communication, allowing them to answer customer queries in real time. "Virtual assistants are playing an increasingly important part in our daily lives and our new chatbot Olivia will offer millennial customers a new way to engage with and receive information and instant insights on their spending and finances," said Jayash Patel, head of Liv.


Abu Dhabi startup is using AI to transform how kids learn

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That's the new reality for many classrooms across Abu Dhabi, where a company is using artificial intelligence to create a new learning experience. Established four years ago, Alef Education has managed to get its digital education platform into dozens of schools in Abu Dhabi, as well as Al Ain, another city in the emirate. Alef has worked closely with the government of the United Arab Emirates to bring the platform to 25,000 students at 57 public schools. It is also used in two private schools in Abu Dhabi. And the startup has made its first move into the United States, where its technology is used in two private schools in New York.


Dubai is world's top city for foreign investments in artificial intelligence, robotics

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According to the law published in the Official Gazette, a foreign direct investment unit is to be established in the Ministry of Economy. This will be "responsible for proposing foreign direct investment policies in the country and determining its priorities, and setting up associated plans and programmes, and work on their implementation following their approval by the UAE cabinet."


9 Artificial Intelligence Startups in Lebanon - Nanalyze

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With roughly the same population as the State of Missouri, Lebanon is a small country of six million people that borders Syria and Israel. Due to its location, the country has been subjected to a multitude of political and religious factions inhabiting the state. People frequently fight over whose invisible friend is better, and the country has faced long periods of instability including wars with Israel, civil wars and internal conflicts, and most recently some spillover from the Syrian war – which means lots of Syrians flying around on motorcycles. All of this turmoil has contributed to structural problems in the economy such as chronic fiscal deficits that have increased Lebanon's debt-to-GDP ratio to the third highest in the world. Economic growth has slowed to 1-2% over the past decade which constrains government investments in necessary infrastructure improvements.


Five Times Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy Championed AI

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As political parties gear up for the 2019 general elections, Analytics India Magazine walks down the memory lane and takes stock of the times when leaders were quite gracious in praising and educating the mass about the importance of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. After his tumultuous election win, the Janata Dal (Secular) supremo, HD Kumaraswamy has stepped into the shoes of his predecessor with ease in Karnataka. In fact, Kumaraswamy has been quite vocal about the role of AI in shaping the future of the state's economy. On turning the state capital into a global innovation hub: With the government playing a crucial role in bringing various stakeholders from across the country under one roof, state-sponsored Bengaluru Tech Summit has played a vital role in ushering innovation and impact. While addressing a press meet the CM said, "Bengaluru has emerged as one of the global innovation hubs in the league of Tokyo in Japan, Silicon Valley in the US and Tel Aviv in Israel. The summit will provide a platform for knowledge sharing on emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Blockchain," Kumaraswamy said.


Agri-tech company wins AI Innovation Challenge 2019 - Agriculture Post

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CropIn, a leading SaaS solutions provider to agribusinesses globally, has won the AI Innovation Challenge 2019, organised by the Government of Maharashtra and NITI Aayog, in association with NASSCOM. The challenge was held earlier this month at Taj Vivanta, Mumbai. The AI Innovation Challenge is a platform for AI-based organisations to showcase their solutions and to collaborate with the Government of Maharashtra on a proof of concept. In January 2019, Government of Maharashtra had invited applications from enthusiastic and passionate organisations from across India, that have developed artificial intelligence (AI) based solutions for social problems, to collaborate and partner with the Government in areas that include, but are not limited to agriculture, healthcare, education, smart mobility and water management. Speaking on the challenge, Krishna Kumar, CEO & Founder, CropIn said, "We are happy to win the AI Innovation Challenge 2019 conferred by the Government of Maharashtra. This will be a great opportunity for us to work for a social cause for the farmers in Maharashtra. Making agriculture more predictable is the need of the hour and only technological disruptions can create impact at scale."