Middle East


Orange unveils new five-year grand plan

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With the Essential2020 plan all but complete, Orange has released the details of the Engage2025 strategy to drive growth over the next five years. The new strategy is going to be focused on four key pillars; reinventing the operator business model, accelerating growth in the developing markets and emerging segments, integrate artificial intelligence at the centre of every aspect of the business, and building sustainability goals through the organization. "If I had to summarise Engage2025, Orange's new strategic plan, I would use two words: growth and sustainability," said CEO Stephane Ricard. "The first one is growth. We are going to grow our core business – connectivity – by adding to our competitive edge and by making the most of our network infrastructure. We are also going to foster growth beyond connectivity in Europe thanks to three elements which set us apart from our competitors, namely Africa & the Middle East, B2B IT services and financial services. At Orange we are convinced that in the years ahead strong economic performance will not be possible without exemplary performance on social and environmental issues."


Dubai's unique approach to AI: A city-government launched AI Ethics Self-Assessment Toolkit - Express Computer

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In January of 2019 Smart Dubai launched the city's official principles and guidelines for the ethical implementation of AI. What truly makes Dubai's approach to AI unique is our city-government launched AI Ethics Self-Assessment Toolkit – which allows anyone implementing AI to self-assess their performance against a set of criteria which when taken together assure an ethical approach. The process uses the data from the toolkit to create a positive feedback loop with those using and developing AI. Express Computer spoke to H.E. Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General, Smart Dubai and CEO, Smart Dubai Data. What potential do you see in AI for governance and happiness?


Israel's industry 4.0 Ecosystem map

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As part of running Israel's industry 4.0 innovation hub, we keep a close look at new players, both'in and out of the game'. In the past, we generated an open Google sheet and published a startup map,). This year, we are proud to release the 2019 map and the list of relevant startups (Please add your startup as well!). After gathering great feedback from the previous map, we noticed that manufacturing companies and startups also interested in innovation. Thus we expanded the map to include active technology vendors and enablers, as well as integrators and implementers that active in Israel in the industry 4.0 field.


Real-time music recommendations for new users with Amazon SageMaker Amazon Web Services

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This is a guest post from Matt Fielder and Jordan Rosenblum at iHeartRadio. In their own words, "iHeartRadio is a streaming audio service that reaches tens of millions of users every month and registers many tens of thousands more every day." Personalization is an important part of the user experience, and we aspire to give useful recommendations as early in the user lifecycle as possible. Music suggestions that are surfaced directly after registration let our users know that we can quickly adapt to their tastes and reduce the likelihood of churn. But how do we personalize content to a user that doesn't yet have any listening history?


Applied Radiology Launches New Artificial Intelligence Digital Community

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Guerbet is a pioneer in the contrast-agent field, with more than 90 years' experience, and is a leader in medical imaging worldwide. The company offers a comprehensive range of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and services for diagnostic and interventional imaging, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients. With 8% of revenue dedicated to R&D and more than 200 employees distributed among its centers in France, Israel, and the United States, Guerbet is a substantial investor in research and innovation. Guerbet (GBT) is listed on Euronext Paris (segment B – mid caps) and generated €790 million in revenue in 2018. For more information about Guerbet, please visit http://www.guerbet.com.


Can AI Predict Humanity's Future Events?

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Can artificial intelligence (AI) predict future events? Successful serial entrepreneur, award-winning inventor, scientist, and technology innovator Kira Radinsky, Ph.D., has an expert's point of view and first-hand experience to answer that question. She is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General's high-level panel on digital cooperation that is chaired by Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jack Ma, the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. Radinsky is the Co-Founder, Chairwoman, and Chief Technology Officer of Diagnostic Robotics, a health care artificial intelligence (AI) system with predictive analytics, with locations in Tel-Aviv and New York City. In early November 2019, she successfully raised $24 million in Series A venture capital financing led by Accelmed Ventures with other investors for the two-year-old technology startup.


AI, big data to be used increasingly for energy savings in commercial buildings

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Artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning will increasingly be put to use monitoring the energy performance of buildings and helping owners cut costs, according to Keith Gunaratne, the founder and managing director of technology firm EP&T. Founded in 1993, EP&T specialises in the development of energy conservation technologies in the commercial sector. One of its products, Edge Zeus - an AI and machine-learning platform that allows energy performance to be monitored and controlled through a mobile device – has been deployed in 12 buildings in the portfolio of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group, or ADFG. In one of the buildings – Abu Dhabi's Seaside Tower – the technology has led to a 29 percent reduction in energy consumption and cost savings of over AED 626,000 in a 12-month period. "What we would like to see in the local market is an accommodative environment that fosters the take-up of data science as a solution that remains attractive to the c-suite," Gunaratne said.


Artificial Intelligence Bias, Russia, Fentanyl: RAND Weekly Recap

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This week, we discuss what to do about bias in algorithms; Russia's limits in the Middle East; learning from other countries' experiences with fentanyl; what protests could mean for democracy in the Middle East; how cities can help U.S. diplomacy; and helping U.S. Army special operations forces assess their missions. Earlier this month, a controversy about gender bias in the Apple Card algorithm lit up social media; an outraged tech executive posted about how his credit line was 20 times higher than his wife's, even though the two share all assets. According to RAND's Osonde Osoba, problems like this may become more common as artificial intelligence is used in more kinds of decisionmaking. It's not always possible to pinpoint how a complex algorithm led to a bad outcome, he says. But there are ways for companies to audit algorithms for sexist, racist, biased behaviors.


Could Artificial Intelligence be the answer to economic diversification in the GCC?

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Erratic oil prices in recent years have made economic diversification essential, and AI is an alternate solution. Having made an early start, these states are positioned to become a key player in AI technology. Dividing the Middle East into four main regions, first, the UAE, second, Saudi Arabia, the GCC 4 comprising of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar on third and lastly Egypt, a PWC research expects the Arab states to accrue two percent of the total global benefits in the next ten years. Projected to mark the highest gains, the UAE would get nearly 14 percent on its GDP in 2030 while the kingdom of Saudi Arabia should make over US $135 billion by that time as well, this being nearly 12.4 percent of its GDP. Assigning large budgets for the speedy implementation of AI, these two GCC states have made a major impact.


Bots Outperform Humans if They Impersonate Us

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"How can I help you?" "Hi, I'm calling to book a women's haircut for a client. "Sure, give me one second." "For what time are you looking for around?" The machine assistant never identified itself as a bot in the demo. And Google got a lot of flak for that. They later clarified that they would only launch the tech with "disclosure built in." But therein lies a dilemma, because a new study in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence suggests that a bot is most effective when it hides its machine identity. "That is, if it is allowed to pose as human." Talal Rahwan is a computational social scientist at New York University's campus in Abu Dhabi. His team recruited nearly 700 online volunteers to play the prisoner's dilemma--a classic game of negotiation, trust and deception--against either humans or bots. Half the time, the human players were told the truth about who they were matched up against. The other half, they were told they were playing a bot when they were actually playing a human or that they were battling a human when, in fact, it was only a bot. And the scientists found that bots actually did remarkably well in this game of negotiation--if they impersonated humans. "When the machine is reported to be human, it outperforms humans themselves.