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Serving humanity with technology

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Today we are on the brink of a technological revolution that will transform the way we live, work, and co-exist as a society. As an intelligent generation, we have the best minds and technologies at hand to transform humanity.

Just the sheer scale, scope, and complexity of the transformation is unprecedented. Billions of connected touch points, supported with leading and emerging technologies have opened doors to knowledge and endless possibilities.

Reports estimate that 65% of children entering primary school today will work in job types that don’t yet exist. This is a clear indication that we will need to re-apply our knowledge and technologies to cope with the skills that will drive the world of work in the future.

We also need to teach our generations to hone some very important capabilities, including: foresight (the ability to always be prepared for the future); curiosity (a willingness to learn new things); accelerated learning (constantly up-skilling our learning process); scenario thinking (empathetic thinking) and collaboration (the willingness to work together for common good).

This will set us on the trajectory towards making real contributions to the creation of a friction-less society in the years to come. Using ground-breaking technology for citizen welfare will only emerge as a cornerstone if it integrates human intelligence and machines with a clear intention to reach and serve larger sections of humanity for collective good.

Beyond decrees: UAE vows that serving humanity with technology will become a reality

A recent report from PWC Middle East stated that AI will contribute $320 billion to the Middle East economy by 2030, which is equivalent to 11% of GDP. The research also states that the Middle East is expected to account for 2% of the total global benefits from AI in 2030. The greatest gains from AI are likely to be in UAE (with a contribution of up to 13.6% GDP in 2030) and KSA (12.4%). The biggest sector gains could be in retail and the public sector, including healthcare and education relative to current size.

With AI at the forefront of the government’s strategic plans, the U.A.E is in a position to create next generation societal models that veer away from cultural divide and create scenarios where collaboration will be imperative.

Dubai particularly now wears the smart city mantle from a leadership perspective as it embraces AI and begins implementing blockchain strategies. The Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 aims to get 50% of government transactions to adopt the Blockchain platform over the next three years- a step that will help the government to save around $3 billion, and 398 million printed documents with 77 million work hours annually.

And the decree goes deeper than the surface. The UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has made it clear that the adoption of advanced technologies is meaningful only if we utilize them to serve society through efficient government performance. This ethos is translated nicely in the blockchain strategy which is based on three pillars:

  • Government Efficiency: To implement blockchain technology in applicable government services.
  • Industry Creation: Supporting the creation of a Blockchain industry through providing an enabling ecosystem that empowers businesses.
  • Local and International Thought Leadership: To lead the global thinking on blockchain technology and become the hub for blockchain intellectual capital and skill development.

The piloting of blockchain will be done across the city in several sectors such as energy, transport and logistics, tourism, health, education and employment, economic development, safety and justice, social services, municipality, land works and smart districts.

Taking a people-first approach with these technologies can give citizens much greater control of their personal data and enable more personalized services. With the proper checks and balances in place, technologies like AI and blockchain have a real power to create social change and make the world more of a global village in the coming years.

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This story also appears on Medium: SAP Innovation Spotlight.

Gergi Abboud
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September 4, 2018
Gergi Abboud

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