DXB Challenge to enhance Dubai’s status as global hub for Robotics, AI - GulfToday

DXB Challenge to enhance Dubai’s status as global hub for Robotics, AI

DXB Challenge

The UAE is emerging as one of the leading countries harnessing key future technologies.

Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Deputy Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, said that the FIRST Global DXB Challenge, a robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) competition that is being held for the first time in the region from Oct.24-27, will promote Dubai as a global centre for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Speaking at a press conference, he said that the hosting of the competition is aligned with the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to invest in bright minds and encourage creativity to cement Dubai’s position as a global hub for young talent. Dubai Future Foundation CEO Khalfan Jumaa Belhoul also spoke to the media at the press conference.

Al Olama said that the organisation of such events reflects the UAE’s emergence as one of the leading countries harnessing key future technologies like robotics and AI to enhance people’s lives. He further said that hosting the event is in line with the UAE’s efforts to promote advanced science and technology, as well as enhancing partnerships with key global firms to create a brighter future. Dubai has created a conducive environment for youth to engage with advanced sciences, especially robotics and artificial intelligence. Selecting ‘Ocean Opportunities’ as the theme of the 2019 FIRST Global DXB Challenge reflects Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s keen interest in protecting the environment and instilling a culture of conservation. Ocean pollution is a global issue that requires collective global action, he stressed.

Al Olama further said that the Dubai Crown Prince’s keen interest in environmental issues as well as the UAE’s growing role in supporting efforts to ensure the safety of the oceans and the sustainability of their biodiversity, were the main reasons that led to Dubai’s selection as a host city of the FIRST Global Challenge. He noted that the Washington DC 2017 event tackled the challenge of ‘Access to Clean Water’ while the Mexico City event in 2018 addressed ‘Sustainable Energy ‘. Both events drew widespread global interest. The competition, he said, will feature contests between individuals as well as between participating nations. Participating teams will work together to address the challenges as part of the larger aim of preparing a generation to cooperate with each other in using technology and creative thinking to serve humanity.

DFF CEO Khalfan Belhoul said that the 2019 FIRST Global DXB Challenge will be the largest ever edition of the event bringing together more than 1,500 youth from over 191 countries to collaborate, create and compete for a better future.

The key objectives of the event are to invest in the development of robotics and AI, and build bridges of knowledge with youth communities across the world, the DFF CEO said. He noted that it is vital to involve youth in developing solutions for the key challenges facing the world. The event will help build a large base of data about the key players and developers in the robotics and AI sectors.

Teams participating in the third edition of the event were selected on the basis of their performance in a series of qualifying competitions held in each country. The UAE team comprises of seven students - five boys and two girls from the Rashid School in Hatta and Dibba School in Fujairah.

The UAE team has previously participated in various events including FLL in the UAE, VEX Robotics World Championship, and World Robot Olympiad. The UAE team won the First Tech Challenge UAE in 2019, and participated in the World Robotics Championship in the USA.

The event will be an opportunity for volunteers to contribute to the smooth running of the event. A total of 4,327 volunteers registered for the event through volunteer.ae. Out of the registrants, 715 volunteers from 86 nationalities were selected for the event. Out of this, 245 volunteers are technical volunteers and judges while 470 are organisers. The volunteers include 461 males and 254 females.

The UAE won the bid to host the FIRST Global Challenge at the 7th World Government Summit in Dubai last February in the presence of Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Chairman of the World Government Summit, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation; and Rick Perry, US Secretary of Energy.


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