Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) held its 4th panel discussion on the topic of ‘Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability’ with focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 9 and addressed a plethora of issues encompassing innovation, infrastructure, energy, big data, and more.
The panel discussion was held at the Modul University in Dubai. The expert panelists included Alexis Lecanuet, Regional Managing Director of Accenture; Dr Nikolaos Mavridis Founder and Director, Interactive Robots and Media Lab; Vasudevan, Managing Director, Happiness Advisor and Articulation Enabler at Navo; Firas Obeido, Chief Technology Officer at Smart Automation Energy and Stefanie Schachtschabel, Founder and Managing Director of Globally connected Companies.
The panel discussion explored how different organisations in the UAE are leading the talk in sustainability by integrating and incorporating AI into their businesses. The presentations were followed by a lively interactive session where the experts and audience members shared information, discussed queries, pondered on the challenges and the plethora of opportunities that presented themselves and uncovered the truths and complexities of the future of AI.
Even in its infancy of development, it has become a very critical topic that requires much more attention and focus around it. Virtually every sector of the society from healthcare, manufacturing, waste management, transportation, energy and conservation are now increasingly moving towards an autonomous and smart systems for their operations as it saves money, time, energy, security and thereby improves efficiency.
Through advancements in machine learning, robotics, drones, the internet of things, the world has been able to monitor, understand and prevent environmental damages. By some estimates, even with the current technology that we have already available, it is said that we could potentially reduce energy consumption by 22 %. According to a recent survey by Intel and the research firm Concentrix, 74 % of business-decision makers working in environmental sustainability agree artificial intelligence (AI) will help solve long-standing environmental challenges; 64 % agree the Internet of Things (IoT) will help solve these challenges. “AI has the ability to radically transform our societies and will be a fundamental part of the next industrial revolution. AI is facilitating an era of technology that will be faster, more efficient, and will have the ability to solve some of our biggest problems such as climate change,” said Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group.
The UAE leadership has understood the importance and significance of adopting and developing this technology early on, and has committed to become the leader in the field regionally and globally through the introduction of Ministry of AI in October 2017. The Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence had once stated that, “UAE can be a testing ground for the worldwide development of artificial intelligence.”
While the technology is fast paced and promising, he also mentioned its challenges quoting that the biggest challenge today for artificial intelligence is policies and legislation. The legal framework is simply not ready and the only people who understand this very well are the private sector.
The panel discussions, earlier known as “community lectures,” are a platform that was originally rolled out in 1992 and has successfully conducted 185 such sessions till date. EEG is proud to continue these sessions in 2019 covering important topics, with an impressive line-up of speakers and a strong attendance. The event aims to bolster knowledge on the fight against climate change in the region by bringing together sustainably conscious global citizens, who are interested in learning more and understanding about the developments and advancements being made with regards to this global problem.
A leading financial institution in the region is celebrating World Ocean Day this year by highlighting its commitment to preserving marine biodiversity, under the “Keep the Creek Clean” marine conservation programme.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) on Saturday launched the Fujairah Cultured Coral Reef Gardens, the largest project of its kind in the UAE, in collaboration with Fujairah Municipality, Dibba Fujairah Municipality and the Fujairah Adventures. In line with the Ministry’s strategy to protect the UAE’s biodiversity and ensure its sustainability, the project is set to include the cultivation of 1.5 million coral reef colonies over the next five years.
The 13th Environmental Drawing Competition, organised by the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), was a huge success as more than 162,000 students from 566 schools and 106 student members of the EEG participated in the competition. The annual event concluded with an award ceremony on Sunday.
Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesperson for the UAE Government said, “The vaccine is currently given to our first line defenders because they are more vulnerable to infection than others, and to the elderly and people with chronic diseases."
The rally in the city of Multan was held a day after police, on orders from the government, carried out the arrests and banned the gathering, defending the move as necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.
UAE President ordered the award of the Fallen Frontline Heroes Order to those who have lost their lives on the frontlines while tackling COVID-19