A stellar audience of C-suite technology leaders gathered on Wednesday for an exclusive invite-only half-day event hosted by Forbes Middle East to uncover the latest developments in digital trends and listen to how successful businesses across different sectors are adapting to implement change.
The Digital Trends 2019 forum was attended by around 200 experts, commentators and heads of business. Three insightful and entertaining panels explored how the Middle East is positioned, whether the region is moving fast enough, and what the future holds for consumers and enterprises.
The first discussion on the 4th Industrial Revolution revolved around the new technologies currently changing the way companies operate and approach problems. Ari Kesisoglu, Vice President for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Facebook, talked about how the social network stays safe and reliable.
“There are so many things that we are doing in the short term to keep up with all the changes that are going on, I guess it is fair to say that Facebook now is fundamentally different than Facebook a year ago,” Kesisoglu revealed. “Today we have more than 30,000 people working on safety and security of the platform—three times what the number was in 2017. We take more than 1 million fake accounts down every single day now. Many of these accounts do not ever see daylight, artificial intelligence systems catch them before they are even live.”
This insight led seamlessly into the next panel, delving into the use of Artificial Intelligence applications in business processes and the many new business opportunities it can create. Emad Mustafa, Head of Digital Technology Services at Fujitsu ME emphasized how AI can transform businesses by helping bring new products to the customers. The key is to hire the right people to bring it to life. “Taking a bold step and learning more about AI, bringing in data scientists or outsourcing that part to someone who is really aware of how to build certain intelligence, will actually accelerate business transformation,” Mustafa advised the gathered audience.
Acting Director of the Future Borders Department at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai, Noura Salim Almazrouei, played a video to highlight how Dubai airport is continuing to innovate using biometrics and AI to improve passenger experience.
And His Excellency Zulfiquar Ghadiyali, CEO at the Royal Office of Sheikh Tahnoon bin Saeed bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, answered audience questions on the side effects of AI on employment, concluding that the emerging technology is not going to take jobs away from people but instead create more diverse types of employment opportunities in the future.
The third and final discussion explored how businesses are implementing Digital Transformation through technology in their own teams and all areas of their businesses, as well as its impact on operations and the value it delivers to customers. Offering the audience up a real-life example of how transformation can be achieved in an efficient way, Andre Daoud, CEO at Medcare, spoke about how his company put patients at the heart of its digitalization.
“The first pillar for us is patients’ safety, the second is how we deliver that safety in this seamless unique and digital journey. With those two pillars well aligned, we look at the entire journey from beginning to end and identify what it is going to look like in the future, remove any unnecessary aspects and then digitalize the entire seamless journey,” he explained to the gathered guests.
All-in-all the event featured 17 speakers from multinational companies Fujitsu, IBM, Facebook, Schlumberger, Roland Berger, Intelligencia and Accenture. UAE-based organizations 6th Street, PHD UAE, Danube Properties, DarkMatter, Medcare, Lean X Consulting and Mashreq Bank were also represented, as were the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai and the Royal Office of Sheikh Tahnoon bin Saeed bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan.
The inaugural forum was held on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai. It was hosted in partnership with Ghassan Aboud Group as Diamond Partner, Patronus Wealth as Platinum Partner, Shangri-La Hotel as Host Partner, Centena Group as Lanyard Partner and Patchi as Official Chocolate Partner.
About Forbes Middle East
Forbes Middle East is a licensee of Forbes Media and extends the Forbes brand of journalism across the Arab world. Forbes Middle East’s distinctive editorial style attracts a readership of Arab leaders, entrepreneurs, C-level executives, government officials and investors united by a belief in the spirit of free enterprise and entrepreneurial values.
Across the region, Forbes Middle East sets the pace for preemptive business journalism. By uncovering trends and anticipating opportunities in the regional marketplace, each monthly issue brings top executives the information critical to their success – in both Arabic and English language editions.
The magazine researches and publishes original rankings, based on methodologies set by Forbes Media.
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