Saudi Falcon Club concludes auction with sales soaring to $1.9m

Saudi Falcon Club concludes auction with sales soaring to $1.9m
Saudi Falcon Club concludes auction with sales soaring to $1.9m

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence, its benefits and dangers, and conducting business in the age of AI came under the spotlight at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday.

A panel discussion on Day 1 of the annual event featured Vishnu Saran, founder of Invigilo AI; Caroline Yap, director of global AI business at Google; and Elaine Zhou, CEO and managing director of Softwired Planet.

The talk, “AI Revolution: Mastermind or Taskmaster,” was among many panel discussions taking place at this year’s Misk Global Forum, at Bujairi Terrace in Diriyah.

Reflecting on AI’s rapidly evolving role and its implications on people’s lives, Zhou said: “I think we should all recognize AI could potentially surpass us, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

“We need to coexist and collaborate with these AI systems. I know that could be potentially a challenging concept, but it is making us more human to challenge ourselves and use this technology to solve a real-world complex problem.”

Countering the remarks, Yap said: “I do believe we should be able to see some form of artificial general intelligence in our lifetime, but taking cultures, nuances, languages and all of those things, that collective consciousness is going to be much harder.”

As well as discussing AI, Yap shared the launch of Google Cloud in Saudi Arabia with the audience.

The platform would create new, promising opportunities in the digital economy for local and regional businesses and develop technical capabilities in cloud computing, she said.

It would also increase the number of experts in the field, and the number of cloud computing service providers within the Kingdom.

“There are things that are very specific to Saudi Arabia, for example being able to build something like a petro signs language model that could potentially become a core part of the innovation hub here,” said Yap.

Google has trained more than 19,000 Saudis on Google Cloud-related technologies and AI, she added.

The panel also examined people’s fears around losing control, privacy and human values in the age of AI.

As it advances to the point where it might surpass human capabilities, this could cause uncertainty and a fear of being left alone in an AI-digitized world.

“People who may not keep up with it might get left behind to a certain degree. That’s the scary part. I think it’s very important to learn fast and embrace using it,” said Saran.

“What I was scared about is not being able to catch up with the ability to understand how to use AI. That’s something that needs a lot of awareness, education and training,” he added.

Learning, using and testing AI can turn fear into curiosity, said the panel. As it advances, it will be important to incorporate AI into the classroom to help students develop essential skills for success in the digital age.

“I think schools should start adopting some of these strategies. For example, we have generative courses that are free. I think they should be part of the curriculum,” said Yap.

She added: “Here at Google, we will volunteer to help with these programs. I think schools should take advantage of that. Have us come in, do a workshop and help people learn how to best use this tool.”

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