Oman Observer

Artificial intelligence to boost sustainability

Salalah, Aug 29 – The first Intelligent Sustainability Conference touched upon a range of issues, from construction to infrastructure development, with a focus on not only sustainability, but also intelligent application of sustainability tools. The two-day conference opened on Wednesday at Hilton Salalah Resort under the auspices of Mohammed bin Salim al Toobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs, with participation from representatives from national and international companies. Among the participants are representatives from Microsoft, Google, Siemens and LinkedIn, some promising local startups, Petroleum Development Oman and many other public and private establishments.

In his opening speech, Khalid al Haribi, Managing Director of Impact Integrated, laid emphasis on the sustainability factor of development and suggested that any development needs a well thought-out plan to remain successful and sustainable. His stress was on iSustainability for reaping the maximum benefit of technology without any clash between environment and development. In his presentation, he suggested a ‘7-step roadmap to empower each other’ involving the elements of symphonic leadership, pro-active data analysis, continuous digital capacity building, implementation of national Artificial Intelligence (AI) programme, clear business objectives and AI leadership learning.

“Our purpose here is to put into reality the technologies like Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing and Internet of Things by overcoming various barriers and drawing workable policies in this field,” he said in his comments to the Observer. Al Haribi stressed on Oman’s unique global positioning in the conservation of environment with a dedicated ministry for the purpose and called for the need for Artificial intelligence (Al) to promote the Sultanate as a centre of excellence in sustainability and its application in sectors related to economic diversification.

“And this is very much feasible with 65 per cent of the Sultanate’s young population and willingness among the public and private sectors to achieve the sustainable development goals of the country,” he said. With an emphasis on Fourth Industrial Revolution, he said the purpose of the conference also to introduce to the participants the top 10 local and international projects, which would be part of the implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The conference participants discussed issues related to manufacturing, energy and finance sectors and their relationship to artificial intelligence and sustainable development goals; renewable energy; financial technology applications; and innovative consultancy and event management during the first session on the first day of the conference.

Kaushalendra Singh