Sophia to make Oman debut this month

Sophia, hailed as the world’s most advanced android, will be making her debut in the Sultanate as part of the Oman Global Tech & Investment Summit 2018 due to be held at the Grand Hyatt Muscat on April 29-30, 2018. The humanoid robot, developed by Hong-Kong based Hanson Robotics, has been travelling around the world as a showcase of the immense potential of Artificial Intelligence and robotics in driving technology. Capable of over 60 facial expressions and covered by artificial skin that is amazingly human-like, Sophia has marvelled television audiences and fans around the world ever since she was created by Dr David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics.
“Sophia will inaugurate the Oman Global Tech & Investment Summit as well as address the opening session later this month,” said Dr Sidhic A Muhammed, Managing-Director of Abrim International Consultants (AIC) Pvt Ltd, the organisers of the summit. “The presence of this iconic robot is aimed at shining a global light on the future potential of Oman as a hub for technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Robotics, and Big Data — all of which will be the focus of the two-day summit.”
Speaking to the Observer, Dr Muhammed said the Oman Global Tech & Investment Summit is being brought to the Sultanate by Abrim, an Indian based organiser of trade expos, in collaboration with Omani firm National Technology & Services LLC. The latter is founded by Dr Sharif al Bakry, Dr Waleed al Sulaimani and Said bin Hilal al Ismaily.
This month’s event, he said, will be a prelude to a global-scale technology summit that is proposed to be held annually in December with Muscat as the permanent international venue. “We anticipate around 2,000 industry leaders and technology specialists from more than 25 countries to participate in this signature tech summit. Given the magnitude of this turnout, our intention is to host the December summit at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.”
The annual mega-summit in December, the executive said, is aimed at attracting the latest technologies, inventions and innovations to the host country, coupled with creating a common platform for political leaders, technocrats, business bigwigs and decision makers to explore opportunities for collaboration, joint ventures and partnerships. “The summit has the potential to facilitate FDI, investment and technology inflows, thereby stimulating large-scale employment opportunities,” he stated.
This month’s ‘mini-summit’, said Dr Muhammed, has the backing of prominent Omani organisations, including the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ithraa, Oman Technology Fund, and so on. Participating from India and other destinations are high level officials from the Association of Indian Industries (AII), World Trade Center – Mumbai, Global Network, Conway Inc (USA), MBS Holding (UAE), Skyline University and Amity University (India).
Also as part of the event, the promoters plan to support the training of around 10,000 Omani school-leavers in digital marketing skills, thereby empowering them to become part of the Google, Amazon, Facebook and YouTube partner networks which support self-employment.