MUSCAT, JUNE 22 - A seminar entitled ‘Empowering Digital Transformation with Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ was recently held at Sundus Rotana Muscat under the auspices of Hilal bin Hamad al Hasani, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates — Madayn. The seminar aimed at keeping abreast of the technological progress witnessed by the world, highlighting the latest developments in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital transformation, enhancing the capabilities of developers in innovation, encouraging institutions to employ artificial intelligence in their operations, benefiting from the expertise and skills to develop artificial intelligence capabilities in the Sultanate, as well as enhancing the skills in the field of artificial intelligence in the Sultanate.
Speaking at the seminar, Ali al Hashmi, CEO of Oman Technology Institute, emphasised on the importance of keeping up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution through adopting the latest technologies in various fields. He added that Oman Technology Institute was established in 2003 and aims to be a pioneer through its services to the society. As an award-winning institute for excellence and Omanisation, the institute has partnerships with many international accrediting bodies in the UK, US and Germany and offers quality training through well-equipped infrastructure. Al Hashmi noted that the institute has trained over 8000 Omanis in various courses.
Saif al Hosni, General Manager of Microsoft Oman and Bahrain stressed the role of artificial intelligence in empowering individuals and institutions. The adopted programme of empowering digital transformation with artificial intelligence aims at creating jobs through training programmes in smart technologies. “We hope that through these efforts to witness quality job opportunities in the coming period,” Al Hosni pointed out.
From her part, Rima Semaan, Artificial Intelligence Technology Lead Gulf at Microsoft, delivered a presentation enabling digital transformation through artificial intelligence and success stories in this regard. Semaan explained that the concept of artificial intelligence is based on three pillars. “The first pillar is reasoning, which incorporates taking a lot of data and adding logic on top of that so you can understand and make decisions based on that data and it continues to learn over time as we keep feeding it more data. The second one is understanding, as artificial intelligence enables us to understand and interpret the data of our environment and our world, and identifying the meaning of texts, speech and images for instance. The third pillar is interacting, i.e. extending human ingenuity and lowering barriers between humans and machines,” Semaan elaborated.
She noted that today there are three industries at the forefront of transforming their businesses with artificial intelligence — financial services, retail, and manufacturing. “At Microsoft, we focus on a number of principles which all artificial intelligence systems need to follow. These include fairness, reliability and safety, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability,” she added.
Aakash Munjal, General Manager at Thinksmart for Development and Training, gave a presentation on artificial intelligence training and marketing requirements. He explained that the collaboration between Microsoft, Oman Technology Institute and Thinksmart aims to create breakthrough by adopting smart solutions, creating employment for Omanis through professional artificial intelligence training programmes, enhancing the knowledge economy by building a secure and sustainable digital base, and creating digital awareness in the community to encourage utilising artificial intelligence in community initiatives.
A discussion session then took place, moderated by Dr Khamis al Muniri, executive director at Madayn Industrial Academy (MIA). The participants discussed the Fourth Industrial Revolution and importance of artificial intelligence to keep abreast of the revolution, willingness of individuals to participate in trainings related to artificial intelligence, competitive advantage and rapid realisation through the adoption of artificial intelligence, the role of artificial intelligence in enhancing staff performance and creating loyalty to the institution, the role of artificial intelligence in improving quality and cutting cost, in addition to the significance of training courses for the adoptionof artificial intelligence in various fields. It should be noted that the seminar was organised by Oman Technology Institute in collaboration with Microsoft and Thinksmart Company.