Masdar News

Youth 4 Sustainability workshop explores the power of Artificial Intelligence

20 Sep 2020
Youth, Strategic Platforms

Artificial Intelligence will provide job opportunities and help people rather than compete with them, participants of a Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) workshop heard last week. The workshop, hosted by Y4S, one of Masdar’s strategic initiatives, explored the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI), how the UAE is applying the technology and applications of AI in future employment. 

Attended by over 120 participants from Y4S’s members (Future Sustainability Leaders, Sustainability Ambassadors and the WiSER Pioneers), the workshop is part of a year-long platform for the education and development of youth. 

Experts offered a comprehensive introduction to the multi-faceted field of Artificial Intelligence, explaining how the technology will impact young people and the skills they will need to succeed in a digitally-driven world.  

Discussing the types of AI and the myths surrounding it, Dr. Mohammed Harris, Assistant Professor in Computer Vision at Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) debunked the common misconception that AI will replace humans and result in job losses.

“AI will definitely be transformational in the future and will be useful for society in general, like most technologies have been,” he said. “Machines are still very far from operating like humans.”

Through the National Program for Artificial Intelligence, the UAE seeks to be a major hub for developing and applying AI technologies. Dr. Abdelrahman Al Mahmoud, Advisor and Head of Infrastructure and Research at the UAE Artificial Intelligence Office, spoke on the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031.

“We believe that the UAE has the right tools to be a leader in AI for three main reasons: the availability of unique data sets, our ability to develop AI technology in vital sectors and the adoption of AI rapidly in the government sector.”

Roberto Croci, Regional Managing Director for Microsoft for Startups MEA, said that the technology could enable up to 25 million job seekers worldwide to find work and gain new skills.

“We can use data to help identify learning paths for roles that don’t require the traditional qualifications including a four-year degree. AI will empower us to build a more sustainable future, together.”
Watch highlights from the session here.