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Hamid Tamimi, the Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, speaks to Future Tech Magazine about how AI is powering the fourth industrial revolution

In your experience, is AI creating a better world around us?
AI is certainly creating a more seamless world around us by adding a new dimension to our daily lives. The UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence launched in 2017 has encouraged wider and coordinated adoption of AI technologies. The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 also aims to fulfill key objectives, including employing artificial intelligence in vital areas such as education, government services, and community wellbeing, to improve the quality of life of citizens.

We are already seeing a positive impact as a result of these initiatives in the customer service industry, which is increasingly turning to AI to manage its growing needs. Mobile apps are now designed to enable seamless government service delivery and we are seeing chatbots used across retail, banking, and government services. Healthcare is also going to be massively impacted by AI in the future as the industry moves away from traditional methods and uses complex algorithms and software to assist doctors in patient diagnosis.

How is AI powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The fourth industrial revolution includes a number of transformational technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing, to name a few. AI is one of the most crucial technologies driving the fourth industrial revolution through machine learning and deep learning. AI has tremendous potential and use cases across industries, including retail, security, healthcare, and transportation.

To take it to the next stage, companies that are serious about taking up AI must focus on two things – the business case benefits and the use case benefits and they must adopt a nimble and phased approach to start building momentum. According to technology and research firm Venture Scanner, the adoption of AI technologies in marketing organizations has increased by 44% in 2018, as compared to 2017. The use of AI by customer service teams is projected to increase by 143% over the next 18 months.

How can AI change the workforce for the better?
One of the biggest challenges to implementing AI is the perceived threat of redundancy or job loss. But in reality, AI should be implemented to repurpose the energy in the labour market rather than make it redundant. AI can help bring efficiency in the workforce, as labour intensive and monotonous tasks can be taken up machines, while humans focus on higher-level qualitative tasks. According to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), despite machines and algorithms displacing 75 million jobs by 2022, they will create 133 million new roles by the same time period.

What sort of technologies are at the forefront of catapulting AI applications to success?
AI and Machine learning technologies are impacting our everyday lives in numerous ways. One of the biggest beneficiaries of AI technology is security. In the Middle East, AI is being implemented for image processing, facial recognition, and predictive analytics. AI is making it possible to deliver more personalized experiences in the retail sector through chatbots.

In healthcare, AI is helping the industry move away from traditional methods and is instead encouraging the use of complex algorithms and software to assist doctors in patient diagnosis. When it comes to energy and R&D, technology and algorithms are enabling precision drilling, reservoir management and driving safety and production. AI is also poised to transform the transportation sector globally. In the UAE, the first autonomous taxis have launched trials, with plans to introduce them on the roads in the near future, once safety and traffic feasibility have been addressed.

What sort of revenue growth opportunity does AI represent today?
According to UBS, AI has the potential to reach a market cap of $120-180 billion by 2020, therefore it represents a tremendous revenue growth opportunity. Take for example in the UAE, the Government has unveiled a strategy to position the country as a hub for AI by leveraging AI technology across government services and the private sector. It also aims to recruit and train people to work in industries that will employ AI in the near future. This is a huge opportunity for companies looking to grow their AI capabilities in the future.

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