UAE plans center for the future with World Economic Forum

UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar bin Sultan Al Olama talking. (Screengrab)
Updated 24 January 2018
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UAE plans center for the future with World Economic Forum

DUBAI: The UAE will co-launch and host a center for the “fourth industrial revolution” with the World Economic Forum (WEF), according to the Emirati news agency WAM.
Mohammad Al-Gergawi, the UAE minister of cabinet affairs and the future, is expected to sign the deal with Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, during the annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland.
The new center will provide technical support to government authorities in the field of transforming “industrial revolution principles into real applications,” WAM said.
Al-Gergawi and Schwab are also expected to also sign a cooperation agreement concerning the fourth industrial revolution protocol that will focus on building a legal and organizational framework for overseeing information.
This agreement will relate “to the various sectors of the industrial change which includes artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of things, drones and autonomous vehicles,” said the report.
In 2017, Dubai launched the Smart Dubai 2021 e-governance scheme, which aimed to eliminate all paperwork at government institutions by 2021. Dubai also introduced the world’s first robo-cop, which entered public service in May last year, according to the Xinhua news service.
UAE government ministers spoke at WEF today at a forum titled “Pioneering the Future of Governance in the Arab World.” UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar bin Sultan Al Olama said during the talk the regional plan for artificial intelligence (AI) was to ensure that no jobs were replaced by AI, and that there are no autonomous weapons created using AI.
Also speaking was UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah Al Amiri, who told the audience that Arab youth must be involved and included in the decision-making process of governments in the Middle East.
The World Economic Forum runs until Jan. 26.


Flight rights group takes Ryanair to court over strike compensation

Updated 15 August 2018
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Flight rights group takes Ryanair to court over strike compensation

  • Ryanair had to cancel around 1 in 6 flights last week due to a walk-out by pilots in five European countries
  • The disruption affected 55,000 travelers

BERLIN: German passenger rights company Flightright is taking Ryanair to court over whether it should pay financial compensation to passengers affected by strikes at Europe’s largest low-cost carrier.
Ryanair had to cancel around 1 in 6 flights on Friday due to a walk-out by pilots in five European countries, disrupting an estimated 55,000 travelers.
The worst affected country was Germany, where 250 flights affected around 42,000 passengers.
EU rules state that passengers can claim monetary compensation of up to €400 for flights within the region for canceled or delayed flights, unless the reason is extraordinary circumstances, such as bad weather.
Strikes have generally fallen under extraordinary circumstances although a ruling by the European Court of Justice in April said that a wildcat strike by staff at German airline TUIfly following a restructuring could not be classed as extraordinary circumstances. Flightright said it believes Ryanair is therefore obliged to pay monetary compensation to customers and so has filed a complaint with a court in Frankfurt in a bid to clarify the rules around strikes.
A spokeswoman for the court said she was aware of the Flightright statement, but that she had not yet seen the complaint.
Ryanair said it fully complies with the European legislation on the matter, known as EU261.
“Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control. If this was within our control, there would be no cancelations,” a spokesman said.
Passenger rights groups such as Flightright help passengers to claim compensation from airlines under EU261 rules but in exchange for a share of the compensation received.
Many European airlines, including Ryanair, therefore urge passengers to file claims with them directly instead.