People are scrolling through 90 meters web content every day – that’s the same as the height of the Statue of Liberty

Updated 11 April 2018
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People are scrolling through 90 meters web content every day – that’s the same as the height of the Statue of Liberty

  • Five million jobs will go by 2020 because of various technological advancements
  • By 2020 the Internet will be accessible to double the amount of people it is now

JEDDAH: People scroll through 90 meters of web content every day – that is the same height as New York’s Statue of Liberty, according to Facebook’s Regional Director in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Ari Kesisoglu.

And by 2020, that number will likely double from the current four billion, as internet usage and reach continue to grow, Kesisoglu said at the TopCEO18 forum at the Bay La Sun Hotel in King Abdullah Economic City on Wednesday.

Kesisoglu said that since the beginning of time until 2003, when the internet began to boom, humanity has generated approximately five billion gigabytes of information. “Every 10 minutes, we create that amount of information now,” he revealed.

But he said the brain’s processing power would be aided by the growth in the content we consume.

According to a study in 2001 found that the human brain could process a single thought in 0.3 of a second. The same study was repeated again in 2014, and the human brain had developed in order to adapt to media changes and internet feed into processing a thought in 0.03 of a second.

 

IN NUMBERS

  • 80 percent of Internet users will be using a mobile messaging app by 2020 - currently only half of the four billion with Internet access use such apps.
  • People stay five times longer on video content than that which is static
  • 40 percent of mobile users leave a website when it doesn’t load in 3 seconds.
  • We scroll 90 meters of content in a day, Usain Bolt sprints 100 meters in 9 seconds

 With the rapid pace at which the internet is developing, and our brains leaping to keep up, “by 2020, the majority of the world will be connected to the internet,” Kesisoglu said.

“There is going to be a massive gap between content creation and our ability to consume content, and that gap will continue grow because of our brains and how powerful they are.”

He predicted that our dependency on our mobiles and the internet would continue to grow – but this same growth in reliance, he said, would make people more vulnerable to the devices they hold so dearly.

To emphasize his point, he told delegates to unlock their phones and hand them to the person on their left. “How does that feel?” he asked, as the audience struggled to smile in spite of their evident discomfort. “We cannot ignore how important mobiles are,” he added.

Despite the apparent reliance on technology by so many, its advancement will leave millions back on the job market, Kesisoglu explained. As many as 5 million jobs will be lost to AI, robotics and nanotechnology according to a recent World Economic Forum report.

But there is a line of thought that suggests that these same technologies will ultimately lead to a reskilling of the workforce – and half of that will be millennials by 2020, he said.

 

 THE LIST:
Jobs that weren’t available but became possible because of the evolution of the Internet:

  • AI engineer
  • Cloud specialist
  • App developer
  • Drone operator
  • Vlogger/blogger
  • Social media consultant
  • Autonomous car engineer
  • Big data analyst
  • Uber/Careem driver
     


Arabic cinema wins over movie-goers

Updated 17 September 2018
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Arabic cinema wins over movie-goers

  • Oscar-nominated Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour premiered her short film set in Riyadh, ‘The Wedding Singer’s Daughter,’ at the Venice Film Festival
  • Earlier in the year Ziad Doueiri was the first Lebanese film director to be nominated for an Oscar with his film ‘The Insult’

LONDON: Arabic cinema has increasingly captured the imagination of movie-lovers around the world this year, with Arab film-makers winning award nominations and securing high-profile screenings at major film festivals.
This month the Oscar-nominated Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour premiered her short film set in Riyadh, “The Wedding Singer’s Daughter,” at the Venice Film Festival. Al-Mansour previously wrote and directed the film “Wadjda,” which was the first foreign-language Oscar entry from Saudi Arabia in 2014.
Earlier in the year Ziad Doueiri was the first Lebanese film director to be nominated for an Oscar with his film “The Insult.”
“Arab cinema’s profile has been on the rise. There are several different Arab movies being shown at Venice (film festival) this year,” said Joseph Fahim, an Egyptian film critic and the curator of this year’s London-based Safar Film Festival, which runs on Sept. 13-18.
Daniel Gorman, the director of London’s biannual Shubbak festival, which showcases mainly contemporary Arabic culture, art and film, said he that has seen the appeal of Arabic film grow in the UK.
“There is a huge interest and appetite for creative work coming from across the Arab world and there is strong interest in the UK to hear the voices of people from across the region, in an area that is generally represented in headlines in newspapers. Film is an excellent way of doing that,” he said.
Festivals have played a vital role in boosting awareness of Arab film, he said.
“(They) are able to bring new audiences to new work as they bring this concentrated moment of activity. A festival tends to have a bit more reach in terms of media coverage and audience awareness.
“(It) brings people along to something which they might not go to as a one-off screening,” Gorman said, explaining how the Shubbak festival also works with local schools and community groups to increase access to Arabic film and art.
This year’s Safar film festival — which is in its fourth year and organized by the Arab British Center — has focused on the theme of literature and film in the Arab world.
Fahim has created a program that includes movies dating back to the 1960s that have been buried deep in their respective country’s archives, as well as new films that have not been screened in London yet.
One of the films included is the Tunisian “In the Land of Tararanni,” originally released in 1973 and based on a collection of short stories by Ali Dougai.
It was one of the more tricky recordings to track down, said Nadia El-Sebai, executive director at the Arab British Center.
“There are films in this program that audiences will have no idea how many people it took to get that film,” she said, explaining the lengthy negotiations with ministries of culture, national archives and old friends and contacts to track down the much sought-after recordings.
There were other movies they had to give up on ever finding, including those lost in Syria or Iraq, or old versions of films that have not yet been digitised by national archives, she said.
More recent festival entries include this year’s Egyptian film “Poisonous Roses,” adapted from a 1990s cult novel, as well as the European premiere of the work of an Iraqi filmmaker — “Stories of Passers Through” — which traces the stories of Iraqis exiled from their country during the Saddam Hussein regime.
The literary theme of this year’s festival was chosen as a reaction to the growing popularity of contemporary Arab cinema, with the event’s organizers wanting to delve into the history of Arabic film.
“We are delighted by the increasing access to Arabic cinema. There are more films plugged into the London film festival this year. We have other other festivals — the Shubbak festival (in London), and the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival,” said El-Sebai.
“For this year’s edition we thought we would like to take the opportunity to go a little deeper into the history and heritage of Arabic cinema, and the industry,” she said.
“Safar is taking place just before London Film Festival (LFF), which was another motivation for us to look at something a bit different as we are definitely going to see really amazing contemporary films at the London Film Festival,” she said.
The LFF — which begins on Oct. 10 — is set to feature work by Syrian filmmaker Soudade Kaadan as well as the Saudi Arabian director Mahmoud Sabbagh’s latest dark comedy “Amra and the Second Marriage,” among other Arab productions.
Fahim was also keen to use the Safar event as a way of bringing audiences’ attention to a broader range of Arabic movies, highlighting the heritage of the film industry.
“It is reminding people that Arab cinema did not spring out today — there is a long history,” he said, adding that he wanted to question audience expectations.
“There have been a flood of amazing images from Arab cinema being displayed at festivals and most critics had no idea what they were. The more I spoke to people, the more I realized that there is a certain expectation of what Arab movies should be,” he said.
“We wanted to challenge what people expect from Arab cinema … I am tired of seeing Lawrence of Arabia a gazillion times on the big screen,” he said.
He said the selected films in the festival will hopefully challenge preconceptions. He referred to the inclusion of the 1964 Egyptian film — “The Search” — based on the writer Naguib Mahfouz’s novel. “It is a crime noir. It is essentially an existential noir and I don’t think many people will expect to see that,” he said.
Arabic cinema, however, needs to be better promoted, he said, noting a dearth of adequate film critics.
“At the big festivals it sometimes feels like Arab cinema is the bottom priority for critics,” he said.
“We need more perceptive writing. I could name you on one hand the film critics who know their stuff. That needs to change. Maybe we need to have more different voices. Film criticism is still being dominated by white male writers — although it has been developing — but that is still the norm,” he said.