Saudi Culture Ministry to take part in major international AI exhibition in Russia

Open forum during a discussion on digital transformation projects during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2018 on May 26 last year. (Credit: RosCongress)
Updated 25 May 2019

Saudi Culture Ministry to take part in major international AI exhibition in Russia

  • The exhibition will be launched during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
  • The Ministry of Culture aims to support Saudi artists and promote cultural dialogue with the world through various arts initiatives

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Culture is to take part in a major international exhibition aimed at exploring the future role of artificial intelligence (AI).

And two artists from the Kingdom, Lulwah Al-Homoud and Dania Al-Saleh, will be taking center stage to showcase their work at next month’s event in Russia.

The exhibition will be launched during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), at which delegates will discuss the latest advances in AI technology and tackle the question: “What will happen next?”

Saudi duo Al-Homoud and Al-Saleh will join with artists from throughout the world for the expo, titled “Artificial Intelligence and Intercultural Dialogue,” which will open in the State Hermitage Museum’s general staff building in St. Petersburg, on June 6, the first day of the SPIEF gathering, and run until July 7.

The artists’ work will show how traditional and future elements can be mixed to express creative concepts, such as the combining of ancient Arabic calligraphy with AI.

Al-Homoud is known for expressing creativity through abstract shapes. She holds a master’s degree from Central Saint Martins’ college of arts and design in England, with a specialization in Islamic art. She has coordinated exhibitions around the world, including the Shanghai Duolun Museum, in China, and the Saudi Art Gallery at the School of Oriental And African Studies in London.

Her works were also acquired by the Five Continents Museum in Munich, Germany, and the LACMA art museum in Los Angeles.

Al-Saleh explores “the voice” of infrastructure and the complexities of language through her work. In her Ithra prize-winning piece “Phoneme,” she sought to divide language into a smaller unit, concentrating on Arabic letters, and searching for their origin in order to prove their communicative power among humans.

To do this, Al-Saleh, who is studying for a master’s degree in computer science at Goldsmiths, University of London, created a program to produce 28 scribbles representing the alphabet.

By taking part in the Russian expo, the Ministry of Culture aims to support Saudi artists and promote cultural dialogue with the world through various arts initiatives.

The exhibition, organized by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Hermitage, will be attended by world-renowned artists including Mario Klingemann from Germany, Sun Xun from China, Team Void from South Korea, American computer animator Jonathan Monaghan, and Norimichi Hirakawa of Japan.


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”