Likes’ are no substitute for action, Jordan’s queen tells online influencers

Queen Rania argued social media should be harnessed as a tool to remove barriers between people, rather than create more divisions in society. (AFP)
Updated 11 December 2018

Likes’ are no substitute for action, Jordan’s queen tells online influencers

  • Speaking at the third Arab Social Media Influencers Summit in Dubai, Queen Rania said people should use their online platforms to generate positive change
  • Winners recognized at the event included Queen Rania, who was named personality of the year for using social media to support humanitarian causes

LONDON: Jordan’s Queen Rania has urged social media influencers to use their online presence to pursue the truth and promote humanitarian causes.
Speaking at the third Arab Social Media Influencers Summit in Dubai on Monday, she said people should use their online platforms to generate positive change.
The summit brought together 70 speakers from 25 countries to discuss the power of social media.
“(In our virtual world) the truth is losing ground to emotional rhetoric and sensational rumors. So do we blame these technologies and exonerate ourselves?
“We owe it to the truth to seek it out and distribute it. It might not be the most appealing or fascinating, but not all that glitters is gold. Let us aim to give truth the final word,” she said in her keynote speech in the presence of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.
Queen Rania argued social media should be harnessed as a tool to remove barriers between people, rather than create more divisions in society.
“I come to you … the influencers … the people whose voices are heard, to urge you to use your time to break barriers and open communication channels … to rally support for those who need it most to champion the truth and communicate through values,” she said.
Queen Rania warned influencers that collecting “likes” or “shares” of a post alone was “no substitute for action.”
Speaking at the summit’s award ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed urged young people to use social media to benefit their communities.
“The success of nations is built on optimism, hope and a positive vision for the future backed by planning and hard work. You have a responsibility toward your communities.
“We rely on you to be a role model for the community and to promote tolerance and openness in today’s fast-paced age,” he said.
Winners recognized at the event included Queen Rania, who was named personality of the year for using social media to support humanitarian causes. Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdelkader Messahel was named political personality of the year for using social media in three different languages while conducting public diplomacy.
Saudi Arabia’s Princess Reema, vice president for development and planning at the General Sports Authority, won the sports category award for her efforts in promoting sports via social media.
Saudi media personality Abdulrahman Al-Rashid was the winner in the media category for being one of the most active social media influencers in the media world.
The financial news portal Argaam won in the business category section.
Argaam’s CEO Islam Zween told Arab News: “It is our honor to be rewarded today as social media influencer in economy. We are really pleased to have such recognition after more than 10 years of day-to-day engagements with our readers and subscribers.”


Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

Updated 20 January 2020

Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

  • Sundar Pichai’s comments come as lawmakers and governments seriously consider putting limits on how artificial intelligence is used
  • Pichai’s comments suggest the company may be hoping to head off a broad-based crackdown by the EU on the technology

LONDON: Google’s chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to regulating artificial intelligence, telling a European audience that the technology brings benefits but also “negative consequences.”

Sundar Pichai’s comments come as lawmakers and governments seriously consider putting limits on how artificial intelligence is used.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. The question is how best to approach this,” Pichai said, according to a transcript of his speech at a Brussel-based think tank.

He noted that there’s an important role for governments to play and that as the European Union and the US start drawing up their own approaches to regulation, “international alignment” of any eventual rules will be critical. He did not provide specific proposals.

Pichai spoke on the same day he was scheduled to meet the EU’s powerful competition regulator, Margrethe Vestager.

Vestager has in previous years hit the Silicon Valley giant with multibillion-dollar fines for allegedly abusing its market dominance to choke off competition. After being reappointed for a second term last autumn with expanded powers over digital technology policies, Vestager has now set her sights on artificial intelligence, and is drawing up rules on its ethical use.

Pichai’s comments suggest the company may be hoping to head off a broad-based crackdown by the EU on the technology. Vestager and the EU have been the among the more aggressive regulators of big tech firms, an approach US authorities have picked up with investigations into the dominance of companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

“Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms with social opportunities,” he said, adding that it could incorporate existing standards like Europe’s tough General Data Protection Regulation rather than starting from scratch.

While it promises big benefits, he raised concerns about potential downsides of artificial intelligence, citing as one example its role in facial recognition technology, which can be used to find missing people but also for “nefarious reasons” which he didn’t specify.

In 2018, Google pledged not to use AI in applications related to weapons, surveillance that violates international norms, or that works in ways that go against human rights.