‘Technology has allowed easier access to our culture’ UAE minister says

UAE Minister of Culture Noura Al-Kaabi said technology and art are becoming complementary. (AN News/Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 04 November 2019

‘Technology has allowed easier access to our culture’ UAE minister says

  • ‘The digital world has become the new ordinary’ conference told
  • Dubai described as “one of the most technologically dynamic places in the world”

DUBAI: The second edition of EmTech MENA, a conference dedicated to exploring emerging and future trends in technology, has kicked off at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.

Over 500 professionals from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are attending the tech event, organized by "MIT Technology Review Arabia" in cooperation with Dubai Future Foundation and Haykal Media.

Delivering the keynote speech on Monday, Noura bint Mohammed Al-Kaabi, the UAE’s Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said: “Technology and art are becoming complementary. The digital world has become the new ordinary. Technology has become a new medium of artistic impression. Technology has allowed easier access to our culture (through online means)"

Earlier,in his opening statements, Abdul Aziz Al-Jazairi, Deputy CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Dubai Future Foundation, outlined the emirate’s innovation strategies while Gideon Lichfield, Editor-in-Chief of "MIT Technology Review," described Dubai as “one of the most technologically dynamic places in the world.”

The Nov.4-5 conference features a list of 31 prominent regional and international speakers including government officials, researchers and entrepreneurs.With the aim of understanding technological developments that will drive the new global economy, the event will focus on five key themes:artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of work; computer created reality; the future of digital health, future cities; and the future of energy and sustainability.

Speakers from the region include Dr. Thani AhmedAl-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE; Abdulla BinTouq, Secretary-General of the UAE Cabinet; and Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al-Nahyan, Founder and CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability.

Among the other speakers are Solomon Assefa, Vice President, IBMResearch - Africa & Emerging Market Solutions; Emmanuel Fombu, Director,Digital Medicine & Innovation, Johnson & Johnson; Vishal Chatrath CEO& Co-Founder, Prowler.io; Kevin Hu, Co-Founder and CEO, Quantifai; and Ramzi Jaber, Partner, eConstruct.

The conference also features a number of speakers from MIT including David Rose, Spatial Computing Expert, MIT School of Architecture; Howard Herzog, Senior Research Engineer, MIT Energy Initiative; Carlo Ratti,Director, MIT Senseable City Lab; and Donald Sadoway, John F. Elliott, Professor of Materials Chemistry, MIT.

For its second edition of “Innovators Under 35” MENA, EmTech has selected 20 innovators from the region, who will present a three-minute elevator pitch during the conference.

The innovators – technologists and scientists – will put forward their work in a wide range of fields, notably biomedicine, computing,communications, energy, materials, software, transportation and the internet. The winners will be announced at the end of the conference.

Organized by “MIT Technology Review” since 1999, the “InnovatorsUnder 35” competition has honored such brilliant minds as Google’s Larry Pageand Sergey Brin; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg; Tesla’s JB Straubel; Spotify’sDaniel Ek; and Broad Institute’s Feng Zhang.

The competition’s first edition in 2018 picked 10 winners fromUAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Syria.


Japan spacecraft starts yearlong journey home from asteroid

Updated 13 November 2019

Japan spacecraft starts yearlong journey home from asteroid

  • The spacecraft will travel 180 million miles on its journey back to Earth
  • It will bring back soil samples that provide clues to life in space

TOKYO: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft departed from a distant asteroid on Wednesday, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to bring back soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system, the country’s space agency said.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said the spacecraft left its orbit around the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth.
Hayabusa2 on Wednesday captured and transmitted to Earth one of its final images of Ryugu, or “Dragon Palace,” named after a sea-bottom castle in a Japanese folk tale, as it slowly began moving away from its temporary home, JAXA said. Hayabusa2 will continue its “farewell filming” of the asteroid for a few more days.
Then Hayabusa2 will adjust its position on around Nov. 18 after retreating 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the asteroid and out of its the gravitational pull. It will then receive a signal from JAXA to ignite a main engine in early December en route to the Earth’s vicinity.
Hayabusa2 made touchdowns on the asteroid twice, despite difficulties caused by Ryugu’s extremely rocky surface, and successfully collected data and samples during its 1½-year mission since arriving there in June 2018.
In the first touchdown in February, it collected surface dust samples. In July, it collected underground samples for the first time in space history after landing in a crater it had earlier created by blasting the asteroid surface.
Hayabusa2 is expected to return to Earth in late 2020 and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in the Australian desert.
It took the spacecraft 3½ years to arrive at the asteroid, but the journey home is much shorter thanks to the current locations of Ryugu and Earth.
JAXA scientists believe the underground samples contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors that could tell more about the origin of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Asteroids, which orbit the sun but are much smaller than planets, are among the oldest objects in the solar system and may help explain how Earth evolved. Hayabusa2 scientists also said they believe the samples contain carbon and organic matter and hope they could explain how they are related to Earth.