AI technology to dominate Saudi Arabia’s jobs, says futurist

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Ian Khan
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Ian Khan, Chief Futurist. (AN photo by Lojien Ben Gassem)
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Ian Khan, Chief Futurist. (AN photo by Lojien Ben Gassem)
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Ian Khan, Chief Futurist. (AN photo by Lojien Ben Gassem)
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Updated 28 January 2020

AI technology to dominate Saudi Arabia’s jobs, says futurist

  • The summit is part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to become a leader in AI technology and drive discussions and partnerships between local and international stakeholders in the AI field

RIYADH: Artificial intelligence (AI) technology will take over most blue- and white-collar jobs in Saudi Arabia’s offices, factories and even hospitals, a top futurist told a forum in Riyadh.
Ian Khan was speaking at the the Futuristic Advancement Forum, which explored the latest technological trends being incorporated into the workplace to lift training and employee performance.
Khan, who is an emerging technology expert, said that the Kingdom was working to advance itself on a global level but that everything had to happen inside the country.
“The youth have to be empowered, people need to see where they are going, there has to be a vision,” he told delegates. He also spoke about how Saudi Arabia was heading into an era where AI technology would take over a majority of blue- and white-collar jobs in offices, factories and hospitals.
“Their jobs are going to be automated … In March, Saudi Arabia is organizing the world’s largest artificial intelligence conference right here in Riyadh. The Kingdom is also pushing toward this direction because AI creates a lot of actions and does other things for us generally.”
The Global AI Summit, organized by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, will bring together stakeholders from the public sector, academia and the private sector. The summit is part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to become a leader in AI technology and drive discussions and partnerships between local and international stakeholders in the AI field.
Khan said there were three types of technology that people should learn about and see how they affected lives and businesses. The first was blockchain technology as it brought a lot of peace of mind. “It brings a lot of satisfaction and a lot of trust to the equation to the challenge that you have in your business, in your organization and that’s what blockchain is all about,” he explained. The second was machine learning that had the ability to provide some sense of freedom from everyday tasks that could easily be done by AI, while the third type was to know and understand more about 5G technology. Khan described it as “a fair technology that makes everything connect together. It’s the glue that binds everything together … it’s a life-changer.”

Other speakers at the event include global and local entrepreneurs, experts and technology specialists such as Dr. Elsa Sotiriadis, author and bio futurist, Dr. Mounira Jamjoom, who is CEO of Emkan Education and the Aanaab e-learning platform, and Sami Al-Hussayen, who is co-founder of RWAQ.org.
Rajaa Moumena, who is founder and CEO of the Future Institute, which is the official sponsor for the event, opened the forum. “Investing, building and developing humans is the best investment for the present and the future,” she said. “To improve thinking, work and ability, to be in the ranks of the developed world.”
She added that success stories always began with a vision and that the most successful visions were built on the youth. Young people were considered to be one of Saudi Arabia’s strengths and they were at the heart of the country’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which was also the inspiration behind the forum and its aim to create a hub for knowledge sharing and ideas exchange on training trends, Moumena said.


Saudi air defense forces intercept Houthi ballistic missiles 

Updated 21 February 2020

Saudi air defense forces intercept Houthi ballistic missiles 

RIYADH: Saudi air defense forces shot down ballistic missiles launched by the Iran-backed Houthi "terrorists"  towards civilian areas in the Kingdom, the Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Friday.

The missiles were intercepted at 12:30 a.m. after they were launched toward cities in Saudi Arabia, Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). 

"The missiles were launched in a systematic, deliberate manner to target cities and civilians, which is a flagrant defiance of the International Humanitarian Law," the statement said.

It did not mentioned which cities were targeted. 

Yemen's capital, Sanaa "has become a Houthi militia assembly, installation and launching hub for ballistic missiles that target the Kingdom. The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition has exercised extreme prudence and self-restraint in dealing with the violations of the Houthi militia through launching ballistic missiles, UAVs and Remote Controlled exploding boats.

"The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition will continue to apply and implement all decisive and rigorous measures, in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law, to protect Coalition States’ nationals and expatriates from such barbaric attacks,” the statement said.