Who is your tech serving?
I was confident I had the second edition of the LEAP conference planned out before attending. With hundreds of hours of content available, deciding which sessions to attend was difficult. Through the LEAP app, I had ensured that I could attend the right sessions and meet with the right people.
I also ensured that I was well informed about the topics discussed at the event, such as AI, IoT, fintech and more. To give myself an extra edge, I even looked into LEAP’s content hub and newsletter for expert insight and cutting-edge content.
The reason I am here is to find out if the ever-growing digital advancement is purely for the benefit of humanity. I am surrounded by those who are creating these technologies and conversing in a language of the future.
What lies ahead?
A huge number of investments and collaborations are being made, along with competitions with financial rewards aimed at young people with innovative ideas. More than 90 startups are hoping to bring about positive change in the world, and potentially even revolutionize our reality.
I arrived here with the question: “Could ChatGPT replace humans?” In 2020, The Guardian newspaper used the program write an essay from start to finish. I still remember thinking of the robot, which also wrote The Guardian’s headline: “A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?”
Although I am not frightened, it appears individuals are teasing each other over such innovation, which is the reason why I have joined the other participants (as mentioned in the recent announcement there are 250,000 participants in LEAP) to learn about this technology and how we can harness it for the good of humanity.
Consequently, it seemed reasonable for me to add “Technology and Humanity: Recruiting and the Future Workforce” to my list of sessions. According to those in the session, it is common in any revolution that some jobs will be replaced while others will be created.
I roamed to see what else was happening and looked at the map to find my way through the crowd and attend the next session I had chosen. Suddenly, I thought of checking out the stage nearby in case something of interest was going on.
It is common in any revolution that some jobs will be replaced while others will be created.
It was a normal virtual meeting with a red-haired woman appearing on the screen and the host on stage. The woman’s name was Anna; I checked my LEAP app, and the session was called “A discussion with Anna, the Digital Human.”
After that short talk, which I barely heard due to it being held in an open area with overwhelming noise, I continued on my way. Just as so, the human moderator posed a question: If digital Anna was to take over certain roles, would it be necessary to replace those positions? This was something I overheard as the discussion was coming to an end.
Three years ago, the concept of LEAP was nothing more than an idea. However, the joint venture of Informa and Saudi Arabian Federation for Cyber Security and Programming, "Tahaluf", managed to bring this idea to life. At a keynote presentation, Stephen Carter CBE, CEO of Informa, expressed his joy and amazement at how the venture had come such a long way in such a short time.
He noted that it was a great example of how governments can collaborate to bring about innovation and new ideas, and said that he was proud to announce that the conference had achieved 225,000 registrations in only three years.
The session was accompanied by a remarkable panel discussion with prominent leaders and decision-makers to debate the uncertain economic effects of 4IR technology advancement. It included Khaild Al-Falih, minister of investment; Bandar Al-Khorayef, minister of industry and mineral resources; Faisal Al-Ibrahim, minister of economy and planning; Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, head of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority; and moderator Basma Al-Buhairan, managing director of the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Aramco, shared his enthusiasm regarding the way that technology is changing and even disrupting businesses and economies globally. He said that it is “no wonder” that Vision 2030 focuses so strongly on technology, as it presents the “greatest opportunity to achieve long-term success.”
In life, taking a leap often requires an element of risk, but as long as that risk is calculated and utilized for the greater good, then it is worth taking. With this in mind, I thought about exploring new technologies related to storytelling, content creation, media along with AI and machine learning ethics.
Marvin Minsky, a US cognitive and computer scientist, famously asserted that “you can’t comprehend anything until you learn it in more than one way.” I am here once again, developing the same abilities, but this time I'm taking on a different approach.
- Roba Aljohani is a writer who uses her background in journalism to uncover and tell interesting stories related to sustainability and culture.