AI, Regulation, and Digital Transformation Feature Prominently in the NextTech Agenda

The NextTech Summit will focus on the responsible implementation of technology and the need for effective regulations.

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NextTech probes how combining emerging technologies can unlock real value for businesses and economies.
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  • [Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

    In the age of rapid technological advancement, leaders are challenged to navigate the complexities of digital transformation by focusing on people and processes alongside the technology itself. This human-centered approach is crucial for the responsible and ethical deployment of technology.

    “The world is going through an important and interesting transition. AI has already begun to redefine how we live and work,” says Khaled Al Huraimel, Group Chief Executive Officer & Vice Chairman of Beeah Group.

    Huraimel, also a member of the UAE’s Circular Economy Council, believes the synergy between innovation, digitalization and sustainability will play a pivotal role in shaping a collective, prosperous future. The group CEO will be sharing insights and examples of technological solutions they have deployed to convert challenges into opportunities, and how they diversified the businesses and established a presence in new markets during the second edition of the NextTech Summit.

    The summit, hosted by MIT Sloan Management Review Middle East, promises a comprehensive exploration of emerging technologies and their impact on businesses and society. Scheduled for May 29, 2024, in Dubai, UAE, the summit brings together global experts, industry leaders, and policymakers to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by the digital revolution. 


    READ MORE: NextTech 2024: Explore the Future Insights of AI Advancements, Next-gen Tech, and Human-centric Approaches


    Huraimel will be joined on the panel, Leadership in the Digitized World, by Capt. Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia; Mohammad Khan, Managing Director & Partner at BCG; and Shirish Bhide, Chief Executive Officer of the United Arab Bank.

    At the summit, Bhide says, attendees will gain insights into the possible solutions that leaders must consider in a world that will soon be dominated by technology in all forms including many deeply pervasive forms of Gen AI and GPT.

    The summit also delves into the Middle East’s path to technological leadership. The panel with top officials from the UAE – Mohammed Yousef Al Mudharreb, CEO, Corporate Technology Support Sector at Roads & Transport Authority and Tariq Al Hashmi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary  Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology – will explore how governments and public sector companies can strategically develop and implement emerging technologies, particularly AI, while considering broader societal, technological, and organizational implications. Regulatory frameworks that foster innovation without stifling it are a key discussion point. Cybersecurity, often overlooked in the rush toward digital transformation, is also highlighted as a critical area demanding attention.

    Keynote – Embracing the Digital Revolution: Navigating the Data Future Foresight – by H.E Mohammad Hassan, Executive Director – Statistics and Data Science Sector at UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority will emphasize on the need for government and businesses to develop scenarios that anticipate the implications of a data-driven future, allowing for proactive decision-making.

    Multiple panels delve into the multifaceted impact of AI. Exploring GenAI’s Potential in your Enterprise aims to empower organizations to integrate GenAI effectively within their operations, with a focus on ethical considerations and the current technological landscape. Sukwoong Choi, Assistant Professor of Business AI at University at Albany, SUNY, says, “This exploration is crucial for understanding how these technologies not only drive economic growth but also redefine the landscape of work and corporate strategy in the modern era.” 

    Michael Ibbitson, Chief Technology Officer of Saudi-based Diriyah Company, who will be part of the same panel, shares the example of the energy efficiency program for Dubai Airports. The project helped save 20% of DXB’s energy consumption through the use of new technology and infrastructure improvements. “However, it exposes how far we still have to go to achieve net zero across our economic activities,” Ibbitson adds. Adrian Cernautan, General Manager – Digital Transformation at Coca-Cola -Turkey,  Central Asia & Middle East, and Ibraheem A. Sheerah, Chief Transformation Officer of Saudia will also be sharing their views on the panel. 

    AI, the Central Pillar in Technology Evolution panel examines the positive and negative aspects of AI’s evolution. “The region is filled with deep pockets of opportunities when it comes to technological adoption and supported by robust macro-economic fundamentals, including a predominantly youthful population and some of the fastest-growing rates of digital, smartphone, and mobile penetration globally,” says Noor Sweid, Founder & Managing Partner, Global Ventures. 

    More specifically, a few sectors stand out as particularly poised for digital disruption in the next five years. “Innovation in supply chains has taken a new dimension in recent years as a result of a global push for localization and self-sufficiency, creating unique opportunities for additive manufacturing, digital inventory products, innovative last-mile solutions as well as data plays that enhance transparency and traceability across global and regional supply chains,” she adds.

    The overarching theme at NextTech 2024 is the responsible implementation of technology. The challenges in developing effective regulations for such a complex and multifaceted technology will be in focus during the panel AI Needs Regulation. But Can Governments Do It in Isolation? Lori Baker, Vice President – Data Protection & Regulatory Compliance at DIFC, will discuss the developing regulatory landscape in the UAE / GCC, specifically Regulation 10 in the DIFC, and how companies can adapt to the fast-paced development of this particular regulatory regime, which addresses the rapidly developing issues that impact individuals’ privacy and security in the emerging technological landscape while providing a platform for interoperability around principles, ethics and governance.        

    The diverse panel includes Chief of Information Technology of Bahrain’s Ministry of Oil, Ali Abdulla Al Sadadi and Anas Mosa, Director of Information Technology, Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia. 

    “The contribution of innovations in technologies to the global economy is predicted to double in the next decade. Propelled by a new wave of emerging technologies that are redefining the economic and social landscape, the market has evolved to become a ‘winner-takes-most’ environment.” says Faisal Hamady, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

    Building upon the successful collaboration last year, BCG joins NextTech Summit 2024 as Knowledge Partner. Talking about the partnership with MIT SMR Middle East, Hamady says, “We are examining how technologies such as quantum computing and AI are becoming a cornerstone of economic diversification and innovation in the Middle East. Governments and industry leaders across the region are investing significantly in these advanced technologies to transform traditional sectors like oil and gas and enhance emerging fields such as digital health and smart cities. This strategic shift is vital as it positions the region as a beacon of innovation, uniquely equipped to tackle regional challenges and seize new opportunities.”

    AstraTech is the Gold Sponsor for NextTech Summit 2024.

    The NextTech Summit 2024 agenda promises a stimulating exploration of the digital frontier. By fostering discussions on responsible technology adoption, leadership in the digital age, and the ethical considerations surrounding emerging technologies. Click here to register. 



    NextTech probes how combining emerging technologies can unlock real value for businesses and economies.
    More in this series

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