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

The 2024 agenda is carefully curated to address the critical intersections of technology, ethics, and human impact.

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  • [Image source: Anvita Gupta/MITSMR Middle East]

    From being primarily discussed among tech employees to becoming a central focus for top management across industries, artificial intelligence (AI) and data science have captured massive business and consumer attention in the past few years. In fact, 2023 came to be defined as the Year of Generative AI. 

    So, what will 2024 be about?

    With the broader adoption of these technologies across various business roles and functions, the conversation has gradually shifted to understanding the delicate balance between operational stability and security. 

    “It is easy to see AI as one amazing discovery after another. But, in fact, a few big trends underlie these discoveries. And, if we understand them, they can give us the intuition we need to interpret where AI is going,” says Neil Thompson, Director- Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, MIT, and keynote speaker at the NextTech Summit 2024

    Thompson’s session on Understanding the AI Black Box will cover how modern AI differs from what came before, why it has been so successful, and the opportunities and challenges of AI in the coming decade.

    The second edition of MIT SMR Middle East’s NextTech Summit will explore technology’s transformative power and potential to foster positive change across diverse domains. The discussions will range from the ethical implications of AI to enterprise integration, the quantum future, and the convergence of technologies like blockchain and the metaverse.

    [Watch the highlights of NextTech Summit 2023]

    “In today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, it is essential for us to embrace technology and use it to drive innovation and growth,” says Capt. Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudi Airlines. He will be sharing experiences and insights on Saudia’s transformation journey and discuss how the aviation company is leveraging technology to enhance operations and elevate the overall customer experience. 

    “Gen AI has boundless possibilities in the aviation sector,” adds Ibraheem A. Sheerah, the company’s CTO. “These cutting-edge technologies are set to revolutionize the airline industry, unlocking unprecedented efficiency, safety, and personalized experiences for passengers and operators alike.”

    Sheerah will discuss Gen AI’s Potential in your Enterprise panel with Adrian Cernautan, General Manager – Digital Transformation Turkey, Central Asia & Middle East of Coca-Cola. 

    Albert Phelps of will talk about the nuances of crafting effective AI prompts, the critical role of human expertise in guiding AI, and how AI can be harnessed to bolster efficiency and innovation within businesses in the Enterprise-Scale Applications of Advanced Prompt Engineering panel. “I bring a humanities background and perspective to human-AI interaction, and most of my best Large Language Model powered systems have a very literary prompt, a personality, and the rules and skills in code that we give these models to be useful.”

    “I found new work and a new purpose, thanks to AI technology,” adds Phelps, the R&D director of the enterprise-ready platform specializing in creating industry-aligned AI agents that prioritize human values and improve the productivity and well-being of human colleagues. 

    Another key theme of the summit is the zero-trust architecture. With cyber threats escalating and data breaches becoming a pressing concern, adopting a robust zero-trust foundation emerges as a critical imperative. Industry experts and thought leaders will deliberate on the role of digital identity and the effectiveness of the zero-trust approach.

    The ongoing debate between augmentation and automation will take center stage, highlighting the need for a thoughtful approach to workforce transformation during the Understanding the Human-Machine Collaboration panel. The summit will also discuss the future of quantum computing and the industries poised to seize the initial advantages of practical implementation.

    Among the MIT professors, scholars, industry leaders, policymakers, and futurists are Bernd van Linder, CEO of Commercial Bank of Dubai, Capt. Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia; Jalal Mapar, former senior advisor of emerging technologies at DHS Science & Technology Directorate; and Petr Kadlec, Digital Transformation Leader at Aramco. More speakers will join the summit in the coming weeks.

    AstraTech is the Gold Sponsor for the NextTech Summit 2024, which will be hosted on May 29 in Dubai. Speaking about the partnership, Abdallah Abu-Sheikh, Founder of Astra Tech and CEO of Botim, says, “We look forward to our participation at the NextTech Summit this year, where we will showcase the latest innovations and capabilities in the tech sphere, particularly in AI. As we continue to build the region’s largest tech ecosystem, our presence underscores our commitment to driving innovation and shaping the future.” 

    This year’s agenda is carefully curated to address the critical intersections of technology, ethics, and human impact. 

    As attendees engage with industry experts and thought leaders, they will gain valuable insights into the evolving tech landscape and the responsible and ethical deployment of emerging technologies. Over 400 global industry leaders, policy shapers, and key decision-makers will attend the summit.

    To know more about MIT SMR Middle East’s NextTech Summit, click here.


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