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The journey into the future

Dr. Jassim Haji, President of the Artificial Intelligence Society of Bahrain speaks about the key focus for the society in its journey towards facilitating the rise of Bahrain as a hub for developing AI solutions 

Please discuss the objectives of AI society as an organization?

The AI Society has been formed to support several objectives and the key focus is  to support Bahrain’s 2030 vision through implementation of specific AI applications and technologies. The society aims at making Bahrain a regional center of Artificial Intelligence Research & Development. The society is committed to help build a pool of AI expertise from executives and technical resources within the society to promote AI in the Kingdom and region. There is also the intent to collaborate and build GCC wide society for AI.

We are focusing on creating intensive activities from local and global expertise in presenting AI solutions in various vertical sectors and mainly in areas of: Banking, Insurance, Government, Oil & Gas, Aviation and Manufacturing.

The society will ensure global AI initiatives are collaborated with local demand to create short term plan for implementation of AI, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Robotics to attract investors. It will encourage and educate business community on how to improve efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction, while reducing the operating cost through adoption of AI alternative solutions.

The society will also build affiliations and strategic partnerships with government decision making bodies, to adopt AI and make it as one of their strategic objectives in transforming Bahrain into AI Hub.

Who are members and affiliates for the society?

We have over 45 members, consisting of CIOs, Entrepreneurs, University academies and AI expertise. The society affiliates with many technology and AI organizations in Bahrain and GCC.

What have been the kind of activities the society has executed or been part of in 2018?

The society has organized over 8 conferences, workshops and seminars since its inceptions last July and expected to conducted 10 more by end of 2019. The aim of these activities is to disseminate awareness of AI conceptually within the community plus across both public and private sectors.     

Discuss the role of AI in digital transformation?

It is predicted that AI will add $15.7 trillion to global GDP annually by the year 2030. Artificial Intelligence is already a key driver of digital transformation across a wide range of sectors, from insurance to manufacturing and the automotive industry. The potential of this technology to shift business strategy to a truly customer-centric model remain largely untapped.

How Bahrain can play a key role as the AI society proposes /envisages?

Bahrain has been a pioneer in technology since 1970s and first technology exhibition in GCC was held in Manama in 1981. Bahrain has rich Human capital and high literacy, especially in the Information Technology and Computer science. With a few thousand graduates emerging every year, Bahrain is an excellent candidate to enforce itself as a centre of Research & Development for Artificial Intelligence in the Middle-East, with cost and quality factors advantages over many countries in the region.