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Bots for farmers, Air-Guardian co-pilot, AI safety institute

October started with complaints from some high-profile Hollywood celebrities who said their likenesses were used in unauthorized advertisements created with the help of AI. Tom Hanks and the CBS anchor Gayle King both issued warnings on X, saying that advertisements developed on AI versions of them used their likeness without their consent were fraudulent. On a positive side, there was a number of new developments in the world of data analytics and AI. But first let’s take a closer look at what happened at one of the largest technology expo in the Middle East.

From expo grounds

From virtual police officers to autonomous retail stories, GITEX Global, the annual technology trade show in MENA, had a significant focus on deploying artificial intelligence to improve the quality of life. Here is some interesting cases and takeaways:

The UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority unveiled the future of farming at GITEX with its farm bots. Integrating AI and robotics, the bots, will offer accuracy in planting, nurturing, and harvesting crops. Its advanced sensors monitor soil conditions and optimizes resource utilization such as reducing water waste and minimizing chemical usage.

Etisalat by e& announced the soft launch of its Consumer Assistant. Built using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, the new AI assistant can join voice calls to verbally communicate with customers and assist with various tasks such as checking the weather, getting directions to a destination, or getting an update on current news.

G42, the UAE-based technology holding group, announced a partnership with OpenAI, to deliver AI solutions to the UAE and regional markets. The partnership will focus on leveraging OpenAI’s Generative AI models in domains where G42 already has expertise including financial services, energy, healthcare, and public services.

The Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League, A2RL, was launched, along with the unveiling of the first autonomized Dallara Super Formula. Operating without human involvement, the autonomous vehicle by ASPIRE will feature in the inaugural race scheduled for 2024.

The Abu Dhabi Government launched the Unlocking the Potential of Data for the Greater Good initiative by the Statistics Centre. This project aims to develop state-of-the-art technological solutions to establish a unified virtual database, allowing decision-makers - including local, international and emerging companies - to access data repositories from various sectors and sources, with the aim of leveraging this data to make informed decisions.

Vendor news

Microsoft brings many of its data analysis tools together under the Microsoft Fabric brand, with a mix of relational and non-relational data stored in cloud-hosted data lakes and managed with lakehouses. Building on the open-source Delta table format and the Apache Spark engine, Fabric takes big data concepts and makes them accessible to both common programming languages and more specialized analytics tooling, like the visual data explorations and complex query engine provided by Power BI. Microsoft Fabric’s new semantic link feature provides a bridge between this data-centric world and the data science tools provided by languages like Python, using familiar Pandas and Apache Spark APIs.

Oracle has rolled out significant updates to its NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, aiming to provide customers with more actionable data insights. The AI-enabled, cloud-based warehouse is designed to simplify the complex process of data management for organisations. NetSuite Analytics Warehouse is the first and only AI-enabled, prebuilt cloud data warehouse and analytics solution for NetSuite customers. The service consolidates data from diverse sources, including transactional and historical data, and then employs artificial intelligence to guide users towards actionable business insights. The updates enhance user experience through features such as embedded analytics in dashboards, more frequent data refreshes, enhanced financial data analysis, and improved user access management.

The international IT professionals' community has announced the 'Top 100 IT Leaders' project. It is a global initiative that allows top IT managers to share their experience, expand their professional network and showcase the best digitalization practices of their companies. Here we will answer the basic questions about the project.

The editors of Global CIO discussed with Ahmet Hakan Göral, CIO at Boutique Rugs and winner of the Project of the Year 2023 contest, his current projects, the approach to digital transformation and the specifics of the role of CIO in retail.

April was full of new initiatives from vendors as well as some fascinating news on the technology front. With Olympics in Paris approaching, more  news will be flowing in from the capital of France.

My profession, the role of CIO, unfortunately means that sometimes I come to a company to replace another CIO. Presumably, the previous CIO did not suit the company, and they decided to replace him or her.

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