Sir Tim Berners-Lee chooses GITEX to deliver landmark keynote on reinventing the Web
Source: Edelman DABO for GITEX Technology Week , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Tue October 16, 2018 11:56 am

UAE. The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee took to the keynote stage at the 38th GITEX Technology Week this afternoon. Speaking to a global audience of technology enthusiasts, futurists, investors, innovation evangelists and government leaders, Sir Tim announced his new platform 'Solid' at the Dubai World Trade Centre. "We are interested in having developers work with us and give people complete control of their data," said Sir Tim, speaking to a full house.
Three decades after inventing the internet, Sir Tim said: "We don't have innovation, because when you get such consolidation in a business, you have a monopoly which is the only place that can do research. Having a monopoly means your innovation just drops."
Sir Tim highlighted that people are not happy with the state of the web, with possibilities for innovation limited under the control of technology giants.
In light of recent global issues around user data and privacy, Sir Tim set out to establish Inrupt, an organisation which will run the Solid platform. An amalgamation of innovation and disruption, Inrupt uses web technology in a way that gives people complete control of their data. With Solid, users will have the freedom to choose how their data is used.
The MIT and University of Oxford Professor generated significant excitement amidst the ground-breaking innovations on display across two of the world's biggest technology shows – GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars – with a renewed vision to put data back in the hands of users
H.E. Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr delivers keynote address on inspiring new realities
The two-day vertical focus on Smart Cities kick-started today at GITEX Technology Week with powerful insights from some of the most inspirational industry leaders from both private and government sectors.
H.E. Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office (SDO) delivered the keynote address in which she highlighted how Smart Dubai is inspiring new realities by leveraging technologies like AI, IoT and Blockchain. She highlighted the various initiatives that SDO has rolled out under its three key pillars: Smart governance and planning; seamless experiences and technology efficiency; and ecosystem enablement. She gave the examples of the Dubai Now app, which allows consumers to pay their bills and fines, renew trade licenses and vehicle registration amongst other things. She also highlighted Dubai's very own AI-powered virtual assistant called 'Rashid', also noting the launch of the Dubai AI Roadmap where Smart Dubai has identified 34 use cases of implementing AI across the city, in partnership with 13 government entities.
Her Excellency noted that Smart Dubai and the Government of the UAE are committed to transforming the country into a testbed for startups to innovate and scale their technologies, before concluding her keynote with a call to action for everyone to join the Smart Cities Global Network, which is the largest international network of smart city stakeholders.
Alibaba executive talks City Brain, while Google delves into the future of efficiency
At the Smart Cities vertical at GITEX Conferences today, Dr. Wanli Min, Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist, Alibaba, explained to a captive audience what it means to have a City Brain: AI which develops a neural network across your city to power smart cities. He also discussed the benefits of the Cloud in building the smart city infrastructure, its efficiency and its inexpensiveness, compared to other traditional IT infrastructure.
He said: "Smart City is not a buzz word anymore.
"How do we define smart cities? It's not about how many sensors you have, it's not about how many big screens you have, it's about how fast you can act intelligently in response to emergency or any other situation – that is our motivation to redefine smart."
Dr. Min stated that Alibaba's ET City Brain gives meaning to data. By using artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms, City Brain is able to analyse a large amount of data and turn it into actionable information in real-time speed.
The Smart Cities vertical also featured Google's Chief Decision Scientist Cassie Kozyrkov, dissecting the unprecedented opportunity we now have to make data useful and to build incredible things with AI and Machine Learning.
In her session, Cassie said: "The world represented by data is the only world you expect to succeed. If data is all about how to translate between Japanese and Arabic, that's not going to help you build a calculus enabled student. So your data quality really matters and what keeps you safe at the end is testing that data."
Cassie further warned that technology is "an echo of the wishes of whoever builds it", stating: "All technology based on big data that scales quickly is essentially the perforation of magic labs. It is never the genie who is dangerous, it is only an unscaled wisher who does not know how to wish responsibly."
Investors: "Don't fear being a startup copycat - if it means you're offering something better at a local level"
Venture Capitalists representing some of the Middle East and South East Asia's sharpest financial backers believe the region is entering "the most exciting time" in its history, as GITEX Future Stars 2018 – MESA's leading startup event – entered its second day.
Sharing the 10x Stage for a panel discussion on startup investment from ICO through IPO, David Gowdey (Managing Partner, Jungle Ventures), Shane Shin (Managing Partner, Shorooq Investments), and analyst and venture investor Christopher Schroeder probed the region's flourishing entrepreneurial tech scene, forecasting where the next investment opportunities would come from and the business possibilities that come with catering to a market with 650 million person population, 65% of whom are younger than 30-years-old.
While admitting they remained vigilant in regards to the next unique piece of world-changing tech, the trio all agreed that the region's next big thing may not necessarily be an entirely new concept, but rather a new, better way of doing something that already exists.
Shane Shin said: "We're hearing the word 'copycat' a lot now, but I frankly hate that. Anyone who says this-or-that company is just a copycat – like they did with Careem and Uber, for example – are really underestimating the importance of execution and the difficulties and challenges local startups face. We're from here, we understand the region, and it's not easy. These startups aren't copycats – they are companies who know the local market and are executing the product better."
David Gowdey continued that point: "We see a lot of innovation that's happening to local nuances that then get adopted more globally. Just because you're a regional player going for the local market does not mean you're not innovating or taking the game to the next level, it just means you're using everything you know and adding it to an already existing product to make it better."
UAE leads the way in Middle East 5G readiness as Huawei reveals technology will yield US$269 billion in ICT revenue for the region over the next decade
The launch of 5G mobile networks will generate up to US$269 billion in revenue for the Middle East's ICT industry in the next ten years, a Huawei white paper released today at GITEX has revealed.
Announced during the Chinese tech giant's third annual Middle East Innovation Day, the research document magnified the scale of impact that revolutionary 5G - which works at speeds 100 times faster than 4G - will generate for the Middle East ICT sector.
The white paper, conducted in partnership with telecom researchers Analysys Mason and entitled 'Unlocking Digital Opportunities with 5G', compares the country readiness of five different markets with key international benchmarks, and makes recommendations on how operators and governments can capitalise on the technology.
It concluded that the GCC is well poised to deploy 5G, with the UAE being the most 5G-ready country in the region. The white paper further indicates that a closer collaboration between operators and vertical industries is key to unlocking the tremendous opportunities in the emerging technology.
At GITEX, the UAE's leading service providers Etisalat and du are live-trialling the power of 5G through connected cars, AI, robotics, drones, 4K streaming, remote robotic surgery, augmented and virtual realities, tactile interaction, IoT, and more.
Accenture: retail is not dead, but time to wave goodbye to 'mediocre' shopping
Long live retail...but make it retail that blows our socks off!
That was the message from Thomas Mueller, Fjord General Manager of Accenture UAE, at GITEX 2018 today, when he and Tarek Sultani, the firm's Group Director and Studio Lead, took to the show's Elevate Stage to discuss 'Retail in an age of Experience'.
The pair insisted that bricks-and-mortar retail - struggling globally in the face of e-commerce and online shopping - is not dead...but mediocre retail is. Mueller recommended retailers rethink the experience they're offering consumers, citing an example of how Nike is not only in the sports vertical now, but is also experimenting with music and its shoes. He said: "Retail needs to stage meaningful experiences for consumers. Brands need to shift their focus from vertical to horizontal."
He outlined seven different 'shape' concepts that retailers can use to enhance consumer experiences, starting with 'Shrinking the Thinking': a shape aimed at removing inconvenience for shoppers and saving them time and effort. The next was 'Personal Curator' where retailers are using filters to know the likes and dislikes of their shoppers. The third - 'Indulgent Dwell' - helped shoppers savour their time when they shop, while 'Theater' focused on telling astonishing stories that stimulate the senses of the shoppers.
Tarek Sultani argued that retail is being disrupted by technology, but is being transformed by experiences. "Dubai as a destination has already adopted the concept of providing meaningful experiences to its residents," he said. "In the mega malls that are present and coming up in Dubai, we are already seeing a lot of transition into some of these shapes – simplifying people's lives and developing the connection between online and offline shopping."
He added: "Retail and the brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay, but their shape and form are changing. There is already repositioning and transformation around the purpose of these malls. As new malls come up, you will see more features that are more than just physical transactions but more focused on interacting with the customers."
GITEX Supernova semi-finalists battling it out for life-change prize money
The GITEX Supernova Challenge has returned bigger and bolder for 2018, and today the final round of pitches for the semi-final round took place, where the last of a 75-strong shortlist of techpreneurs were vying to win the largest cash prize awarded at any pitch competition ever held in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia – a cool USD$180,000.
Shortlisted startups that pitched today included SatelliteVu, who apply science and technology to monitor plastic, pollution and pirates from space; Blue Visor, who developed AI that is specialised in investment; and Vesna Health Solutions, who were pitching BREXA – a free-to-download a breast cancer screening application.
Speaking from the sidelines, Anthony Baker, CEO, SatelliteVu said: "GITEX Future Stars has been great all around and we've met investors and customers. You can't get this experience anywhere else, maybe CES in USA, but that's so American, whereas this is much more global. We want to sell to Middle East and Asia, we want to reach the rest of the world and we get to do this through GITEX Future Stars."
DoYeop Kim, CFO/Co-Founder, Blue Visor, commented: "Since we are trying to expand our company to international markets, GITEX opens the doors for us. Luckily, we've been selected as a Supernova finalist and hopefully something will happen for us. From here, you can see the players and the competition, potential investors and buyers, and that's very motivational."
Sreekala Sreehari, COO, Vesna Health Solutions, stated: "We've been told that GITEX is the best platform to go global. Now we are planning to liaise with organisations, hospitals and existing scan screening organisations, and through GITEX I believe we can reach more."
The competition – which runs across eight categories, including best AI, Emirati, female-led and youth startup – received more than 200 entries from 40 different countries, with the final winners being announced on Wednesday.

Photo Caption: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web



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