RIT Dubai’s Dr Sanjay Modak takes center stage at DTec Forum on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

What does the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning look like? How will it affect our lives and what are its economic consequences? How, as a business can you use Data and AI to your benefit? These were just some of the key questions Dr. Sanjay Modak, Visiting Professor of Economics at the Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai discussed during his presentation at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec)’s recent forum on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Joined by a line-up of expert panellists, including Rami Sarieddine, Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, Muhammad Yaseen, Co-Founder of Networkful and Tariq Qureishy, CEO of Mad Talks, Dr. Modak threw light on the economic consequences of AI for businesses around the world including the immediate need for workers to be retrained and upskilled, along with discussing how the academic world is perceiving the possible risks and benefits of such huge technological change.

Commenting during the event, Dr. Modak said: “There is huge fear surrounding AI:  fear about what could happen with workforces around the world, a fascination with the potential of these technologies to change lives and what could happen if things go out of control without proper regulation. A recent study from the University of Oxford has suggested that in future generations, up to 47% of jobs will be taken by robots. But robots and automation could also have the power to increase production and competitiveness. Some economists are suggesting that SMEs will soon have the ability to compete with big firms on an equal footing, and research hints that automation could lead to increased labour demand and have a positive impact on wages. Although economists differ in their opinions as to the impact of automation and machine learning, they all agree that with the huge growth of AI workers need to be retrained and upskilled. Computer and data scientists will come to the fore.”

“The UAE in general and Dubai in particular are doing everything to make innovation and investment in AI easier and more reliable” continued Dr. Modak, “With high-level training and education and research funded in maths, statistics and data science, there is no reason that Dubai and the UAE could not become a global hub to rival Silicon Valley in the future.”

Rami Sarieddine, Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft hinted too at the huge role data analytics is playing in the tech industry, adding: “Having advanced technologies has meant that AI has exponentially grown. Our AI department at Microsoft has expanded to 8,000 people in just two years. This transformation is because of an increased knowledge and understanding of advanced data analytics.”

RIT Dubai’s inaugural Data Science and Analytics Professional Diploma is set to launch at the University this fall. For more information about the course and the applications procedure, visit: https://www.rit.edu/dubai/data-science-program