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Hello there,

It was an incredibly eventful week for the sun and Moon.

Of course, the UAE's moon-sighting committee gathered and determined when Eid Al Fitr would begin.

Yet the Moon also had, if you'll pardon the attempt at humour, a moment in the sun during the much-anticipated 2024 total solar eclipse which enriched the lives of millions who could witness it.

While technology and social media gave us the ability to see it all play out in an unprecedented and instantaneous way, there was something very non-technical about how it all unfolded that was remarkably refreshing.

In some parts of the US, so many people put down their phones and looked to the skies during the eclipse that internet traffic dropped by 40 per cent, according to cloud computing company Cloudflare.

It's a good reminder of the things that bond us all, yesterday, today, and in the future.

Cody Combs
Future Editor

 

The Big Story

AI disclaimers

In brief | In response to its oversight board, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced that it would be broadening its use of disclaimers to let users know which pieces of content were created using artificial intelligence.

Facebook acknowledged that its existing policy is “too narrow” as it only covered videos that were created or altered through AI, whereas the updated policy will include almost all pictures, audio and videos that have been created or modified using AI.

The new policy, coming into effect in May, which includes a "Made with AI" label, will be implemented on Facebook, Instagram and Threads.

For content that is that Meta deems "high risk" in terms of deception, the company also said it would consider a more prominent label that includes more details and context.

Why it matters | To quote Roy Scheider in Jaws, "You're going to need a bigger boat."

That's where we are right now with regard to content generated by artificial intelligence.

It's no longer just a tool reserved for those in the upper echelons of computer science; it's easily accessible to almost everyone, and while that's empowering, it's not without dangers.

Even social media companies, which usually try to stay above the fray on tech regulation, realise this.

Basically, if Meta is concerned, that's something we shouldn't overlook.

Quoted | 'Our manipulated media policy was written in 2020 when realistic AI-generated content was rare and the overarching concern was about videos. In the last four years, and particularly in the last year, people have developed other kinds of realistic AI-generated content like audio and photos, and this technology is quickly evolving. As the Board noted, it’s equally important to address manipulation that shows a person doing something they didn’t do'

Monika Bickert, Meta's vice president of content policy

 

Future in focus

Methodology madness | Here's why future happiness may depend on better happiness studies

Sky is the limit | The global space economy is projected to grow to $1.8 trillion by 2035, a World Economic Forum report showed

Being green | How Oman is quietly positioning itself as a global hub for green hydrogen exports

London lab | Why Microsoft intends to build an artificial intelligence hub in the UK capital

 

Predicting the future: Signal or noise?

According to a new report, the GCC consulting market is set to expand 11 per cent and exceed $6 billion in revenue this year, as economic diversification strategies and giga projects boost demand for these services.

The industry’s growth is also likely to lead to increased hiring in the region, in contrast to the worldwide trend.

This is a signal: Don't write off consultants just yet. Although the prevailing dialogue says that artificial intelligence and a soft global economy might leave the consultant market vulnerable, there's plenty of room for growth, and frankly, various regions like the GCC are unsaturated, unlike other parts of the world.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all have very lofty infrastructure and technological ambitions, and with those ambitions come the need for consultants.

Does artificial intelligence leave consultants vulnerable? Sure, but the same vulnerability applies to most industries, and consultancies have proven to be durable to similar new developments in the past.

 
 

In case you missed it

Everything you need to know about the $164,000 space balloon flight preparing to rise from Saudi Arabia

How Intel's new Gaudi 3 compares to Nvidia's chips in GenAI race

From robotic arms to a 3D-printed jaw, here's how technological advancements are reshaping the healthcare sector

Abu Dhabi ranked among the world's top 10 smartest cities

Oceans are victims of climate change - but could they become part of the solution?

Beyond the Headlines: The role social media is playing in the Israel-Gaza war