Robotic hands typing on keyboard, illustration.
Technology that was once considered science fiction is edging closer to reality. How that is regulated is an important conundrum for governments and policy makers. Getty Images

Governments must control the rise of artificial intelligence, experts say

The dawn of the artificial intelligence age is upon us and the speed of technological development threatens to leave regulatory control in its wake.

Those concerns were one of the key themes to emerge from the World Government Summit staged in Dubai this week.

From agriculture and transport to healthcare and education, technology that was once considered science fiction is edging closer to reality.

How that is managed in the decades to come is providing an imminent conundrum for governments and policy makers, and proved a common topic of discussion in forums during the three-day summit.

“I believe we are right at the start of this revolution happening right now and I imagine more natural ways of communication so it will become seamless,” said Carol Riley, president of Drive – AI.

“This means non-verbal communication and machines start to understand what we are thinking.”


Read more:

The machines are taking over: how AI will change life in the UAE over the next 50 years

Cutting edge brain control headset could cut UAE's road deaths

UAE to phase out immigration officers in favour of AI by 2020


Mind reading robots may sound like a terrifying prospect, but neuroscientists working in the field claim science has the potential to make life easier, and safer – as long as the technology is controlled and regulated correctly.

Speech and face recognition to access mobile devices and bank accounts has become routine, whilst the rise of home assistants like Amazon Echo’s Alexa device and Google Home are early AI applications that are now commonplace.

How this technology develops was a topic of discussion at the WGS involving the father of AI, Juergen Schmidhuber, chief scientist at NNaisense and co-director at Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research.

He has been working since the age of 15 to create a self-improved AI, smarter than himself.

“The next wave is going to be machines getting smart with built-in sensors,” he said.

“They can do all kinds of things that only people can do, so ‘show-and-tell’ robotics will come next when you teach a robot like a child by just showing it how it’s done.”

The rise of ‘fake news’ is a problem blamed on increasing automation and computer generated content with the potential to split society.

Predictions based on research and trend analysis by Gartner forecast that by 2020, an AI-driven creation of a ‘counterfeit reality’, or fake content, will outpace AI’s ability to detect it, fomenting digital distrust.

Most of this fake reality will be delivered to us via platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube, right to our smartphones.

Big data has been the foundation of new development for decades, with tech firms like Google using that information to monitor human trends and make our online experience more symbiotic.

In education, teachers are being given new tools to get the best out of their students.

Google Classroom is offering a universal online method of creating, distributing and grading assignments, whilst online tutorials help parents and schools learn how they can teach children to protect themselves online.

Global hunger is increasing after a decade of decline, as the planet’s population continues to swell providing new challenges to feed the poorest nations.

Alternatives to meat such as insect protein produced on an industrial scale were discussed as a healthier, cheaper and greener source of food that could be seen in most supermarkets in the near future.

Transport was another popular topic, as Dubai aims to switch 25 per cent of all vehicles to autonomous by 2030.

Technology has been described as ‘unstoppable’ by Sebastian Thrun, a German innovator and chief executive of Kitty Hawk Corporation, which aims to develop a flying car.

“It’s a very exciting time,” he said.

“We might eventually be able to upload the human brain onto a machine and in that sense, have it enter immortality.”

In healthcare, a pervasive diagnostics environment where people would receive medical exams while driving, sleeping or showering, could help offer an earlier diagnosis of killer disease like cancer, improving survival rates.

Price, base / as tested From Dh173,775 (base model)
Engine 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo, AWD
Power 249hp at 5,500rpm
Torque 365Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm
Gearbox Nine-speed auto
Fuel economy, combined 7.9L/100km


Created by: Jim Mickle, Beth Schwartz

Stars: Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen

Rating: 3.5/5

Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

How to wear a kandura


  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester


  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying

Group B

Bayern Munich v Tottenham, midnight (Thursday)

yallacompare profile

Date of launch: 2014

Founder: Jon Richards, founder and chief executive; Samer Chebab, co-founder and chief operating officer, and Jonathan Rawlings, co-founder and chief financial officer

Based: Media City, Dubai 

Sector: Financial services

Size: 120 employees

Investors: 2014: $500,000 in a seed round led by Mulverhill Associates; 2015: $3m in Series A funding led by STC Ventures (managed by Iris Capital), Wamda and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; 2019: $8m in Series B funding with the same investors as Series A along with Precinct Partners, Saned and Argo Ventures (the VC arm of multinational insurer Argo Group)

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
  • Always double-check the authenticity of websites
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all your working and personal services
  • Only use official links published by the respective entity
  • Double-check the web addresses to reduce exposure to fake sites created with domain names containing spelling errors
Expert advice

“Join in with a group like Cycle Safe Dubai or TrainYAS, where you’ll meet like-minded people and always have support on hand.”

Stewart Howison, co-founder of Cycle Safe Dubai and owner of Revolution Cycles

“When you sweat a lot, you lose a lot of salt and other electrolytes from your body. If your electrolytes drop enough, you will be at risk of cramping. To prevent salt deficiency, simply add an electrolyte mix to your water.”

Cornelia Gloor, head of RAK Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Centre 

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can ride as fast or as far during the summer as you do in cooler weather. The heat will make you expend more energy to maintain a speed that might normally be comfortable, so pace yourself when riding during the hotter parts of the day.”

Chandrashekar Nandi, physiotherapist at Burjeel Hospital in Dubai

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8


Company name: Nomad Homes
Started: 2020
Founders: Helen Chen, Damien Drap, and Dan Piehler
Based: UAE and Europe
Industry: PropTech
Funds raised so far: $44m
Investors: Acrew Capital, 01 Advisors, HighSage Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, Potluck Ventures, Knollwood and several undisclosed hedge funds

Name: Peter Dicce

Title: Assistant dean of students and director of athletics

Favourite sport: soccer

Favourite team: Bayern Munich

Favourite player: Franz Beckenbauer

Favourite activity in Abu Dhabi: scuba diving in the Northern Emirates 


'Top Gun: Maverick'

Rating: 4/5

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Ed Harris

Most Read
Top Videos

The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today