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10th Bahrain International eGovernment Forum launched

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The 10th Bahrain International eGovernment Forum opened.  Held under the patronage of His Excellency General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Information and Communication Technology (MCICT) at Exhibition World Bahrain in Sakhir, the forum, which focuses on the theme “AI: Reshaping Industries”, continues until 11th October.

The Forum’s first day saw participation by over 500 attendees. The sessions featured renowned local and global speakers in information and communication technology (ICT) and artificial intelligence (AI) sharing insights on AI and Social Media Networks, the Future of Work in the Context of AI, and AI’s Role in Digital Transformation.

Within the theme AI and Social Media Networks, the spotlight was on the interaction between intelligence and etiquette. Nina Schick, a globally recognized author, entrepreneur, and GenAI advisor, discussed the current shift from an era of information and digitization to an era of artificial intelligence. “We have moved from the information age into the artificial intelligence age. This technology is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and interact with the world around us. Generative AI is transforming industries by automating content creation and personalizing user experiences. It streamlines tasks, accelerates innovation, and offers efficiency gains across various sectors, from healthcare to education.”

During a panel discussion moderated by Abdulla Al Hamed, Chairman of the Bahrain Internet Society, participants explored the impact of employing technology in social media networks under the theme ‘Artificial Intelligence and Social Media Networks’. They discussed the role of AI in enhancing quality and productivity, supporting professionals in the industry by making social media a faster and efficient communications channel.

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The speakers delved into the importance of integrating technology into academic settings and its impact on developing skills for future generations. Paul Kelly, CEO of Sila Insights Dubai, highlighted the challenges of leveraging AI through social media channels and other platforms. He pointed out the global trend of optimizing AI for social media content creation, user-centric content provision, and utilizing big data and emotional analysis.

Jennifer Vessels, a digital transformation expert and CEO of Next Step and EGA, discussed the global adoption of advanced digital technologies and the integration of AI in both the government and private sectors: “AI has the potential to reshape jobs and skill sets. While it can automate routine tasks, it also creates new roles in AI development and oversight.” She emphasized the importance of enhancing skills in areas such as machine learning and human-AI collaborations. She also explored the impact of AI on job roles, adaptation to the technology, and the necessity of preparing the workforce for these changes.

During the panel discussion on the impact of AI on jobs and skills, participants highlighted the collaborative relationship between employees and AI in the workplace. They discussed how enhancing collaboration can improve quality, creativity, and innovation. Todd Schweitzer, Founder and CEO of Brankas, and Olga Parra, Principal – Data & AI Segment leader at IBM Middle East and Africa, emphasized the positive effects of fostering collaboration between employees and AI, including behavioral changes, increased creativity, and improvement in customer service. They acknowledged potential threats and emphasized the need for employees to upgrade their skills in anticipation of expected technological changes.

Dr. Abdelrahman Al Mahmoud, a Principal Researcher at Technology Innovation Institute (TII) and a Governing Board Member of the UAE Robotics and Automation Society, delved into the role of AI in digital transformation. He focused on its application in government services, discussing both opportunities and challenges. He showcased the UAE government’s experience in deploying AI, shedding light on its national AI strategy and the impact it is having on the future of education. He also provided insights into the UAE’s utilization of AI in the digital transformation of the public sector.

During a panel discussion titled ‘The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Digital Transformation’, also moderated by Mr. Al Hamed, a member of the Forum’s Organizing Committee, participants, including Ali Alasiri, Chief Executive Officer of Meila Digital, and Shadi Haddad, Regional Director for Data and AI at Microsoft, extensively discussed the pivotal role of advanced digital technologies and AI as key elements in achieving digital transformation across sectors. They emphasized the crucial role of these technologies in shaping future infrastructure.

The day concluded with Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed honoring the forum’s speakers. The event will continue for the next two days (10th and 11th October) with discussions led by international speakers in the field of AI and ICT, who will highlight best practices and the impact of AI on various sectors. The 10th edition of the forum has drawn the participation of government officials, private sector representatives, IT professionals, and enthusiasts from various government, private, civil society, and academic institutions.

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