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Mona Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office. Image Credit:

Dubai: Dubai is a place where great minds can transform their ideas into reality, Mona Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, said on Thursday.

She was speaking at the introductory session of the region’s first INSEAD National Alumni Association (NAA) UAE Leadership Forum in Dubai.

INSEAD is one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“Dubai provides talented people the infrastructure, support and stability needed to turn their ideas into reality,” Al Marri told an audience of regional and business leaders, policymakers, government officials and thought leaders at the Forum.

“The Government of Dubai Media Office’s partnership with INSEAD to host this Forum is consistent with our spirit of dialogue and knowledge exchange,” she said.

She spoke about the announcement of the Eight Principles of Governance by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in January, which redefined his vision for Dubai.

Among those eight principles, she said, there are two that are particularly relevant to the Forum.

Under the principle called ‘A Land for Talent’ Dubai seeks to continually review and renew policies and procedures to ensure the city’s attractiveness to talented individuals and build the best environment in Dubai for the world’s leading minds.

Another is the principle focused on creating a business-friendly global hub focused on creating economic opportunities.

Referring to Sheikh Mohammed’s statement, she said that the emirate’s prominence, competitiveness and sustainability depends on its ability to continue attracting talented and skilled people and nurturing the brightest minds from around the world so that they can generate ideas and turn them into reality.

She called on both the government and private sector to take this vision to the next level. “I believe this Forum provides a platform to do this. We would like to hear about your experiences and stories and ideas that will keep contributing to the unique story of Dubai,” she said.

Taking advantage of the “age of the mind”

Guided by the vision of Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai is well placed to take advantage of the “age of the mind,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World.

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Sultan Bin Sulayem

Delivering the keynote address at the Forum, Bin Sulayem said: “Dubai is today a knowledge economy where we create value today by converting data into knowledge. This knowledge gives us the opportunity to make better decisions, better choices on where to invest.”

He said Dubai, the “global free zone capital” is “going one step further by enabling business owners to conduct business digitally, without requiring residency.

“Virtual company licence owners can manage all their business-related activities, including document signing and submission digitally — their signatures will be legally binding in the UAE.”

“The Global Logistics Passport provides advantages for businesses and shipping companies by connecting government entities, including Dubai Customs and Dubai Trade with logistics service providers like DP World and Dnata,” he said.

Delivering the introductory speech at the Forum, Elias Aad, President of the INSEAD NAA in the UAE, said welcoming more than 180 nations and 20 million visitors for Dubai Expo 2020 is a true reflection of the role that this city and nation are playing by bridging communities and business opportunities.

Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD also spoke at the preliminary session.

Organised by the NAA in the UAE and the Government of Dubai Media Office, the Forum provided a platform for sharing diverse ideas on promoting sustainable economic growth and creating a brighter future for the region.

Speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘Innovation Nation: The Changing Face of Investment’, Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai Investment Development, Agency (DUBAI FDI) said that what makes Dubai a unique place for investments is the softer elements such as the talent, people and management systems which together facilitate greater efficiency.

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Fahad Al Gergawi

“Despite the economic downtown in the last year or two, we have seen resilience within the city of Dubai because of its readiness to face challenges. We have decided to be a city that is ready and able to face different challenges. We have made sure to put great emphasis on readiness,” said Al Gergawi.

AI not advanced enough to model the capabilities of a worm: INSEAD Professor

Today’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not advanced enough to model the capabilities of a worm yet, said a leading academic speaking at the region’s first INSEAD National Alumni Association (NAA) UAE Leadership Forum in Dubai on Thursday

In a session that demystified Artificial Intelligence, Philip M. Parker the INSEAD Chair Professorship of Management Science at INSEAD said: “The world’s AI community today works with what he called “weak AI.”

“Strong AI is science fiction. It doesn’t exist yet. What we do today is weak AI,” he said.

AI is rapidly emerging as the most important transformative technology of our time. Recent advances, particularly in machine learning, have led to a swift proliferation of new applications that are transforming economies and companies as well as the way we work, live and play. However, today’s AI cannot do even basic tasks that primitive brains can do, Parker said.

“We do not do the AI of a worm yet. The most primitive part of the brain has not been modelled yet,” he said.

This session was aimed at providing an introduction to intelligent technologies, along with ways to look at them through the lens of business capabilities.

Parker is well known for patenting a method to automatically produce a set of similar books from a template which is filled with data from database and internet searches. His programmes have written more than 200,000 books.