190316 omar bin sultan
Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama interacts with senior officials from government entities and executives from international technology companies in Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Autonomous taxis are ready to hit Dubai roads soon as the trials on the smart vehicle have proven successful, Gulf News has learnt.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched an autonomous taxi at Gitex in October last year, and according to the vehicle’s developer the smart cab has proven its capability and required safety standards, and is ready to hit the roads.

Speaking to Gulf News following the launch of the second UAE AI Camp, Ton Bijlaart, Managing Director, DG World, said the company that developed the autonomous taxi for the RTA said that the trials on the vehicle have been successful and that the technology is ready for introduction on Dubai roads.

“We have one taxi at the moment as a proof concept. We have done the trials and are driving around; we are ready now to build more vehicles. The question is not just about the capability, we have the capability of building these vehicles, but it’s also the acceptance of the outside world. We have proof of technology that it can mix with other traffic safely. All we need now is the regulation,” said Bijlaart, who along other tech firm representatives made presentations on their artificial intelligence development at the launch of the second UAE AI Camp, which starts on April 7.

Launching the programme, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, said that the first UAE AI Camp last year managed to educate 5,000 students and this year the camp is targeting 10,000 students across the emirates.

“The key role of the camp will be to help students understand the impact of artificial intelligence across different sectors, allowing them to see where they can play a role in creating solutions for the future,” said Al Olama, speaking to Gulf News, following the launch.

Highlighting the success stories of the first camp, he added: “In camp one, we saw many success stories like the 16-year-old student Atharv Naik who developed an AI-based system to detect skin cancer. He saw the impact of AI on health care and he created an algorithm to diagnose skin cancer. We hope to create many more champions like Atharv. We hope that if every student who participates is able to create a small impact then we will have an AI revolution.”

The camp will be held in two segments, the first being held across the emirate between April 7 and 10, while the second will be held in July and August.

Open for public, anybody who wants to participate can register www.aicamp.ae for free.

Click a picture on phone to detect cancer

Working on the fact that cancer cells develop more heat than normal cells, 16-year-old year grade 11 student Atharv Naik has developed a skin cancer detection system that just begins with a click of picture with a smart phone.

And it works as the tests so far have seen 85 per cent accuracy with the teenager developing the system further for greater accuracy.

A student of Cambridge International School, Naik’s AI-based system detects skin cancer at an early stage and importantly it’s cost effective.

A graduate of the first UAE AI Camp, he is excited about the second edition, and here he tells Gulf News how he came to develop the cancer detecting technology.

“I have always been interested in health care problems and finding solutions to these and I kind of merged AI and biomedical engineering to get started on my project. I started with a small prototype that I registered at Global Innovation Challenge and I continued to improve it, winning at the national stage and then at the global stage,” said Naik, who is currently involved in talks with major health care and tech firms to put his system in use.

The basic idea behind the system is to diagnose skin cancer at a much lower cost.

“The aim is to help all those patients who don’t have access to expensive health care facilities,” added Naik, who developed the algorithm in partnership with IBM.