Dubai summit’s stark warning to workers on tech takeover

Residents follow moves made by humanoid robot ‘Pepper’ during an afternoon exercise routine at Shin-tomi nursing home in Tokyo, Japan. (Reuters)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Dubai summit’s stark warning to workers on tech takeover

  • More than 100 leading technology and innovation specialists from across the world are taking part in Dubai Knowledge Summit
  • Etisalat’s Khalifa Hassan Al-Forah Al-Shamsi: Robots are going to rule the education and health sectors. We need professionals who are trained to cope with the technology pressure

DUBAI: Workforces will face a growing challenge in coming years coping with rapidly advancing technology and innovation, knowledge and innovation experts at a Dubai summit have warned.

Addressing a panel discussion at the Knowledge Summit, Khalifa Hassan Al-Forah Al-Shamsi, group chief corporate strategy and governance officer at Etisalat, said that the IoT (Internet of things) and AI (artificial intelligence) will play a greater role in future.

“Robots are going to rule the education and health sectors. We need professionals who are trained to cope with the technology pressure,” he said.

Sarfaraz Alam, chairman of TEXPO group of companies, said that in the near future the jobs of lawyers, doctors and pharmacists will vanish with robots taking their places.

“Those professions that have the ability to integrate, evolve and disrupt will survive. The rest will be replaced by AI and robots,” Alam said.

More than 100 leading technology and innovation specialists from across the world are taking part in the Knowledge Summit, which brings together prominent decision-makers, academics and pioneers from various sectors to explore best practice and propose answers to future challenges.

The summit, under the theme “Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Economy,” is an annual initiative of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Knowledge Foundation.

Delivering an opening address at the two-day event, Dr. Boris Cizelj, president of the Knowledge Economy Network, said that innovations are reaching mass markets on an exponentially reducing timescale.

“The telephone took 50 years to reach a market of 50 million people; the mobile phone took 12 years, YouTube four, Facebook three and Twitter only two years. This really shows the acceleration of change — it is difficult to imagine it, but we have to adapt to it,” he said.

Dr. Simon Galpin, managing director of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, warned summit participants of a possible backlash against technology.

“If we focus only on technology, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, we won’t go anywhere. We need to encourage skills to keep our children human — skills such as creativity and interpersonal communication,” he said.


SpaceX launches first satellites for Musk’s Starlink Internet service

Updated 24 May 2019
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SpaceX launches first satellites for Musk’s Starlink Internet service

  • The rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at about 10:30 p.m. local time
  • The Falcon 9 was due to release its cargo of 60 satellites into orbit about an hour after Thursday’s launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida: High-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida on Thursday on a mission to carry the first batch of five dozen small satellites into low-Earth orbit for his new Starlink Internet service.
The rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at about 10:30 p.m. local time (0230 GMT Friday), marking a milestone in a global enterprise aimed at generating cash for Musk’s larger ambitions in space.
The launch came a week after two back-to-back countdowns for the mission were scrubbed — once due to high winds over the Cape and the next night in order to update satellite software and “triple-check” all systems.
The Falcon 9 was due to release its cargo of 60 satellites into orbit about an hour after Thursday’s launch. Each one weighs 500 pounds (227 kg), making it the heaviest payload for any SpaceX rocket to date.
Those satellites are designed to form the initial phase a planned constellation capable of beaming signals for high-speed Internet service from space to paying customers around the globe.
Musk has said he sees the new Starlink venture as an important new revenue stream for his California-based Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, whose launch service income he expects to top out at around $3 billion a year.
Speaking to reporters last week, Musk said that makes Starlink pivotal in helping pay for his larger goals of developing a new spacecraft to fly paying customers to the moon and for eventually trying to colonize Mars.
“We think this is a key stepping stone on the way toward establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon,” said Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who is also chief executive officer of automaker Tesla Inc.
At least 12 launches carrying similar payloads are needed to achieve constant Internet coverage of most of the world, Musk said. Starlink is only currently authorized for operations in the United States.
Musk faces stiff competition. In February, Airbus SE-backed OneWeb launched its own clutch of satellites, while LeoSat Enterprises and Canada’s Telesat are also working to build data networks.
In each network, the tiny satellites orbit closer to Earth than traditional communications satellites, a technological shift made possible by advances in laser technology and computer chips.
Musk said SpaceX would begin approaching customers later this year or next year. As many as 2,000 satellites will be launched per year, with the ultimate objective of placing up to 12,000 into orbit.