Abu Dhabi /Â WAM
The Majlis of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, hosted on Wednesday a lecture by Kent Walker, Executive Vice President of Legal, Policy, Trust and Safety and Google.org at Google.
The lecture, held at Al Bateen Palace in Abu Dhabi, was attended by HH Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, and a member of the Executive Council.
Walker said in the lecture that UAE’s modern history tells a story of achieving feats that would have seemed like science fiction just a generation ago, giving Masdar City and Burj Khalifa as two prominent examples.
He also spoke about the rich history science in the Arab world, which gave to humanity great thinkers and innovators such as Ibn Khaldun and Al Khwarizmi, who he said was of special importance to Google because he invented the concept of zero, which defines the digital world today.
He said our age is witnessing an exponential acceleration of technology and production of data, with humanity producing more data in just a few years more data than it did over thousands of years prior to the year 2000.
He said it was imperative that governments work toward promoting entrepreneurship and educating future generations about successful entrepreneurs. “The job of the government is unleash the energy of the private sector,” he said. “Making sure that the education system makes heroes of entrepreneurs.” He pointed out the society as a whole is responsible for educating children that entrepreneurs are heroes that contribute to the good of human kind.
He said while it would be difficult to predict how fast technology will progress and into what direction, machine learning, especially in areas such as pattern learning, was growing fast. Artificial Intelligence, he said, is slowly becoming the central nervous system of civilization of the future, while machine learning is now accessible via the cloud rendering the services fast, scalable and easy to use.”
He said as technological advances continue, privacy becomes an ever more challenging question because different cultures and people have different ideas about it. On innovation, he pointed out that a culture of innovation, one shouldn’t be concerned about failure. “Failures become fertilizers, experiments for the successes ,” he said. “Beyond just embracing failure, you need to have the power of collective success.”
As technology continues to accelerate, Walker said, it would have a great impact on the future of work. The average working week used to be 70 hours in 1850, then 60 in 1900, 50 in 1950, then 40 and 35 in some countries in 2000.
“What will it be for our children? 20 by the end of this century? Will technology deliver on the promise of displacing tasks – but not jobs?
He pointed out that as technology advances, it will free the human kind to think about poetry and philosophy and that even as technology takes away some jobs new ones are constantly created. “Mobile apps developers are now one of the most sought after jobs,” he said.