Microsoft hosts event to advance digital transformation and innovation in Qatar

Business Saturday 17/June/2023 17:12 PM
By: Times News Service
Microsoft hosts event to advance digital transformation and innovation in Qatar

Doha: Microsoft, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), hosted the exclusive ‘From Imagination to Reality: Rise with Microsoft AI’ event in Qatar.

Under the patronage of Mohammed bin Ali Al Mannai, Qatar's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, and in the presence Abdulaziz bin Nasser bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, President of the Civil Service and Government Development Bureau, the event aimed to showcase the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to help people and organisations in Qatar be more productive, innovate groundbreaking solutions, solve society’s most pressing problems, and ultimately advance Qatar's digital economy.

The event brought together government officials, decision-makers, leading ICT professionals, developers, startups and policymakers to explore how Microsoft AI is empowering organisations of all sizes and across all industries to augment the way they work and free up time for more creative and fulfilling tasks.

The event showcased the experiences of the Microsoft 365 Copilot and raised the topic of cybersecurity and its importance in the age of AI, highlighting how products such as Microsoft Security Copilot can enable organisations and companies to improve their security levels and better protect their customers’ data.

To accelerate the digital transformation of various sectors in Qatar, the event included the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoUs), the first of which was between Sprinklr and Microsoft and will empower the Civil Service and Government Development Bureau’s Sharek platform with the GPT capabilities of Azure Open AI Service. Microsoft also signed an MoU with Vodafone aimed at leveraging the power of Microsoft Digital Contact Center Technologies to revolutionise their customer experience.

Speaking during the event, Hassan Jassim Al Sayed, Advisor to the Minister and Chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Committee at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, said, "Microsoft’s event comes as part of the efforts of the State of Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, to leverage AI technologies in all aspects of life, business and governance. These efforts will build a stimulating environment for research and innovation in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and make Qatar an advanced model to be followed in the smooth transition to an AI-empowered future.”

The event comes at an opportune time, as economies across the Middle East witness AI innovations come out of the research lab and into the mainstream. From offices to schools to hospitals, AI tools have become essential companions, empowering users across sectors and driving advancements in research, development, and productivity. Research by PwC estimates that AI could contribute $320 billion to the Middle East economy in 2030 equivalent to 11 per cent of GDP. Furthermore, the research predicts that AI is set to contribute $45.9 billion or 8.2 per cent of GDP, to the economies of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.

For her part, Lana Khalaf, General Manager, Microsoft Qatar, said that Microsoft's innovations in Artificial Intelligence are in line with the company's mission to enable every person and organisation to achieve more and succeed in the digital age. She expressed optimism about the unique potential that can be achieved for Qatar through the adoption of AI at all levels, including start-ups, small, medium and large enterprises in various sectors, as well as individuals, including developers, innovators, students and users.

"We will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to develop a nationwide digital transformation roadmap through the adoption of Microsoft AI and Azure Open AI, providing organizations of all sizes and across all industries in Qatar with access to the most advanced AI models, and building the digital capabilities of the local workforce enabling them to develop new AI innovations from Qatar to the world,” she said. Khalaf also thanked Microsoft’s partners for supporting the ‘From Imagination to Reality: Rise with Microsoft AI’ event, especially Mannai Corporation, PwC, QDS, ICT, and Vodafone.

In Qatar, government organisations, start-ups, SMEs, and large businesses across various business sectors are leveraging Microsoft AI services to boost productivity, increase efficiency, enhance security, reduce cost, and drive innovation from Qatar to the world. The event showcased some use cases such as, Sidra Medicine utilising Microsoft Data and AI to facilitate its research division’s digital transformation goals and accelerate its precision medicine and genomics research programs. Similarly, Kahramaa and Skipcashare leverage AI to improve operational efficiency and enhance customer experience. In addition, Qatar Foundation is using Azure AI capabilities to power its website chatbot BOTaina to inform and engage audiences, while the National Museum of Qatar is leveraging Azure AI to power its NMoQ Explorer, the interactive space dedicated to representing its collections and experiences virtually.

The event also shed light on Qatari startups that leverage AI to create outstanding solutions and services, including Droobi, Skycash, Waqta, eHaris, Avey and VectAI.

Today, Microsoft strives to make AI innovations available within government organisations and companies around the world and urges them to find innovative ways to add value to their business. As a result, more than 85 per cent of Fortune 100 companies are using Azure AI solutions.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it had entered the third phase of its long-term partnership with OpenAI, giving developers and organisations across industries access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchains with Azure to build and run their applications. Organisations large and small are developing Azure AI solutions because they can achieve more at scale, more easily, with the proper enterprise-level privacy, security and responsible AI protections that Azure offers.