PwC and Accenture support Artificial Intelligence conference in Dubai

07 September 2018 3 min. read

The Artificial Intelligence Week Middle East conference has wrapped up in Dubai, with PwC and Accenture among the sponsors and exhibitors featuring at the two-day event.

Covering the banking & finance, government, and healthcare sectors, the Artificial Intelligence Week Middle East conference was held over the 4th and the 5th at the Park Hyatt in Dubai, featuring exhibitions, networking, pitches, and talks from some of the regional leaders in the field, including Xavier Anglada, Accenture Digital Lead for MENAT, and Stephen Anderson, Clients & Markets Leader for PwC Middle East.

PwC in the Middle East, the event’s official AI Consulting Sponsor & Partner, presented its recent annual AI report for the delegates in attendance, outlining the projected $96 billion boost to the United Arab Emirates’ GDP by 2030 through the implementation of AI technologies – part of the $15.7 trillion possible worldwide windfall, and representing a 13.6 percent contribution to the UAE’s overall GDP.

Accenture – the AI event’s Lead Digital Transformation Partner – has itself predicted huge gains for the UAE economy through AI adoption, amounting to some $182 billion in gross value add by 2030, while Accenture and PwC between them point to sizeable potential opportunities in the financial services, utilities, healthcare, education, transport, manufacturing and retail sectors. Unsurprisingly perhaps, consumer goods CEOs in the UAE are among the world’s most enthusiastic for AI according to a further recent report by KPMG.Artificial Intelligence Week Middle EastAnd not just consumer goods CEOs in the UAE, but both wider industry and the government and public spheres are ready to embrace artificial intelligence – at least, if the line-up of AI tech conferences being held in the Emirates is anything to go by, with among others the Artelligence Forum having taken place in Dubai in April and the World AI show scheduled again in the city for April of next year.

Yet, far from some future fantasy, PwC’s Anderson made the point at the conference that the technology’s roll-out is already well underway; “AI is happening in our lives as we speak, impacting every aspect, be it Google Maps telling us about traffic jams or many of our lifestyle tweaks that go beyond cloud or consumer computing,’ he told those at the event. “There is a quantum leap in AI use. AI will do for our world what free trade did earlier, i.e. drive that extra value and take our trade to the next level.”

Further speakers representing PwC Middle East across the healthcare, government and financial services sections of the event included; Najam Quadri, Director for Financial Services; José Mussi, Senior Director for Digital Health & Innovation; Hamish Clark, Partner, Health Industries, and; Simone Vernacchia, Digital, Cyber Security, Resilience and Infrastructure Partner. Tarun Gugnani, Middle East Head of Automation for Infosys also spoke at the event.

Accenture, meanwhile, supported an AI start-up pitching session and Hackathon event which ran in conjunction with the main conference, with Accenture Digital managing director Anglada stating; “We got a massive response to the start-up pitch and hackathon. We had students as young as 12 come up with innovative and well-structured AI-based ideas that represented an unrestrained and innovative approach to problem-solving.”