Monday 1, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, will be addressed by international speakers and specialists in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence during award event on Friday, February 5, and Saturday February 6, at Dubai Internet City.

The Organizing Committee of the award has also announced the Judging Committee, which consists of experts in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. The judging panel will evaluate 20 teams from the UAE and around the world who have made it to the semi-finals of the National and International Competitions of the award.

Saif Al Aleeli, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation and Coordinator General of the UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good, said the first edition of the award witnessed remarkable success attracting 664 submissions from 121 countries around the world. The huge interest generated by the award underlines its importance as a global platform to honour innovators and highlight their achievements to strengthen the UAE’s position as a regional and global leader in the field of advanced robotics applications. It also reflects the UAE’s positive contributions in the adoption of successful practices and culture of innovation to serve humanity, Al Aleeli said.

“The Judging Committee of the UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good includes international experts who will choose the best projects capable of offering services in three main categories: education, health and social services. During the event, the audience will have the opportunity to meet with specialists in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence, including members of the Global Agenda Council on Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, which was established in collaboration with the World Economic Forum in November 2014 to highlight successful experiences and discuss the future employment of these technologies,” Al Aleeli added.

Robotics and people
The international speakers who will address the event include Dennis Hong, a Professor and the Founding Director of RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA. He will speak on the future relationship between robots and people. Hong will also highlight his inventions such as ‘DARwIn-OP’, an open platform, miniature humanoid robot platform for research, education and outreach, and ‘CHARLI’, the United States’ first full-size autonomous humanoid robot, as well as ‘SAFFiR’ a bio-inspired bipedal robot designed to identify and extinguish fires on board ships.

Dennis Hong has also worked on the world’s first car that can be driven by the blind. His work has been featured on numerous national and international media, and the Washington Post has called him “the Leonardo da Vinci of robots”. Hong was also named as one of Popular Science’s Brilliant 10.

Inspiring experiences
The award also hosts David Lang, co-founder of OpenROV, a community of ocean lovers who build underwater robots. He will speak about his experiences in putting up the initial designs for an underwater robotic explorer, and launching OpenROV to build and constantly improve upon these small remote operated underwater robots. He will also highlight OpenROV Trident, the new model of the robot, which was launched last year.

Revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence sector
Figuring among the top speakers is Federico Pistono, a social entrepreneur, computer scientist, award-winning journalist, author and public speaker. He is the author of the Amazon best-selling book ‘Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK’. He is also Founder and CEO of Konoz, an online platform to help spread free and open knowledge around the world.

During his speech, Pistono will talk about the revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence sector, and the possibility of employing it to support education for people in different parts of the world at lower costs through the use of tablets, PCs and smart phones.

Judging Committee
The Judging Committee of the UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good includes several prominent international experts such as Justine Cassell, Associate Vice-Provost for Technology Strategy and Impact at Carnegie Mellon University; David Peters, Chief Executive Officer, Universal Robotics; Kim Jong-Hwan, Chair Professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST); Stuart Russell, Professor at University of California, Berkeley; Yang Guang-Zhong, Director of The Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery and Deputy Chairman, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London; and Alex Wyatt, founder of August Robotics, a recent start-up focused on integrating people-friendly robotics into day-to-day life and member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Other prominent experts in the panel include Eesa Bastaki, President of University of Dubai and Former CEO of ICT Fund; Abdulla Ismail, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Assistant to the President for Corporate Outreach, Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai; Paolo Dario, Director of The BioRobotics Institute Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa; and Ana Paiva, Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon.

The Judging Committee also includes Saeed K. Al Dhaheri, Professor at UAE University; Khalifa H. Harib, Associate Professor at United Arab Emirates University; Nabil Bastaki, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, United Arab Emirates University; Imad Elhajj, Associate Professor at American University of Beirut; Mohamed Al Marzooqi, Director of Training in Etisalat Academy, UAE; and Sabri Al Azazi, Senior Advisor for IT and Technology at the General Management Office of the Abu Dhabi Municipality.

The ‘UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good’ was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, during the third Government Summit in February 2015, as one of the initiatives of International Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, which was formed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum during Global Agenda Council hosted by the UAE Government last year.

The Council includes thought leaders from some of the largest universities and the most important companies and institutions around the world. It aims to offer advice on the best ways to use robotics and artificial intelligence to improve human life and work on a global strategy for the use of robots in several key sectors.