Gitex, held every year in Dubai, bills itself as the biggest IT show in the world.

Kathy Gibson reports


Dubai’s vision for a human-centric digital city

Dubai is known as one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities, with an impressive array of intelligent and automated features making the city easy to navigate and govern.

But, as they say in the classics, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The vision for the city of the future is breath-taking in its ambition.

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GenAI: a new solution looking for a problem

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the big buzzword of the day – but it will only be successful when and if organisations use it get value from their data.

There is a tremendous amount of noise about AI at the moment, but Joe Reis, founder and CEO of Ternary Data, thinks the companies making the least noise are often the ones already gaining value from AI.

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How to ensure AI is human-centric

In 1996, chess master Garry Kasparov agreed to a match against IBM’s Big Blue computer – and lost.

In analysing the game, Kasparov came to the conclusion that he hadn’t in fact been beaten by a machine but by a human, because it was a human that designed the machine’s processes.

Dr Anish Agarwal, head of global analytics, thinks this is an important point to bear in mind as we navigate the world of AI: that there is always a human behind the machine, even as we get closer to forming a relationship with technology.

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How Avaya went from bankruptcy to CX market leader

Avaya has successfully emerged from bankruptcy to challenge for supremacy in the burgeoning customer experience (CX) market.

There’s a new spirit of optimism and passion at the company, with CEO Alan Masarek leading the charge.

“There is this tremendous trend towards customer experience,” he says. “And communications companies have to be driving it.”

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Trust key to AI effectiveness

Artificial intelligence (AI) is something we all want to leverage – but that means we all need to be able to trust it.

We are in the middle of a an AI revolution, says Marc Mathieu, chair of the advisory board at Salesforce, addressing the AI Anywhere conference at Gitex Global 2023 today.

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Agritech attacks could threaten food security

Digital farming is a very real trend, helping to increase food production around the world. But this also means that food security could be threatened by cybersecurity attacks.

When it comes to digital inclusion, sometimes we forget the smallholder farmers who are largely responsible for feeding the world, says Joseph Lukwago, co-founder and chief technology officer of Rural Inclusion.

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All change for the channel as AI, CX take centre stage

So far, 2023 has been a turbulent year for the IT industry. Artificial intelligence (AI), long a niche play, has burst on to the scene and into the public consciousness, while the science of customer experience is quickly going mainstream.

This has meant a rapid realignment within the channel, as new opportunities – and challenges – have presented themselves.

What’s important, says Avaya vice-president: channels Fadi Moubarak, is to keep in mind that technology is not an object for sale, but a tool to support the customer’s requirements.

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Innovation without disruption resonates with SA enterprises

Avaya’s South African customers face the same challenges in moving to the cloud, and many of them have bought into the company’s phased approach.

Brett Butler, country manager of Avaya South Africa, points out that many of Avaya’s largest customers in the financial services, insurance or local government spaces, have a long history with the company – and a big investment in their legacy infrastructure.

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Access Bank ups customer engagement with video

Access Bank Ghana has implemented a video channel in its contact centre, giving its approximately 1-million customers a new and convenient way of engaging with the bank.

Chimbar Nurokinan, head of contact centre at Access Bank Ghana, explains that the bank has been using Avaya’s voice-based contact centre solution for the last nine years, and decided to add video as a result of customer demand and changing market dynamics.

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Nations stand to benefit from enhanced cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a pressing global challenge, but addressing it presents nations with a number of new opportunities as well.

Badar Alsalehi, director-general of the Oman National Cert and head of ITU for regional cybersecurity, points out that a robust infrastructure is one of the pillars of a healthy economy.

“This includes national infrastructure like transport, healthcare, and telecommunications,” he tells delegates to the cybersecurity conference at Gitex Global 2023.

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GenAI, LLMs make in impact in the contact centre

The alignment of broadband availability, lower computing cost, increases in speed, processing power and storage have created a perfect storm for artificial intelligence (AI) to head into the mainstream business world.

Omar Javaid, chief product officer, and head of partnerships and alliances at Avaya, points out that AI is not new, but the convergence of technologies – combined with developments in generative AI (GenAI) and large language models (LLMs) – have propelled it into prominence.

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Data governance key to future-proof security

New technologies like artificial intelligence pose a cybersecurity threat – but will also be key to driving developments in data and security.

Aloysius Cheang, chief security officer: Middle East and Central Asian Region at Huawei, points out that data and security is critical. “Data reshapes global politics and economics – it’s security is crucial to this transformation,” he says.

As a pivotal asset, data can drive significant social and economic advantages. “And data security is essential to unlock its value,” Cheang says.

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Why cloud is driving AI

Cloud computing is the basic building block that will allow artificial intelligence (AI) to flourish.

That’s the word from Uwem Ukpong, vice-president: global services at Amazon Web Services (AWS), who points out that CEOs are under tremendous pressure to demonstrate what they are doing with AI.

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Fastest AI supercomputer aims to solve healthcare, security challenges

The fastest artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer in the world has been unveiled in the US, by UAE-based technology group G42.

The new computer, Condor Galaxy, is based on 16 massive wafer semiconductors and will be used to address the most pressing global issues like healthcare and security, says Peng Xiao, group CEO of G42.

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The role of governments in AI development

As worldwide excitement about generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) reaches fever pitch, it’s important for governments to focus on how the technology can be used to improve people’s lives.

Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for artificial intelligence in the United Arab Emirates, believes that government needs to understand its role as a technology enabler, while guiding its societal agenda.

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Avaya adds GenAI to CX

Avaya demonstrated its vision for a future of customer and employee experiences powered by generative AI at Gitex Global.

The company is showing how what it dubs generative customer experience (CX) uses AI throughout the CX journey, touching everything from agent experience to customer satisfaction to operations.

Integrating generative AI capabilities into the Avaya Experience Platform, the company demonstrates the art of the possible in helping CX leaders to implement workflows and glean precise, actionable insights with the stroke of a keyboard.

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Nokia talks about the power of n

At Gitex Technology Week 2023, Nokia’s Network Infrastructure (NI) demonstrated how disruptive network technologies for infrastructure are pushing the boundaries of innovation and sustainability to open up new opportunities for the telecom industry.

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