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Mon 28 Oct 2019 03:37 PM

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Microsoft's Middle East marketing boss sees revolution through artificial intelligence

Businesses warned to embrace technology or risk being left behind, says Peter DeBenedictus, CMO, Middle East and Africa, Microsoft

Microsoft's Middle East marketing boss sees revolution through artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact every single industry in the next ten years, according to Peter DeBenedictus, CMO - Middle East and Africa, Microsoft.

DeBenedictus was part of a panel discussion at the Arabian Business forum Success 2020 entitled: ‘Embracing new technological innovations to deliver success’.

He said: “There’s not one single job or industry that will not be impacted by AI.”

He revealed that the jobs under threat include lawyers and radiologists as well as the more typical example of call centre operators.

“Any job or task that is routine, repeatable and learnable by a machine, will disappear in the next five to ten years.

“Think about accounting and audit. So many routine tasks are being automated and ultimately the human beings that are doing that no longer need to be there.”

However, he stressed this does not necessarily mean that it will result in increased unemployment.

He added: “Does that mean that they are not productive? No. You can put them towards more productive tasks which require different ingenuity, versus repeated, routine tasks which are not very interesting.”

Fadi Hani, vice-president - Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Avaya, highlighted how important the new technology is and called on the business population in the UAE to embrace AI or risk being left behind.

He said: “AI will replace jobs of those who do not use AI. Businesses who do not use AI will be less competitive than those who do.”

The panel also included Donald Bremner, managing director, Stirling Hospitality Advisors; Dr Jose Oriol Lopez Berengueres, professor of Robotics, UAE University; and Martin Adams, founder, Codec.​

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