Abu-Ghazaleh at the UN, N.Y.: Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things will Change the World
Special to TAG-IT News Agency
NEW YORK- HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), Chair of Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU) Honorary Council, and Co-Chair of UN Habitat Network 11 highlighted the technologies that are going to define the next decade and the next generation of leaders.
In his keynote speech at the Role of Technology, Implementing the New Urban Agenda to Achieve Sustainable Development Conference held at the UN headquarters in New York, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh discussed the age of Artificial Intelligence, smart real-time technologies, driverless cars, robots, augmented reality and high-speed Internet.
" I was very instrumental in my previous capacity as the chair of the UN ICT Task force and UN Global Alliance for ICT for development in forging the millennium development goals now we have the SDGs which are the inheritance of the old mission of the UN and I, in both cases, I think what we need and what we needed is to realize that we are in an evolving revolution of knowledge technology and both objectives should have been more specifically focused but I cannot see any engine for sustainable development except technology," he said.
"I am putting the view of mine in a book on the brave knowledge world in which we are all going to live in different way than we live today," he added.
"We need innovative people to run the show, a young generation to make things happen and that is why we have established a tool in the shape of a university "Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University College for Innovation" where students learn how to innovate and from which they graduate by an invention not by exams. I have always believed in the power of the youths in making the change we need," he said.
According to Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh: "This is a new concept of a new sense of direction and I spoke about this when I addressed MIT and Harvard and said that there is something wrong with the mission of education of great universities and they have not yet learned the lesson why they have so many dropouts because the world wants innovators and inventors more than learners because you can learn and you don’t need a school to learn."
"I am pleased to announce that today we are focusing on technology for sustainable development we are discussing a partnership with UN Habitat under ECOSOC guidance between private sector and the UN in the form of a project for implementing SDG 11," he said.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh who has been involved in the ICT world for decades and has always stressed the need to embrace technology because it is the path for a better future said: " In this context, technology is about all and I had the privilege to be in a panel like this with Bill Gates and asked him how do you describe the rest of this century and he said Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now AI and Internet of Things (IoT) are what is going to change the world. If we want to get sustainable development on track we need to see how AI in the media of IoT can get us where we want."
The Conference organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU), Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York, examined the impact of technology on cities now and in the future and looked at how advancing technology can be used to achieve the sustainable development goals related to cities and implement the New Urban Agenda.
"The new technologies are playing a big and vital role in defining the future of urban living and its sustainability. Software not hardware will determine the next step in our daily life, work and entertainment; it is a combination of technologies that will create the right environment for all of us and we will like it. I am very lucky that I also serve on the UNDP High Level Advisory Board for social impact which we are talking about development and what is the impact on citizens," he said.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh concluded by saying "I believe this meeting should the start of the process of making technology the machine, the engine and the tool for all SDGs which are all linked together with one enabling factor called technology. In 2050 we will reach singularity, a fact missed by the SDGs and we need to take it seriously."
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh also chaired the ‘Technology as Means of Implementation in the Arab Region: Network 11 Initiative’ panel in which Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stressed that the Arab world is making clear advancements towards embracing the new technologies.
"We are taking advantage of our strong presence around the world with 110+ offices in promoting latest technologies in the Arab world and we have noticed strong response from all in embracing it because this is the future," he said.
Network 11 was launched in Barcelona in 2015 with the aim to promote sharing of experiences and good practices in the use of digital technologies to deliver sustainable urbanization, and to contribute to the discussion towards the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) and the New Urban Agenda.
A host of experts from around the world took part in the conference aimed at analyzing challenges and opportunities of the trends of how advanced technology is shaping cities.