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Prior to the global health crisis, Automation, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) were contentious topics due to their threat to employment. Fadi Maktabi, Managing Director at Hearts & Science UAE, is not of that opinion and believes that technology enables human development. However, COVID-19’s impact on businesses and governments has led to significant job losses in the short run and accelerated the adoption of these technologies.

As global economies slow down and face tremendous challenges, businesses look for ways to optimize their budgets and cut costs to survive. In this context of reduced work forces, automation is an appealing solution. While the initial investment can be high, its applications translate into incremental savings in the long run.

Automation can be a first step on the journey to the future. Companies will need to further develop machine learning algorithms to better support their automation capabilities, such as data entry and supply chain manufacturing. These algorithms will help businesses make better and faster decisions, thanks to calculated and optimized results.

While these concepts seemed futuristic to many, the global pandemic has brought them closer through their applications in the fight against it. Fadi illustrates this with three situations.

Automation: A hospital in Dublin recently partnered with a software developer to create a bot that could automatically log in laboratory information into hospital systems. This has cut down the process significantly, a boon as testing increases and results need to be processed quicker to reduce the spread.

Machine Learning: Simulation models have been heavily utilized to create predictions of the speed and growth of the pandemic worldwide based on previous episodes. As we learnt more about COVID-19, MIT developed a machine learning model based on its data and combined it with a neural network to provide more accurate and real time information.

Artificial Intelligence: AI’s impressive capability lies in its ability to process data at lightning speed which is essential to aid doctors and researchers as they look for a cure. London-based drug discovery company BenevolentAI developed a program that can read all available research about viruses and their treatments. This cut down the time needed to find candidate drugs with the potential properties to fight COVID-19.

We’ve seen how these concepts’ capabilities show us the promise of accelerating human development, but what are its implications on employment opportunities, governance and marketing? Let Fadi walk you through in the full article here.

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