This month, Axiata Digital Labs kicks off its second ever AI Summit. The week-long event invites business leaders and tech enthusiasts from around the world to explore the future of artificial intelligence and the impact of recent developments in tech on various industries.
After experiencing back-to-back setbacks with COVID-19 and the 2022 economic crisis, the need to adapt has never been greater. As businesses hustle and pivot themselves to succeed in a fast-changing environment, one thing remains clear. The global shift towards digitalisation is unstoppable. In fact, it is only expected to accelerate as we look to do things bigger, better, faster.
This, of course, requires technological innovation that far exceeds traditional expectations on what technology can do, whether that’s a supercomputer processing a million different data points in under a second, or a personal smartphone assistant recommending the best fast food restaurants within a five mile radius. Artificial intelligence has entered the chat.
What Can Sri Lanka Do With AI?
In Sri Lanka, the IT industry carries immense economic potential, and the demand for AI is healthy. As IT adoption here is still behind that of developed countries, the industry stands to benefit from public and private sector organisations looking to modernise operations. What’s more, Sri Lanka is fast emerging as one of South Asia’s major software outsourcing destinations. This could further incentivise IT professionals to look into AI innovation as a means to stay ahead of the competition.
Globally, the AI industry is expected to be worth $190 billion by 2025 and draw nearly $60 billion in investments by the end of 2022. What’s more, the integration of AI into various industries is expected to generate new job opportunities in development, testing, technical support and maintenance, programming, and so on. The pay isn’t too bad either. An AI architect today could be worth around $150,000 a year and a machine learning engineer, $1.2 million.
Could AI Spell The End For Humanity?
Benefits aside, AI has been a controversial topic in computer science for a long time. The idea of an advanced system combining characteristics of human intelligence with vastly superior processing power has many asking questions about its ethical and philosophical implications.
After all, do we really want a machine smart enough that it could get out of our control and take away millions of jobs through automation? What if AI has fallen into the wrong hands and is currently in development for the wrong reasons? And who’s to say that AI won’t one day reach a level where it neither needs nor cares for human life at all? These concerns, while debatable, have affected the funding, research, and integration of AI. However, events like the ADL AI Summit can help put things into perspective.
Spreading The Knowledge of AI With ADL
As a software service agent providing telco-focused digital and IT solutions to individuals and enterprises, ADL is a major proponent of AI integration in Sri Lanka. Last year, the inaugural AI Summit taught participants the tools and experience they would need to build end-to-end AI solutions that solve real-world business problems. The event also invited renowned AI experts to shared their insights on ways to leverage AI that could take businesses to the next level.
This year’s AI Summit focuses on the Metaverse, and how AI could help make it an ethical and people-friendly tech playground.
As Axiata Digital Labs CEO Thushera Kawdawatta puts it, “The metaverse is actually an opportunity for us to look at things in a holistic manner. So, with this AI Summit, we are looking at all the possibilities, solutions, and capabilities we can offer to our clients together, and how we can disrupt their business by themselves before their business is disrupted by somebody outside.”
The summit will be split into three distinct segments.
- Podcast Series (14th – 17th November)
An in-depth series that explores the fundamentals of AI and advancements in the world of artificial intelligence. This includes industry experts speaking on a range of current topics such as the future of AI and the Metaverse.
- AI Forum (18th – 19th November)
A lineup of renowned international speakers who will share their expertise on how developments in AI can be used to accelerate digital transformation around the globe.
- Geek’s Hangout (18th – 19th November)
A series of interactive sessions conducted by leading industry experts to help understand digital AI and Machine Learning solutions that businesses use to solve modern business problems.
Altogether, the 2022 ADL AI Summit will be attended by over 2000 people, including over 25 speakers, from over 20 countries, a notable increase from last year.
Despite its controversies, artificial intelligence represents the way forward for businesses that want to stay on the cutting edge of success in the digital age. Perhaps, more importantly for Sri Lanka, it presents a grand opportunity for groundbreaking technological innovation and unprecedented financial growth. We just have to play it smart.
You can register for the 2022 ADL AI Summit here.