EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

Dubai 2020 | IT & INNOVATION | B2B

Dubai is, by far, one of the smartest cities in the world, and new technologies will help it stay ahead of the curve.

Melda Akin
MELDA AKIN
Founder
Dimension 14
Christopher Fernandez
CHRISTOPHER FERNANDEZ
CEO
Block Gemini

What are some examples of Dimension 14's recent developments and plans?
MELDA AKIN Dimension 14 has been solving critical business decision-making problems. We work with organizations that have complex decision-making problems. Our systems and AI product are applicable to many industries. We collaborate with the organizations to help them bring innovation to the next level by transforming and rediscovering their core businesses with the help of AI and machine learning. We are currently involved in several projects, from automated decision-making and interaction systems with customers, to projects that focus on disaster operations management. We envisage transforming the transportation sector to preserve the environment better and enhance the services available to the community. In addition to this, the country's security and defense services could benefit from real-time data collection, analysis, and decision-making systems. It is challenging to make the right decision in such a complex environment. We are able to solve these problems and develop optimal solutions with our expertise.

In what ways has Block Gemini grown and evolved since its inception?
CHRISTOPHER FERNANDEZ The Smart Dubai 2021 vision and Sheikh Mohammed's mandate to have all government transactions on blockchain have been key drivers of Block Gemini's evolution in Dubai. Furthermore, many public entities have shown interest in the use of blockchain. Block Gemini is in a favorable position because of the willingness to exploit blockchain across the UAE. The technology has the ability to completely overhaul standardized processes and procedures that are often bureaucratic and open to flaws. The days of government offices with large volumes of paper, stamps, and so on are numbered. Business processes that require signing off and auditing reconciling will become less relevant in the future; therefore, human resources can be deployed across more strategic or creative areas.

What are the biggest challenges in this industry for a new SME within the region?
MA We provide solutions and products that are not physically tangible. This has made it difficult to explain to some people the value and necessity of the solutions we provide. When someone talks about AI, people may not always be capable of understanding what our services entail, despite our services having strong potential in being able to save their business time and money. They sometimes also surprised by the fact that I am a woman working in this field, as it is known for being a male-dominated industry. Our competitors are also large multinationals with a huge presence in the region, so breaking into this market was never going to be an easy process. However, clients realize that our services can match and surpass those offered by multinationals and we are confident that our reach will continue to expand. We would like to expand into Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. Once we have established ourselves there, we then plan move into markets such as Europe and the US.

How can we better communicate the benefits of blockchain to the general public?
CF The advantage of blockchain is that the data is tamperproof; even if a portion of your data was corrupted, it would not get carried on the chain. In that sense, blockchain protects the integrity of data, and AI brings the blockchain to life. Blockchain is now recognized for its innumerable merits even though it was met with some initial skepticism. Organizations with annual revenues of USD20-30 billion can save money if they identify the right processes to incorporate blockchain. If blockchain can give companies a competitive edge, they should rush to enter it before their competitor does. Furthermore, through blockchain, supply chain, and healthcare will become more secure whilst protecting data with even less susceptibility to hacking. Blockchain is similar to the early days of the internet, with some blockchain companies laying intellectual property claims to certain supply chain processes. At present, many major players such as Visa, American Express, and NASDAQ are developing blockchain patents.