DATA IS KING

Saudi Arabia 2020 | EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

Major reforms are underway in the Saudi education sector, spurred by Riyadh's push for more technology in daily life, and Education E-Solutions wants to help accelerate the adoption of new technologies.

Dr. Hatem Bugshan
BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Hatem Bugshan received his PhD from University of London. His research stream is intellectual property rights and open innovation in the sector of information and communications technology. He has published in high-quality peer reviewed journals such as Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, and Qualitative Market Research. He has also presented his papers in international conferences.

What have been the major highlights over the last year?
The country is working hard on intangible assets, such as knowledge, education, and future skills that can help companies adapt to the future. As we enter the Industry 4.0 revolution, there is a need to impart different skills for tools such as the internet and even newer media in this complex environment. The educational sector has to play a major role in this transition, focusing on peer-to-peer learning, social interactions, and the exchange of information, as promoted by corporate workshops. The more one learns, the easier it becomes to adapt to the future.

Which technologies will have a major impact on education and the corporate segment and why?
Different technologies could play different roles, but the exchange of knowledge will help decision-makers understand the main obstacles they could face with AI. It will allow them to capture qualitative and quantitative data to help them measure trends. The main skill needed now is programming and adopting different languages. We need to teach children from an early age. Private schools have started working on this, though our focus should be on teaching such skills at the primary level. That will help students adjust to new languages.

How can teachers stay one step ahead of their students?
It is complicated, but teachers need to update their mindsets by learning new skills, such as analyzing and capturing data and improving communication and interaction with students. They need data and smart analysis tools to strike a balance with students who are born using these technologies. Teachers need to have the ability to incorporate these skills quickly and easily.

What is the best way to use this data properly?
We need to know what affects the education sector. New technologies such as AI will help companies and decision-makers analyze the information coming in from all these different sources. To help companies adopt AI, we have to remove some barriers and obstacles, such as the fear people have in adopting new technologies. You need to understand the implications of implementing AI in terms of security, for example. To manage this issue, take full advantage of AI, and understand its limits, there needs to be increased transparency, awareness, and literacy around AI technology. In this sense, private organizations need to know more about the threats of cyber attacks. They have to take it seriously.

What role will people play in the new processes established by the advent of new technologies?
People need to learn new skills and add more value to the output of machines. The human component will only become more important at the advanced stages. After we gain insights from new technologies, we need to know how to harness more output and create new ideas. These ideas could lead to further improvements. To get to that point, we have to focus on providing the tools to learn new skills, make use of the data, be more innovative, create more projects, and add value to the latest technologies.

What are the priorities for Education E-solutions?
In 2019, our main focus is to learn about the side skills that the students need to acquire to develop virtual/augmented reality content. Instead of relying on suppliers, we want to provide tools that can help people create content. This will help us integrate our own system, adopt, and shape it to fit specific needs. We want to focus on peer-to-peer communication, which will accelerate the adoption of new technologies.