The huge potential of new technologies, such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence, will be best achieved by engaging with and educating people on their capabilities and collaborating to ensure it is used for the global good.
That was the focus of the latest Expo 2020 World Majlis, which brought together senior thought leaders in the fields of technology, innovation and art to explore augmented reality and the mirror worlds and the impact on the future of humanity, under the theme: ‘Beyond Reality – Welcoming New Worlds’.
Such technologies would transform our lives and shape our interactions, freeing up our imaginations and unlocking fresh solutions to some of the planet’s challenges, the World Majlis heard, with almost unlimited possibilities in a world where technology transcends time and distance.
However, it was important that countries and the global tech community work together to address issues such as trust, responsibility, regulation and ethics, and approach ambitions for technology in a logical, targeted and collaborative way.
Dispelling feelings of anxiety and disconnection by engaging and educating people on the capabilities of technology, while also setting clear targets for what society hoped to achieve, would help ensure no-one was left behind in the race to reap the rewards of fast-paced technological advances, the Majlis heard.
The London World Majlis was held at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London’s Hyde Park, home of the first ever World Expo in 1851. It was hosted by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo 2020 Bureau, and attended by the newly appointed UAE Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mansoor Abulhoul; Lord Timothy Clement-Jones, Chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence and Co-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence, UK; Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge; and Laura Faulkner, Commissioner General, UK Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. The session was moderated by LJ Rich, a technology presenter and musician.
A deep-rooted UAE tradition, a majlis gathers people from different backgrounds to engage in respectful and vibrant conversation on issues that matter to their communities, while gaining new perspectives, solving problems and connecting with each other. Expo 2020’s World Majlis series was launched in Dubai in December 2017 and has travelled to Abu Dhabi, New York, Shanghai and Kigali.
More sessions are scheduled in the run-up to and during the next World Expo, the first to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, which runs for six months from 20 October 2020.