The event discussed the latest trends and research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), and Cyber-physical Systems (CPS) pertaining to smart cities. More than 100 leading industry experts and academicians attended the event, along with senior AUS officials, faculty members, students and alumni.
Organised by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the AUS College of Engineering, the conference is a reflection of the university’s commitment to becoming a forum where research and innovation – especially as it relates to the challenges facing the region – are discussed and carried out.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor, said: “I would like to welcome our special guests who are speaking here today and thank them for sharing their insights into how we can apply Artificial Intelligence, the Internet-of-Things, and Cyber-physical Systems for a better, smarter world.
“The UAE government is also aware of the importance of this new technology, appointing one of our alumni, His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.
“American University of Sharjah is, as ever, fleet of foot and preparing for this new technology as well, by developing a minor program in computer science that will address artificial intelligence and more.”
The day-long conference featured eight main sessions with speakers from various industries discussing some of the most prominent issues for smart cities. Speakers included representatives from Cisco Systems, IBM, SAP UAE and Oman, VMware, HPE, Khalifa University and AUS. Featured topics at the conference included: Big Data—Its science, Industry and Business; Network Evolution for the Cloud and Digital Era; Disruptive Technologies and Future Cities; The Fourth Industrial Revolution—Positioning for Change; Smart City-connected City-Use Case of Smart Waste Management: SAP Innovation Global Award 2018; Superpowers of Technology; Digital Transformation and Innovation; and Blockchain for Smart Cities.
Dr. Richard Schoephoerster, Dean of College of Engineering at AUS, welcomed the delegates to the conference: “I am very pleased to welcome you to AUS and to this important and timely event. At the AUS College of Engineering, we are committed to engaging and collaborating with industry to develop partnerships that promote research and innovation in a wide variety of areas. This conference is a reflection of that resolve and we hope to organize many such events in the future.”
The event also featured the first official live demo by Du and Nokia of the future of IoT and AI by showcasing 5G technology in conjunction with 360 degree cameras and Virtual Reality (VR). The 360 camera set-up allowed the participants in one lecture hall to follow the sessions taking place in another and transmitted using 5G technology using VR headsets.
Dr. Fadi Aloul, Head and Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering at AUS and organizer of the conference, said: “Technology is now an enabler for every business in all fields. Everyone will soon need to learn how to apply it in their field to succeed. It is incumbent upon us to play our role in a world that is now focused on concepts such as smart cities, innovation and technological advancement. The topics we chose for the sessions in this conference focus on some of the most pressing issues in the field and the number of participants we see today from various industries goes to show the thirst for this knowledge.”
He added: “The smart city concept is rapidly gaining ground in the UAE and, therefore, there are opportunities for us today more than ever to be innovators, groundbreakers and leaders in this field.”