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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia and ARMONK, New York — IBM and Saudi Data, an agency based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have signed a strategic agreement to add artificial intelligence (AI) into the carbon capture and industrial domains.

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the second Global AI summit brought out the first opportunity for the Saudia Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the Ministry of Energy to use IBM’s AI technology to detect, locate, and reduce carbon emissions across Saudi Arabia, according to IBM last month.

IBM will work directly with SDAIA to help find uses of AI and machine learning (ML) to help solve challenges in the Kingdom, mainly focusing on and supporting the Kingdom’s sustainability objectives.

Saudi Arabia is currently working on a transformation program to become a technology logistics hub and industrial powerhouse for countries all over the world.

The Kingdom has a target of achieving net zero in emissions and has a goal to help the global effort to cut emissions by 2060.

New cities and infrastructure are being built in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, such as NEOM built in 2023, and the Red Sea which is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program, both designed with current and future sustainability objectives in mind.

“This agreement with IBM will contribute to creating opportunities by addressing key challenges in circular carbon economy, petrochemical and industrial domains, through the development of innovative solutions in the field of data and artificial intelligence, and the exchange of shared experiences and investment opportunities in this vital area to support achieving the goals of Vision 2030,” said Dr. Majid Al-Tuwaijri, CEO for the National Center for AI.

The Saudi Vision 2030 has multiple goals for Saudi Arabia. They aim to be part of the world’s innovation progression, including diversifying the nation’s economy and unlocking underdeveloped industries such as manufacturing, and renewable energy.

“This agreement would allow us to leverage IBM’s expertise in technologies like artificial intelligence,” Eng. Ahmed Al-Zahrani, Ministry of Energy’s Assistant Minister for Development and Excellence, said, “which will play a key role in promoting the adoption of the Circular Carbon Economy, achieving the goals announced during the Saudi Green Initiative.”

“Using multiple satellites and different types of imaging technologies, we will train an AI model to recognize and pinpoint different forms of gas across the entire country. By doing so, this will help with earlier and better visibility of the problem which has not been possible with conventional measurement approaches,” said Dina Abo-Onoq, Managing Partner, IBM Consulting Saudi Arabia.

To help IBM’s initiatives with cloud and AI strategies, IBM acquired

Neudesuc

, a leading cloud service that specializes in the Microsoft Azure platform. IBM acquired Neudesuc to extend their strategies portfolio.

Before the U.S. Open, IBM and the

United States Tennis Association (USTA)

announced a five-year renewal of their 30-year partnership.

To help drive innovation and achieve their digital growth agendas, IBM announced plans to acquire

Dialexa

, a leading digital product engineering services firm.

IBM and ESPN teamed up for the 2023-2023 fantasy football season to give

ESPN fantasy football players

the competitive edge with the artificial intelligence (AI) of IBM Watson.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 involves multiple significant factors, but two focuses are the environment and AI. Both elements are valuable to the country, as they involve every industry in Saudi Arabia. 

Vision 2030 has a plan to improve the environment by targeting 100% of municipal solid waste, 60% of construction waste, and 85% of hazardous waste to be moved out of a landfill.

One of the world’s most valuable companies is Aramco, an oil company. However, the oil may eventually run out. Because of this possibility, one way Saudi Arabia could reduce its reliance on this non-renewable energy resource as a primary income source. 

Not only is this helpful to the environment and economy, but with AI adoption, there is a possibility of what the Middle East Political and Economic Institute called a “collaborative and forward thinking ecosystem.”

The global AI market has grown and developed in recent years. Currently, the AI market is estimated to be worth $87.04 billion and is anticipated to grow to $1.597 trillion from 2023 to 2030.

The compound annual growth revenue (CAGR) is expected to grow 35% in North America, the location of IBM’s headquarters, according to Precedence Research. 

As more research is gained within digital technologies and the internet, the research has contributed to the growth of the global AI market. 

More trusted technology companies have invested in and developed AI to fuel technological improvements in various industries, including the environment and energy industries.

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Ibm Expands Watson Data Platform To Help Ai Professionals

IBM’s Watson project has always been about the largest base of industry offerings across the board. It provides solutions to industries ranging from health, education, customer engagement to IoT and financial services. With Watson on the IBM Cloud, users can maintain their ownership of data, IP, and insights. Since Watson understands a given industry’s language, it can comprehend datasets fully and its AI can extract meaningful insights from a variety of data types. IBM Watson was initiated with a vision for masses to be able to leverage the power of data science. In 2024, IBM took a step forward in furthering this vision by introducing the Watson Data Platform. Watson Data Platform is a set of features available on the IBM Cloud Platform. Technologies like machine learning and predictive modeling have such potential to cause disruption and enable change and innovation that IBM only saw fit, and felt that this power should be available to all. The Watson platform enables machine learning steeped in artificial intelligence. On 2nd November 2023, IBM announced new offerings in its Watson Data Platform which primarily included data cataloging, data refining, and analytics engine. It is estimated that by 2023, around 75 percent of developers will require AI services in their apps and this will only lead to increase in difficulties related to making sense of huge and complex data sets across the enterprise while simultaneously ensuring data security. The primary offerings in the expansion include:  

Data Catalog

Instead of spending majority of the time searching for data, data professionals can save value on time by making use of automated and simplified data discovery and governance. All data assets can be accessed from cloud platforms in one place and access can be controlled using regulatory compliance and automatic policy enforcement. •  All structured and unstructured data across the enterprise platforms are condensed to the form of a searchable index. •  A 360-degree view from all platforms in one place and data governance regarding access is ensured. •  Machine learning assigns meta tags to organize data into searchable stores. •  The tool is enabled by the open standards base of the Watson Data Platform and close to thirty connectors bringing together a 360-degree view of all existing data within the enterprise.  

Data Refinery

Analytics ready, quality information is produced by data refinery saving a lot of prep time in the process. •  More than 100 built-in functions help discover, standardize and cleanse data thereby identifying and uncovering patterns ready for insights. •  Data scientists can work in real-time with business teams using connectors to over 25 data sources to tap into data in the cloud. •  Anomalies and data types are detected using statistical metrics and charts and graphs then help understand data distribution.  

Analytics Engine

•  Makes a combined use of Apache Spark and Apache Hadoop service to enable users to understand the value of each dataset. •  Data scientists can work with developers to build models in real-time without having to worry about the infrastructure intricacies behind it.

IBM’s Watson project has always been about the largest base of industry offerings across the board. It provides solutions to industries ranging from health, education, customer engagement to IoT and financial services. With Watson on the IBM Cloud, users can maintain their ownership of data, IP, and insights. Since Watson understands a given industry’s language, it can comprehend datasets fully and its AI can extract meaningful insights from a variety of data types. IBM Watson was initiated with a vision for masses to be able to leverage the power of data science. In 2024, IBM took a step forward in furthering this vision by introducing the Watson Data Platform. Watson Data Platform is a set of features available on the IBM Cloud Platform. Technologies like machine learning and predictive modeling have such potential to cause disruption and enable change and innovation that IBM only saw fit, and felt that this power should be available to all. The Watson platform enables machine learning steeped in artificial intelligence. On 2November 2023, IBM announced new offerings in its Watson Data Platform which primarily included data cataloging, data refining, and analytics engine. It is estimated that by 2023, around 75 percent of developers will require AI services in their apps and this will only lead to increase in difficulties related to making sense of huge and complex data sets across the enterprise while simultaneously ensuring data security. The primary offerings in the expansion include:Instead of spending majority of the time searching for data, data professionals can save value on time by making use of automated and simplified data discovery and governance. All data assets can be accessed from cloud platforms in one place and access can be controlled using regulatory compliance and automatic policy enforcement. • All structured and unstructured data across the enterprise platforms are condensed to the form of a searchable index. • A 360-degree view from all platforms in one place and data governance regarding access is ensured. • Machine learning assigns meta tags to organize data into searchable stores. • The tool is enabled by the open standards base of the Watson Data Platform and close to thirty connectors bringing together a 360-degree view of all existing data within the enterprise.Analytics ready, quality information is produced by data refinery saving a lot of prep time in the process. • More than 100 built-in functions help discover, standardize and cleanse data thereby identifying and uncovering patterns ready for insights. • Data scientists can work in real-time with business teams using connectors to over 25 data sources to tap into data in the cloud. • Anomalies and data types are detected using statistical metrics and charts and graphs then help understand data distribution.• Makes a combined use of Apache Spark and Apache Hadoop service to enable users to understand the value of each dataset. • Data scientists can work with developers to build models in real-time without having to worry about the infrastructure intricacies behind it. This platform ultimately helps build smart applications with quick visualization, sharing and insights generated from real-time data. Embedded intelligence-based applications help make better insight based decisions. Using this platform for integrated data and analytics, users can innovate and expand their businesses.

How It Can Support The Sustainability Crusades

Have you had a sustainability report fire drill yet? If not, you will soon.

It may start with a discussion at a board meeting, or a request from the CFO based on a new regulatory mandate. All of a sudden your company needs to track energy use, its carbon footprint and other metrics of how it is helping the sustainability of the planet’s resources.

These green initiatives usually trickle down into the IT department and make it see red. As in a late-night scramble to generate data about those metrics. And management sees red after you explain that either the data don’t exist because there isn’t a good way of tracking it, or it will take weeks to find and consolidate the data.

Into the data gap and applications vacuum come your friends at the ERP vendors as well as a bunch of start-ups. More than a dozen vendors of various tools to help IT monitor and track energy/sustainability in new product development, distribution, production and other corporate functions, as well as the IT department as well.

If you doubt the interest of your company – and I don’t blame you – think again. Surveys by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and Pricewaterhouse Coopers last year paint a picture of substantial and rising interest in sustainability among senior executives. More than six out of 10 CEOs polled by PwC say environmentally friendly products and services are an important part of their overall innovation strategy.

A recent report by PwC includes striking examples of the bottom line impact of corporate sustainability programs:

• Dow Chemical increased its sales of sustainable chemistry products to 4.3 percent of all revenue between 2009 and 2010, rising from 3.4 percent. By 2024, it expects such sales to be 10 percent of revenue.

• Dow also saved $9.8 billion since 1994 from energy-efficiency efforts that required an investment of less than $2 billion.

• SAP claims to have saved $250 million between 2008 and 2010 in energy costs. It expects absolute energy consumption to remain at 2000 levels through 2023, despite continuing global expansion.

• Intel saved $136 million in 2010 from 11 employee environmental projects.

While the revenue opportunities and savings seem substantial, the HBR AS survey shows a troubling disparity: even though the vast majority of the individuals polled said they personally viewed reduced energy consumption and sustainability as important, only around half said their companies were acting in the same way:

Source: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services

Other data showed that individuals were much more likely to have changed energy consumption behaviors than their employers.

The HBR AS survey had 1,748 respondents, with half from North America, 25% from Europe and 18% from Asia. For more information about the survey as well as a tremendous amount of information about energy conservation and innovation, check out the research report and related materials.

To avoid the fire drill chaos next time sustainability metrics become the subject of a heated discussion in your organization, keep in mind that the ERP vendors Oracle and SAP have already introduced software modules to help monitor and manage the consumption of raw materials.

As PwC report authors Vinod Baya and Galen Grumman note, “as organizations embed sustainable practices in operations, they move along the continuum from compliance to obligation to efficiency to leadership. Information technology is an enabler of this journey.”

PwC’s Alan McGill, a partner in its Sustainability & Climate Change practice in the U.K., added that “technology is accelerating the use of sustainability as a driver of growth, particularly information technology, as it allows greater monitoring, independent verification, transparency, and accuracy of resource usage and its impact.”

The PwC report includes a sampler of 10 software vendors offering tools to help IT and other departments track sustainability initiatives. In addition to modules from Oracle and SAP, the list includes technology from legacy controls companies like Honeywell and Johnson Controls along with a variety of start ups.

The report also includes a snapshot of applications that help organizations monitor the sustainability of new product and supply chain operations. These tools will be especially important in the future, because a substantial number of companies are working on new products and services that support energy efficiency and other customer demands. The HBR AS survey found that 32% of the respondents’ employers are developing such new products. In addition, 32% reported that their employers had already added energy efficient features to existing products. Smaller but still sizeable percentages of the respondents indicated a growing number of initiatives to change manufacturing processes, packaging and distribution to respond to energy concerns as well.

The bottom line of all of this is that IT shops had better get familiar with the tools to support sustainability efforts. You can’t rely on the excuse that there aren’t any tools to track corporate efforts to support energy efficiency.

The Potential Power Of An Amd And Ibm Partnership

This week AMD released its latest Epyc 7Fx2 Processors, and they are performance beasts (with 50% lower cost of ownership). The Cloud companies mainly took interest because they focus on performance over almost everything else, and in AMD, they appear to recognize the performance value these processors represent. 

Participating in the launch were the who’s who of cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and Tencent Cloud.  But one of the Cloud providers that caught my interest was IBM, and they have been moving aggressively of late to overcome their late arrival on the competitive field and showcase they can play with the big boys.  

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But there is a unique opportunity that these two companies have with each other in that AMD’s executive leadership came from IBM, and that gives them more in-depth insight into IBM’s processes and operations. The result could be a partnership that reaches legendary proportions, and I think that potential connection is worth exploring this week. 

One of the significant issues in the current tech segment is that the major technology suppliers are unusually powerful. Typically a company like IBM, Dell, or HPE would be so much more potent than the firms supplying them with parts leadership in the final complete product is clear. The OEM is the leader. The parts folks follow that lead. 

But with suppliers like Intel and Microsoft, their power can often exceed that of an OEM, and when that happens, the tail can seem to be wagging the dog. Because they are typically more removed from customers, the result is a suboptimal offering where critical decisions were made by the parts supplier, not the OEM. 

Now Microsoft gets around this in the Cloud space by having one of the leading Cloud platforms, and in the PC space with Surface. But both create other problems because Microsoft, with those offerings, is competing with their OEM partners who, and they can be vocal about this at times, aren’t pleased with that competition. 

Now on the PC side, this has turned into a major annoyance. Still, on the Cloud side, mainly due to the nature of the business, the OEM’s only big problem is that Azure has such a substantial market presence. Still, Amazon and Microsoft have always had a somewhat rocky relationship with Amazon anyway.  

Ideally, as an OEM, you want a parts supplier that is subordinate, but what would also be handy is a parts supplier that also understands the OEM’s internal process so the supplier can better fit within it.  Often, assuming there aren’t leftover issues from the divestiture, a unit that has been sold by a company that became a parts supplier would be the best choice.  But, there often is a ton of hatred in that regard between the two firms making it very difficult for them to collaborate. 

But AMD didn’t spin out of IBM; several ex-IBM executives just lead them. The result is that, at least with AMD leadership, they know intimately how IBM operates, what it wants from a supplier, and even has the depth of contacts to be able to make critical calls if something appears to be going wrong.  

But they won’t compete with IBM for leadership because they know IBM is closer to the customer.  Also, AMD has been one of the most aggressive in terms of building custom processors for its clients, having created custom processors for Microsoft (Xbox and Surface) and Sony (Playstation). 

While Microsoft is aware of this AMD capability, given they’ve used it with two products, they’ll be on top of this as well. Still, others may not (Google might be another exception), allowing this combination to result in Cloud offerings unique to IBM and uniquely powerful in the Enterprise space given the market leader, Amazon, spends a lot of their effort below the Enterprise.  And, in the Enterprise, there isn’t another Cloud player that has IBM’s experience, which extends back well into the last century.  

If these two firms execute their potential, the result could be a game-changer in the Enterprise-Cloud space. 

The First Legal Framework On Ai – Is This For Real?

No wonder, AI has carved a niche for itself. What has always been a hot topic of discussion is the Regulation aspect of AI. On that note, The EU Commission adopted a proposal for the first legal framework on AI recently. This aims at imposing obligations on businesses across multiple sectors, including that of the life sciences (the Regulation). AI systems that are made available. Well, that is not all. There is more to it. It adopts a risk-based approach.  

What is the risk-based approach all about?

The risk-based approach throws light on the different risk categories. They are –

Unacceptable risk – The term itself speaks a lot for itself. This is the risk that is a clear threat to individuals’ safety, livelihood, or rights. A threat to all of this is highly unacceptable – hence the name. If any system is considered to cause a threat to any of the above, it would be banned, without a second thought.

High risk – Evidently, the risk element is high. Some cases, as far as life sciences is concerned where this holds true is – administration of justice, types of safety components and products, remote biometric identification and categorization of people, etc. All those AI systems that fall under this category have a set of obligations to comply. Some of them are –

Adequate and clear information to be provided to the user.

Adopt the required oversight measures to minimize the errors.

Check on the robustness, security as well as accuracy.

Trace the results by logging the activities.

Thorough and detailed documentation.

Conduct sufficient risk assessments to deal with the undesired circumstances in a better manner.

All of these apply to the providers of risk AI systems. As far as the distributors, importers, users and other third parties are concerned, will be subject to the provider’s obligations if –

They trademark or modify an existing system

They place a high-risk AI system on the market

They place a high-risk AI system into service under their name

Limited risk – This is where the AI systems are well aware of the transparency obligations that they have to comply to.

Minimal risk – This category is where most of the AI applications fall under. The reason why it is named as minimal risk is that the applications pose minimal to the low risk to individuals’ rights or safety.

No wonder, AI has made it possible to accomplish tasks that were once thought to be out of our league. Right from controlling the traffic to assisting the surgeons in performing the various medical procedures,has carved a niche for itself. What has always been a hot topic of discussion is theaspect of. On that note, The EU Commission adopted a proposal for the first legal framework onrecently. This aims at imposing obligations on businesses across multiple sectors, including that of the(the). AI, under the Regulation , is defined as the “software that is developed with one or more of [certain] approaches and techniques and can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, generate outputs such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing the environments they interact with.” The legal framework that has recently made its presence felt has a crystal clear objective – to ensure a level of trust insystems that are made available. Well, that is not all. There is more to it. It adopts aapproach.Theapproach throws light on the differentcategories. They are –All of these apply to the providers of high-risk AI systems as well as the manufacturers of products that include high-systems. As far as the distributors, importers, users and other third parties are concerned, will be subject to the provider’s obligations if –In a nutshell, the Regulation is all set to have a significant impact across all sectors. Since the complete legislative process is not yet done, the businesses will now have to wait to see how the principles set out in the

Why Ibm, Microsoft And Sap Like Oracle’s Apple Strategy With Sun

Earlier this week I got word that Oracle was ceasing the Sun Solaris licensing deals with other hardware vendors. This reminded me a great deal of what Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple and killed the Apple clone business.

In both cases it reflects a realization that a company cannot effectively create competition for a prime chúng tôi Apple’s case, Apple was a hardware company and had no business even trying to be a software company unless it was willing to give up hardware. Sun’s last CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, seemed to be trying to turn Sun into a software company but his effort stalled someplace in the middle and Sun foundered.

Oracle is clearly a software company, yet it seems that with the Sun acquisition, suddenly they seem to think they are Apple — but they aren’t.While Oracle is certainly much better run than Sun was, and Apple was before Steve Jobs return, wouldn’t they have as much trouble transitioning to a hardware model as Sun did going the other way?

On the other hand the desktop side of the technology industry is certainly moving to tight vertical integration and Cisco seems to be on a similar path on the IT side of this market.Maybe Oracle is onto something. Let’s explore this.

Sun had a leadership problem, Larry Ellison is pretty hard on Jonathan Schwartz but he really failed to point to the cause of the issue, which was that Jonathan was the wrong guy to lead Sun.Schwartz was a software guy and Sun was a hardware company.

If you’ve ever worked with both groups you’ll quickly learn that they don’t really talk the same language. They rarely get along chúng tôi take someone with a particular expertise and put them in to lead a company and they will likely try to turn that company into a form they recognize.

Schwartz tried to turn Sun into a software company and started licensing out the key technology, much like Microsoft does very chúng tôi he needed to transition the company from one model to the other quickly. And if your followers can’t understand you and you don’t understand the major portion of your existing business then you won’t be successful. And saying Schwartz failed is a gross understatement.

The only other way to do this would be to spin out the software unit as a different chúng tôi worked better for Palm initially but the end result for them was that both units eventually chúng tôi was partially because they waited too long and the market had moved away from PDAs and partially because first software and then hardware executed poorly.

Apple went the other way and stopped the transition into a software company and doubled down on hardware. However, they likely might have still failed if it hadn’t been for the iPod which was enough of a success to return the firm to success and profitability.

Still, the iPod was a hardware product and this would indicate that the most successful path would be to retrench as a hardware company, and look for other hardware products that the market wants and not switch focus to software.

I’m calling vertical integration one of the big trends for this decade. We’ve seen Microsoft increasingly drift over into hardware, most recently with the Kin phone, HP just picked up an OS with the purchase of Palm, and Apple has started to actually design their own chips with the A4 used in the iPad.

Cisco just bought their own design house (Moto) and has been building an IT focused vertical around the Cloud (servers + networking) for chúng tôi is starting to look like a game of musical chairs where the company that builds a horizontal stack that is left without a dedicated vertical once the music stops will be the loser.

In a way this is feeling like a return to the IBM years, where you would go to one company for an entire solution.

But Oracle’s goal appears to be to create Apple-like products for the data center in terms of data appliances that are effectively plug and play.Granted they will likely be assembled to the specifications of the IT organization that buys them. But Oracle likely will maintain the result and because they are relatively standard, this could result in lower acquisition and maintenance costs for the buyer and higher margins for Oracle.

But this doesn’t come without risk.

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