Glimpses of “Augmenting Life” hosted by Majarra and MIT Technology Review Arabia

AI is embedded in all aspects of life - financials, work, leisure, and social activities. Following this trend forward, how will AI artificial intelligence continue to impact daily life? How might its trajectory be better directed towards solving the issues and concerns of today, such as public health and the environment? Further, what is the role of data governance, and how will augmented intelligence facilitate the management of these challenges?

To answer these questions, Majarra and MIT Technology Review hosted a virtual conference entitled “Augmenting Life” on November 30, 2021. Microsoft was a presenting partner and PwC was a knowledge partner for the conference. 

“Augmenting Life” hosted top international and regional experts, researchers, and entrepreneurs representing global organizations and educational institutions such as Microsoft, Google, Electronic Arts, PwC,, Boston University, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, among others.

In her opening remarks, Dia Haykal, Director of Brand and Partnerships at Majarra, discussed the importance of predicting the impact of AI, its applications, and benefits on various sectors, highlighting the importance of facing these subjects early on in the Arab world through hosting global experts and thinkers.

Session title: "Breaking down barriers to AI adoption"

Mario Vargas, EMEA Advanced Analytics' Lead at Microsoft: 

Episode1: AI Reshaping Public Health

COVID-19 has truly opened our eyes to the current limitations of existing policies and systems  in governing and managing a pandemic. The more successful policy responses have incorporated technology to aid in monitoring public health and implementing viable solutions. What is the role of AI systems in understanding how best to respond to this crisis and how can it be leveraged to set fail-safes for the future?

Session title: "Infectious disease intelligence: Leveraging the power of big data and ML for disease prediction"

Barbara Han, Disease Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, New York, USA

Session title: "AI-Augmented Epidemiology for Covid-19"

Sercan O. Arık, Senior Research Scientist and Manager at Google

Session Title: "How mindful AI can contribute to advancing public health"

Ahmer Inam, Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO) and Chief Product Strategist at Pactera EDGE, and Tarek Khorshed, Lead Technology Architect in the WHO Geneva Bureau, moderated by Shaikha Al Othman, Founder of Oraxle.

Session title: "Using AI Tools to Make Health Services More Accessible, Affordable, and Inclusive"

Scott Nowson, Director of Digital Services at PwC Middle East, Karim Dakki, CEO of KLAIM, Ahmad Nabeel, Honorary Researcher at the Imperial College of London

Session title: "Responsible AI: How important is it?"

Matthew White, Partner - Digital Trust at PwC

Episode2: AI’s impact on the environment

The debate is over, and the impact of climate change is apparent on the global stage.. AI is both part of the solution offering ways to marshal resources properly such as controlling mineral mining for optimal output and minimal damage; as well as part of the problem, with the power needed to operate AI generating a sizable footprint. How can the benefits of AI be maximized while mitigating the power drain?

Session title: "Addressing the High Energy Costs of Learning in Artificial Intelligence Systems"

Kate Saenko, Associate Professor and Director of Masters in AI at Boston University

Session title: "Leveraging space intelligence to fight climate change"

Ed Mitchard, Co-founder and CTO of Space Intelligence

Episode3: How AI is transforming entertainment and culture

This episode examines how AI is transforming entertainment and culture and what ethical and aesthetic considerations to consider when using AI in social contexts.

Session Title: Leveraging AI (Multi-Agent Systems) and Layer 2 Blockchain Solutions

Humayun Sheikh, CEO and founding partner of

Session title: "AI in Game industry: Building New Worlds and New Mindsets"

Uma Jayaram, General Manager of SEED at Electronic Arts (EA)

Session title: "Can machine learning predict the price of art at auctions?"

Jason Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO of ClubNFT