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A ‘Tech’ Future Awaits, According to Al Jazeera Media Leaders’ Summit

Mark Harrison, Managing Director of the Digital Production Partnership

The second annual Al Jazeera Future of Media Leaders’ Summit (FMLS) got underway this week with a series of keynote addresses from dignitaries who introduced and framed the gathering and its theme, Media and Cloud – Limitless Possibilities.

The Summit opened with remarks from Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, who warmly welcomed the guests and sponsors.

The Summit opening by Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al ThaniWaleed Al Sayed, CEO of mobile provider Ooredoo, spoke about the digitalisation of telecommunications, and how media consumption is shifting radically across generations. He said that 74% of people between 20-40 years old spend up to four hours a day on their smart phones. This generation, according to him, does not watch TV or listen to news bulletins. For this reason, he emphasised the need for information to reach audiences in an innovative way.

Mohamed Abuagla, Executive Director for Technology and Operations at Al Jazeera Media Network demystified Cloud Computing and spoke about Cyber Security. He said that ‘the world is only as safe as the measures you take’ – emphasising that we need to work together to develop these ‘measures’.

On Artificial Intelligence, he spoke about the use of drones for media to access dangerous areas, and talked about virtual reality (VR) and how the future of television is becoming personalised – exploring technology that can be integrated with the human body.

Exemplifying a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach, Wadah Khanfar, President of the Al Sharq Forum and former Director General of the Al Jazeera Media Network addressed the audience and spoke about how the media landscape has been radically and chaotically transformed, and only recently is a new paradigm emerging, with the newsroom getting ‘integrated’.

Mark Harrison, Managing Director of Digital Production Partnership, spoke about What’s Shaping the Media Cloud. He predicted that the collaborative approach between media and technology will continue to deepen, and that numerous traditional media structures and organisations will fragment under new realities.  The biggest change in his analyses has been the increase in the speed of the media cycle and content consumption. He said that change will therefore be consumer and creative-driven, and that to service them, content providers must ensure they focus on the editorial.

Finally, Yousef Al Khalidi from Microsoft, spoke about Digital Transformation and Microsoft’s Azure programme. Microsoft estimates that by 2025, 60% of all information will be held on ‘cloud’. He spoke about how Microsoft’s cloud is driving value out from data, through Language API (application programming interface), bot services, and machine learning. Touching on security, he said that governments are taking steps to formalise the protection of data, and their people.

In the afternoon, the Summit broke down into smaller, more specialist parallel sessions, covering the topics of Cloud Technologies and Cyber Security, split into different sessions to discuss Tech, Workflow and Content in depth with subject matter experts.

The second annual Al Jazeera Media Network Future of Media Leaders’ Summit was held this week and gathered thinkers, experts, professionals and industry leaders to discuss topics that are relevant to the future of the media industry. Visit the event website for more information about the summit. 

Related Link:
Future of Media Leaders’ Summit 2018
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