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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



Siraj Syed covers CommunicAsia 2017, Singapore: Pre-event, 03: Rohit Talwar and FastFuture

Siraj Syed covers CommunicAsia 2017, Singapore: Pre-event, 03: Rohit Talwar and FastFuture

Rohit Talwar, Owner and CEO, Fast Future Research, since 1999, will be delivering this year’s CommunicAsia2017 Summit Visionary Address titled “Artificial Intelligence vs. Genuine Stupidity – Navigating Exponential Technologies to Create a Very Human Future”. The event will he held this year from the 23rd to the 25th of May, and will host key speakers and exhibitors featuring the latest trending technologies such as SatComm, Connect Everywhere, IoT, Security & Cyber-Security.

Rohit Talwar is an award winning global futurist, entrepreneur and specialist advisor on business transformation, disruptive strategies and radical innovation. Fast Future Research provides critical insights to help clients make sense of a rapidly evolving and hyper-connected world. His lecture is scheduled for 24th May, at Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Centre. It will come on the heels of Business 2025 - Pathways to Transformation - An experience in aid of Street Kids International, May 19th, London, where he will be the keynote speaker.

Artificial intelligence, together with big data and IoT, is seen as an enabler that will allow businesses to overcome the hurdles presented by large amounts of generated data and successfully make sense of these for insight and business direction. According to Forrester, AI will drive the insights revolution and by 2020, insights-driven businesses will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less informed peers.

 “AI coupled with the other rapidly accelerating fields of science and technology will drive large-scale change and transformation of existing businesses and industries while also enabling the creation of entirely new sectors”, says Talwar.

He also predicts that the pace of development and potential of AI means that it is perhaps the most important area of decision making that business leaders will face over the next few years, and the effective implementation of AI will be a crucial differentiator between success and failure of firms in a fast changing world.

Artificial intelligence coupled with other key science and technology developments will help transform the US$78 trillion global economy. Fast Future estimates that by 2025, the economy could grow to US$120 Trillion – with over half coming from AI-enabled industries that either do not exist today or are in their infancy, such as autonomous vehicles, self-replicating machines, and adaptive, personal health management systems.

“The core challenge is to help organisations embrace and adapt to accelerating change and prepare for a world that we can’t yet see but is just around the corner,” adds Talwar. “We will see AI being used for product design, pricing decisions, marketing strategies, training and recruitment. We are already witnessing the emergence of entirely automated ‘employee-less’ AI-based decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs).”

Offering a preview to the highly anticipated session, Talwar explores the key questions CEOs should be asking as they assess and invest in AI's transformative potential:

1.  What's the fuss about?

AI may well drive the most important changes in the philosophy, practice and management of business. AI draws on and is combining with exponential developments in technologies such as computer hardware, big data management, IoT and the fields of machine learning, neural networks, and robotics. As a result, AI is beginning to fulfil its true potential of transforming businesses and even replacing senior management and leadership roles. CEOs have to make sure they are investing the time and attention to understand what AI is, why so much is being invested, and where the opportunities are.

2.  What is its potential?

The place to start is to undertake internal analysis of where it could be deployed and what competitors are doing. Medium to large enterprises in particular are bringing in AI experts and creative future thinkers to take a broader perspective of the potential roles AI could play, from smarter production management, to customer targeting and broad-based decision making.

3.  Who should lead?

The temptation is to see this as just another IT project and hand responsibility to the CIO (Chief Information Officer. However, some see it having a much broader role and are making it the responsibility of the CEO, COO or business transformation head to drive the identification, piloting and application of AI solutions across all aspects of the business.

4.  What would success look like?

With AI, there are likely to be unsuccessful experiments – up to 90 per cent might go under as promising ideas fail to yield viable solutions. The mantra should be to "fail fast and cheap" – bringing in suppliers, customers and other value chain partners early on to see if there is commercial merit in an idea. There can be as much learning from a failed project as a successful one.

5.  How do we address social impact?

There is a growing concern that if every firm replaces a large part of its human workforce with smart software and robots, unemployment levels could rise on a permanent basis. Estimates vary from 30 to 80 per cent of all current jobs that could be automated out of existence in the next five to 20 years. As a CEO, how should we address this and the potential criticism that we are creating a two-tier society? Should we support the idea of a guaranteed basic income for all, as is being explored by Canada, Finland and the Netherlands?


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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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