Three-day conference on Artificial Intelligence concludes on a high note
AI TechVerse 2023, the flagship annual event of National Centre of Artificial Intelligence at NUST, concluded on Thursday. The three-day event was geared towards providing a platform for students, researchers, spin-offs, startups, and existing AI industries to connect, network and pitch their AI-based ideas and prototypes. Prominent at the opening ceremony were the chief guest Mr Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, and Lt Gen (Retd) Engr Javed Mahmood Bukhari, Rector NUST, while His Excellency Rashid Abdul Rehman Al Zamar, Charge’d Affairs of UAE to Pakistan, graced the closing ceremony as chief guest. An overwhelming number of AI enthusiasts, tech entrepreneurs, investors and AI startups from around the world converged on NUST Islamabad Campus to share knowledge and experience vis-à-vis Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its related technologies and applications.
The Federal Minister highlighted that NCAI is one of his most cherished initiatives, and he was so pleased to see it progressing well. He said that Pakistan is a country facing numerous challenges, and to overcome them, we need to foster a culture of technological innovation and growth. NCAI, he maintained, is helping to create a new generation of thought leaders who are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to drive our nation forward in the digital age. The minister further said that the world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and we need to keep up with this rapid transformation to stay ahead. To achieve this, we need to create an environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and cutting-edge technology.
In his welcome address, Prof Dr Yasar Ayaz (Pride of Performance) said that the NCAI AI TechVerse represents more than just a hub for AI research and development; it is a place where our brightest minds come together to harness the power of AI for the betterment of our society. He maintained that NCAI has been actively engaged in policymaking for national and international bodies concerning AI and its allied technologies. Its AI-based systems have made notable impacts. The Centre has also developed AI-powered robots, like Chotu, for autistic children in Karachi, providing personalised support and care. In addition, Its Mediam.AI media analytics system has helped media outlets analyse and monitor content for accuracy and credibility, contributing to media literacy. He further said that NCAI has made significant strides in expanding its reach across Pakistan through the establishment of nine labs and plans to open centers in GB, AJK, and Balochistan.
The NCAI Startup Challenge was a major highlight of the event, receiving an overwhelming 130 submissions, out of which only 21 startups made it to the final round. The winning startup LYNXINFOSEC (Pvt) Ltd (Project: AI-Powered Feast) walked away with a PKR 1 million cash prize after undergoing rigorous evaluation.
NCAI received 173 research paper submissions for the IEEE International Conference on AI, with 37 papers shortlisted for presentation. The conference also attracted renowned international authors, researchers, and techpreneurs from around the world, including Norway, the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Germany, Sweden, and Kuwait.