Interview: Microsoft's Ahmad El Dandachi showcases the company's new AI services
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Interview: Microsoft’s Ahmad El Dandachi showcases the company’s new AI services

Interview: Microsoft’s Ahmad El Dandachi showcases the company’s new AI services

The enterprise commercial director of Microsoft UAE shares what the company showcased at GITEX GLOBAL and what the we can expect to see from Microsoft in the coming months

Ahmad El Dandachi - microsoft

Tell us more about the AI bot that Microsoft is showcased at GITEX GLOBAL?

‘Mai’ the Citizen Companion is a digital assistant bot, powered by generative AI, that is designed to assist residents in the UAE access any government service by asking questions. For example, you can ask her for help in renewing your visa, paying any outstanding traffic fines, or even paying your electricity and water bills, and she will automatically help you access all the different services through the government portal. You can talk to Mai in any language, and she will be able to understand you and respond to you in that language. This is because she has been taught multiple languages, as well as multiple dialects since there are a lot of those in the Arab world. Through Mai, we are showcasing how generative AI is going to enable customers to drive more efficiency and business productivity.

What were the other highlights of being at GITEX GLOBAL?

We showcased how we have been building AI-powered copilots into our most used and loved products. As part of our commitment to making the promise of AI real, and doing it responsibly, we envision a world where everyone, regardless of their profession, will have an AI ‘copilot’ for everything that they do. Towards this end, we recently announced the global launch of Microsoft Copilot, your everyday AI companion. Copilot is a significant leap in AI technology as it delivers tailored assistance across a spectrum of Microsoft products and services, including Outlook, Teams, Office, and PowerPoint. So, if you are using any of these products, Copilot will help you with your tasks such as typing e-mails, creating documents, writing articles, summarising texts, and even helping you with your Internet searches. Copilot has already begun its roll out in its early form as part of Microsoft’s free update to Windows 11.

Microsoft 365 Copilot will be generally available for enterprise customers on November 1, along with Microsoft 365 Chat, a new AI assistant that will completely transform the way you work.

How is Microsoft ensuring safety and privacy with the launch of these new AI services?

Security and privacy are very important to us, and we have been showcasing zero trust for many years. When it comes to AI, security is even more important because AI is all about data, including your personal data. So, when it comes to securing your data and deploying AI features, you need a secure environment based on zero trust. This will enable you to drive the sovereignty, privacy, and security of the data.

We are also using our advancements in AI to help protect people and data from cyber threats. The AI capabilities built into Microsoft Security solutions are trained with the insights of thousands of global security experts.

What are your plans for the quarter and how is Microsoft placed to welcome 2024?

The plan is to work with our partners, 32 of which were at GITEX GLOBAL with us, to empower our customers to leverage AI to drive productivity and efficiency. We are also working to support the deployment of certain use cases on generative AI.

I think that 2023 has been an amazing year when it comes to the art of what is possible with AI, while 2024 is going to be the year execution and how AI is delivering more value to our customers.

We are very excited to close this calendar year on a very strong note, and we are looking forward to a great 2024.

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