Can Israel Lead the World in Artificial Intelligence?

Oct. 18 2018

Some experts believe that China and Europe are poised to get ahead of the United States, or at least catch up to it, in the development of cutting-edge uses for artificial intelligence. Gil Press suggests that a third country, Israel, is emerging as one of the most important innovators in this sphere:

Israeli artificial-intelligence start-ups (using technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, natural-language processing, robotics, and speech recognition) have raised close to $2 billion in 2017, an increase of 70 percent over 2016, and have already raised $1.5 billion this year. An average of 140 start-ups have been created annually over the last five years and there are now over 950 active Israeli start-ups utilizing or developing AI technologies. . . . And there are notable success stories, . . . such as Intel’s $15.3-billion acquisition of Mobileye, [an Israeli company that makes the computer-vision technology used in some cars to warn of impending collisions], and Salesforce’s more than $800-million acquisition of Datorama, [which makes software that analyzes marketing data]. . . .

Shuly Galili, [an Israeli investor, observes that] “most Israeli entrepreneurs [honed their technological skills during their military service], which means that on average they have more hands-on experience working with artificial intelligence, image processing, data science, etc., than entrepreneurs from other countries.” . . .

Over 70 percent of Israeli artificial-intelligence startups are focused on business-to-business applications. The Israeli experience . . . in addressing infrastructure- and heavy-industry-related challenges may provide another competitive advantage [over other countries]. . . . “We’ve made it our mission to invest in start-ups tackling unsexy problems with really sexy technology,” says Galili. . . . The proven success and exciting potential embedded in the Israeli artificial-intelligence landscape have attracted leading industrial, consumer, and tech companies that have established major research-and-development centers in Israel in recent years.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Forbes

More about: Artifical Intelligence, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Israeli technology

Palestinian Leaders Fight Economic Growth

Jan. 15 2019

This month, a new shopping mall opened in northeastern Jerusalem, easily accessible to most of the city’s Arab residents. Rami Levy, the supermarket magnate who owns the mall, already employs some 2,000 Israeli Arabs and Palestinians at his other stores, and the mall will no doubt bring more jobs to Arab Jerusalemites. But the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are railing against it, and one newspaper calls its opening “an economic catastrophe [nakba].” Bassam Tawil writes:

For [the PA president] Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah officials . . . the image of Palestinians and Jews working in harmony is loathsome. . . . Instead of welcoming the inauguration of the shopping mall for providing job opportunities to dozens of Palestinians and lower prices [to consumers], Fatah officials are taking about an Israeli plan to “undermine” the Palestinian economy. . . . The hundreds of Palestinians who flooded the new mall on its first day, however, seem to disagree with the grim picture painted by [these officials]. . . .

The campaign of incitement against Levy’s shopping mall began several months ago, as it was being built, and has continued until today. Now that the campaign has failed to prevent the opening of the mall, Fatah and its followers have turned to outright threats and violence. The threats are being directed toward Palestinian shoppers and Palestinian merchants who rented space in the new mall. On the day the mall was opened, Palestinians threw a number of firebombs at the compound, [which] could have injured or killed Palestinians. The [bomb-throwers], who are believed to be affiliated with Fatah, would rather see their own people dead than having fun or buying attractively-priced products at an Israeli mall.

By spearheading this campaign of incitement and intimidation, Abbas’s Fatah is again showing its true colors. How is it possible to imagine that Abbas or any of his Fatah lieutenants would ever make peace with Israel when they cannot even tolerate the idea of Palestinians and Jews working together for a simple common good? If a Palestinian who buys Israeli milk is a traitor in the eyes of Fatah, it is not difficult to imagine the fate of any Palestinian who would dare to discuss compromise with Israel.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Gatestone

More about: East Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian economy