The Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, For Organizing An Essay Competition On Artificial Intelligence (AI) For The Youth Of OIC Countries.

Ambassdor Askar Massinov, the Assistant Secretary General (S&T) of the OIC complimented COMSTECH, the OIC Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and ICYF, The Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, For Organizing An Essay Competition On Artificial Intelligence (AI) For The Youth Of OIC Countries. Speaking at the online Prize Distribution ceremony of the event he emphasized the need for member countries to invest in forefront technologies, and in particular for the youth to become familiar with AI as it would profoundly affect the employment landscape of the near future.

The Coordinator General of COMSTECH, Prof. M. Iqbal Choudhary highlighted COMSTECH efforts to promote scientific cooperation between member states for coordinating efforts in fighting COVID-19 as well as keeping abreast of frontiers in science and technology. He identified several recent initiatives of COMSTECH for enabling capacity building of member states in the field of AI.

The President of ICYF, Mr. Taha Ayhan highlighted ICYF efforts to motivate OIC youth towards emerging technologies and the opportunities that they present for future careers.  Dr. S. K. Hasanain, Advisor COMSTECH, described the event as open to participants from all OIC countries and consisting of two categories viz. students (18-25 years) and young professionals (25-35 years). The essays could be in any of the three official OIC languages (English, Arabic or French) and were required to be original and unpublished.

An international Jury of four experts from different OIC countries assessed the entries on the basis of the structure and organization, technical mastery of the selected topic, novelty of the idea being proposed, and finally, realistic potential of the proposed theme for application. Possible themes for the essays were identified as AI in Health/Education, AI for Technology Frontiers, AI in E–Governance, Ethical & Regulatory Issues in Applications of AI and AI for Social Development.

A total of 110 participants from 22 different OIC countries applied for the competition. On the basis of their 300-500 word abstracts, 43 participants were shortlisted for the two categories.  Each essay was evaluated independently by several Jury members.

The Assistant Secretary General OIC announced award winners in the two categories, the 1st Prize is in professional category won by Mr. Beltus Nkwawir Wiysobunri of Cameroon for his essay on “A Deep Learning Automatic Tactile Pavement Detection System for the Visually-Impaired”. The 2nd Prize is awarded to Mr. Ousman Touray of Gambia for his essay on “Monitoring Health: Monitoring Diabetes and Hypertension Using AI” and the 3rd Prize is won by Mr. Selahattin Bingol of Turkey for his essay on “Do Judges and Prosecutors Need to Be Worried”?

In the students category the 1st Prize is awarded to Ms. Sara Marhoon Al-Ghafri from the College of Engineering, National University of Science and Technology, Oman for her essay titled, “SANAD: A learning tool for the visually impaired” and the 2nd Prize is awarded to Ms. Joanna Gomez of the School of Arts and Sciences, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of the Gambia (UTG), Gambia for her essay titled, “Certification and Auditing as Tools for Effective Data Regulation and Oversight in Artificial Intelligence” and the 3rd Prize is awarded to Ms. Samawia Rizwan of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) (RCMS), Islamabad, Pakistan for her essay titled, “Integrated machine learning and bioinformatics approaches for the Development of potential therapeutics against pandemic diseases”.

First prize winners in both categories would be entitled to a prize money of US$500, second prize winners US$300 and third prize winners would receive US$200 as a token of appreciation for their efforts. The ten best essays would be published. COMSTECH also plan to support development of new applications presented in some of the award winning essays.