World Government Summit in Dubai

Just came back from an amazing trip to Dubai! Our team made it to the top 3 finalists for the WorldGov Hack hosted by the Government of UAE and got invited to the award ceremony at the annual World Government Summit in Dubai.

Our hack was to use AI to detect microbes in water. It currently uses a digital microscope and laptop running the algorithm But the idea is to eventually have it all run on a smartphone (with a specialized camera attachment). NGOs could use this in the field to cheaply (essentially free) and quickly check for water contaminated with E. coli or other pathogens.

We won overall first place! Here we are with the Deputy Prime Minister of UAE:

With the organizers


Of all the conferences I’ve been to, this one definitely tops them all. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rub shoulders with world leaders and discuss public policy ideas in a surprisingly open forum. Topics ranged from financial security, income divide, health, AI and job disruption, and blockchain. It seems the urgency with AI has reached to such a level that Dubai now has a Minister of AI! We were lucky to get invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by the Minister, where we got to meet with the co-founder of Skype and Jürgen Schmidhuber, the creator of LSTM.

Dinner with all folks AI. The Burj al Arab 7-star hotel in the back


The conference itself hosted a bunch of talks on various topics, almost all led by a variety of world policy leaders.

India’s Prime Minister Modi gave the keynote speech
With the head of World Health Organization
With the one and only, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson!
With K. Radhakrishnan, the Director of ISRO who launched India’s Mars Orbiter Mission!
With the Deputy Director of India’s Aadhaar program. India won the award for most effective govt digital application!
With CNN’s Richard Quest


The gorgeous Venue:

Where it all went down. The Madinat Jumeirah resort
Exploring the art installations


They treated us well 🙂

Fancy everything
An Emirati feast


We had some time in the evenings to visit the obligatory Dubai tourist spots.

The Burj Khalifa. Those are not fireworks but neon lights on the ground
















View from the highest man made structure
The Old Spice Souk (market). never seen so many spices. They are all imported from other countries for trade here.
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