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Saudi tech experts bring future AI tech closer to reality

RIYADH: Saudi tech experts bring the latest developments in artificial intelligence to gamers attending major international festivals in the kingdom.

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has partnered with the Saudi Esports Federation at the Gamers8 event in Riyadh to showcase the latest advances in augmented and virtual reality technology.

And Ahmed Abdulrahman, immersive lab manager for Ithra’s Creative Solutions program, believes the futuristic AI seen in many of today’s sci-fi movies could be out in the next five to 10 years.


Inside the GameDev Zone bustling with enthusiastic and curious Saudis who want to try out the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in Riyadh. (attached)

The technology showcased at the festival focuses not only on games, but also on interactive and immersive experiences, entertainment and learning.

Abdulrahman noted that VR gadgets like those seen in Steven Spielberg’s 2018 adventure movie Ready Player One are now readily available. Ithra also has a haptic Tesla suit and glove (a technology that can create a haptic experience by applying forces, vibrations and movements to the user) that the public could test.

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• One of the Ithra winner’s projects, “The Anticipation of Rain,” puts on a VR headset and lets you feel the rain.

• Ithra has a tactile Tesla suit and gloves (technology that can create a haptic experience by applying force, vibration, and movement to the user) that the public has been able to test.

“We can put people in some games that utilize all the technology together, where they can walk around and feel every hit in the game. Total immersion. It’s 2022, not 2045,” he told Arab News.


Inside the GameDev Zone bustling with enthusiastic and curious Saudis who want to try out the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in Riyadh. (attached)

At Riyadh Boulevard City, where Gamers8 is at full capacity, Creative Solutions’ GameDev zone will feature prototype games developed within 72 hours, as well as five previous winning designs from the program cohort, as well as internationally developed video games. It’s a feature.

The VR experiences available are not fully rigged, but give visitors a general idea behind the immersive stories.

One of the Ithra winner’s projects, “The Anticipation of Rain,” lets you feel the rain while wearing a VR headset. Its creator, Naima Karim, became disabled at a young age, but says that the rain inspired her to love drawing. “So many people were so moved that they took off their headsets and cried,” she said.

Other AR projects take users on journeys through the history of the universe or on hidden object finding missions, similar to the Pokemon GO mobile game.


Main entrance to Ithra’s Creative Solutions GameDev Zone in partnership with Gamers 8, the world’s largest esports festival in Riyadh Boulevard City. (attached)

Next to the zone’s five winners’ booths will be a selection of internationally developed game programs, including ‘The Climb 2’, ‘Loco Dojo’, ‘Beat Saber’ and PS5 Playroom.

Filipe Gómez, curator of the Creative Solutions Program, told Arab News: Everything is projected. “

Amr Bogari, conceptual artist and AI enthusiast, said:

“But in general, it depends on how people use it. The abundance of technology can reduce the mental aspect, and this is the case in many instances. Our role is to combine reality with assumptions.” It is important to create a suitable space.

Regarding the GameDev Zone, Gomez said: For me, it really reflects my enthusiasm to learn, grow and prepare. “

The Ithra program team aims to create unique experiences that people of all backgrounds can enjoy.

Abdulrahman said: That’s the only word I can say. Everyone who tries it is simply amazed at how well it works, even if you call it a prototype. “

The goal of the program was to establish Saudi Arabia as a leading immersive hub for the region and possibly the world.

“To prepare people to be good decision makers, we and stakeholders like Isra who are pushing specific agendas who really care about how people will be affected by this change. When it comes to creative solutions, they produce humane solutions,” Gomez added.

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