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Dr Mazhar Ali Bari and Dr Biliana Popova deliver a research seminar on ‘Islam and Artificial Intelligence’

On 9th May 2024, Dr Mazhar Ali Bari (Ghulam Bari Foundation and Cogovation) and Dr Biliana Popova (Al Akhawayn University, Morocco) presented their ongoing research on Islam and Artificial Intelligence at AMI. As artificial intelligence (AI) continues shaping humanity’s future, the presentation addressed the need to incorporate diverse worldviews and value systems into AI’s trajectory. The seminar highlighted how AI’s data-driven approaches risk marginalising the richness of human experiences through reductive analysis. With Islam integral to billions worldwide, both speakers emphasised considering Islamic worldviews, spirituality, and ethics as AI development progresses beyond mere pattern recognition. The seminar underscored the cruciality of preserving humanity’s diverse belief systems as AI growth accelerates. Integrating the epistemological perspectives of major worldviews like Islam is vital for creating trustworthy, value-aligned artificial intelligence for all.

Speaker Bios:

Dr Mazhar Ali Bari is a seasoned expert in Deeptech and Cleantech, with over 20 years of experience in various industrial sectors. He excels in business analysis, operational efficiency, strategy development, and techno-economic analysis, consistently achieving P&L targets. Dr. Bari is skilled in leadership and fostering cross-functional collaboration, forming high-impact teams and valuable partnerships. As Regional Director at WAIYS, he specializes in AI and sustainable supercomputing using neuromorphic chip technology. Additionally, he is a Senior Partner at CognoVation, focusing on business growth in Deeptech and Cleantech ventures. Previously, Dr. Bari served as CEO Consultant for Ajlan & Bros, devising strategies for investments in Green Hydrogen, Carbon Capture, E-fuels, and other advanced technologies. At Siemens Saudi Arabia, he was Senior VP of Technology and Innovation, leading digitalization and the introduction of the MindSphere IoT platform to KSA.

Dr Biliana Popova obtained her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Sofia “St.Kliment Ohridski.” Her research in philosophy focuses on Islamic Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence. She obtained her second PhD at the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University. Her research is focused on socio-materiality and Assemblage theory. She currently works as an Assistant Professor at Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses, including “Global Islam in the Contemporary World,” “Islam and Spaces,” and “Humour, Power and Resistance.” She is also co-coordinator of the Master of Arts in Islamic and Religious Studies Programme.

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