The session "The Future of Journalism between Web 3 and the Metaverse", as part of the activities of the first day of the Arab Media Forum in its twenty-first session, witnessed a conflict of opinions on the impact of technology on the future of Arab journalism and the potential repercussions of the use of artificial intelligence technology, on the career opportunities available to workers in the media sector.
The panel discussion was attended by Islam Al Shatnawi, robotics automation expert, writer and political analyst, Yasser Abdulaziz, Mohammed Al Hammadi, President of the UAE Journalists Association, and Abdo Jadallah, News Director at Sky News, and moderated by Suhaib Schreier from Sky News Arabia.
At the beginning of the session, Islam Shatnawi stressed that the last five years have witnessed a radical change that paved the way for the so-called Web 3, which is the next generation of Internet technology, and relies heavily on machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, and aims to create open websites and web applications that provide an improved understanding of data.
He pointed out that Web 3 will contribute to solving all the problems that the Internet suffers from in its current state, as it will include all artificial intelligence algorithms, which will make the Internet more connected to our lives.
Shatnawi said that there will be no process of replacing media jobs in favor of technological techniques and tools at the present time, but rather there will be integration, but the rate of replacement will change gradually.
Abdo Ja Dalla spoke about the impact of technology on the media sector, pointing out that over the past decades, modern digital media technology has not caused a negative impact on any media outlet, pointing out that technology is not an "adversary" for workers in the media work, but that experience has proven that workers are the basis for technological development.
"At Sky News Arabia, we are preparing for the digital transformation phase by focusing on new technical tools to improve the quality of content, speed up and facilitate work, not for the purpose of replacement.
Mohammed Al Hammadi said that media professionals and journalists should be worried, if they cannot keep pace with the technological development that the media arena is currently witnessing in all its sectors, pointing out that the media is witnessing a remarkable shift towards the use of social media platforms, due to the tremendous technological progress that the world is witnessing, which represents a great burden on the various media to be more rapid and accurate in transmitting information.
For his part, Yasser Abdel Aziz said that the successive technological development will negatively affect workers in the media sector, expecting the dwindling career opportunities available in the field of media, stressing that the "metaverse", for example, will become a reality that calls for "horror" because of its ease of use and the low costs required to own its tools, and with the rapid development in this technology, it will not require glasses, but just a lens or a chip placed under the eye. Yasser Abdel Aziz said that the "virtualists", as he put it, will dispute workers in the media sector for the job opportunities available in the coming years.
The twenty-first session of the Arab Media Forum, held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, kicked off Tuesday in Dubai, with the participation of about 3000,<> ministers, leaders of media institutions, editors-in-chief of newspapers and digital platforms, and a group of senior writers, intellectuals, opinion leaders, media makers and appointees in the region and the world.