You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
If you’re keen on keeping up with all things tech, then it is highly likely that the Saudi Arabia-located global annual technology conference LEAP has been on your radar.
LEAP’s newest edition is set to run from February 6-9, 2023, at the Riyadh Front Expo Centre, and this year, the event will have a special focus on artificial intelligence (AI) with the inaugural installment of DeepFest, which is expected to bring together leading AI companies from all over the world.
Besides throwing the spotlight on AI-driven initiatives by governments as well as the latest innovations within this space, DeepFest has been designed as a thought leadership conference that also includes a series of sector-dedicated tracks, trainings, live-demos, and innovation sessions.
And among the many experts set to participate in DeepFest is Ricky Ray Butler, CEO of California-based influencer marketing and product placement agency BENlabs. Butler will be one of three speakers on a panel set to happen on February 8, 2023.
Ricky Ray Butler, CEO, BENlabs. Source: BENlabs
With over 18 years of experience in digital entertainment, Butler is known to have pioneered the use of AI technology within the entertainment and media landscape. Having unlocked how to better create digital brands and content by making use of AI, BENLabs is today empowering 13 million influencers, creators, and brands to leverage data driven systems and processes to grow their audiences and revenues.
“A close mentor taught me early in my career to think around the corner to the problems of tomorrow,” Butler said, in an interview with Entrepreneur Middle East. “If you are solving the problems of today, you are already way behind. BENlabs is laser-focused on applying AI to solve the problems of tomorrow.”
According to Butler, up to this point, the advancements in AI have been used and viewed as a productivity tool in fields like manufacturing, supply chain, and automotive- AI has, so far, been used as a way to eliminate time spent doing manual tasks, and BENlabs wishes to expand that application of AI technology into the realm of creativity.
“We believe that in many cases -like with ChatGPT- AI can be just as creative as the human mind, which is a cultural mindset shift,” Butler noted. “Digital creators of all types will use AI technology to expand their ability to help create more and better content, which will in turn help creators scale their content in this decentralized world of content and platforms. Brands and creators will be able to be more focused on what they do best- developing creative strategy (and translating that creative into a reality much faster), rather than spending time on tedious tasks.”
It’s no secret that there are multiple sectors across the globe that have benefitted from the undeniable impact of AI technology. In fact, as per a January 2023 analysis by ReportLinker, the global AI market is expected to grow by US$125.3 billion by 2027. Closer to home, Saudi Arabia has been continually supporting AI-driven business ideas to drive forth its economy, with Mordor Intelligence reporting that the country’s big data and AI market is expected to reach $891.74 million by 2026.
“We are huge supporters of the investment the Saudi Arabian region is making into AI and its transformational power,” Butler said. “I am looking forward to hearing from the AI thought leaders in the region, who we view as the best in the world. We want to bring our expertise in applying AI to media and entertainment into this region, and contribute to the ecosystem of likeminded AI enthusiasts.”
As Butler now gets set for his appearance at DeepFest in Riyadh, he urges AI enthusiasts to keep in mind that while AI offers unlimited opportunities, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to optimize the technology.
“My advice with AI applications is to crawl first, walk second and then run,” Butler said. “AI should be thought of as an extension of a human brain- where AI and human experts can collaboratively work together to drive scale and efficiency. There are still large barriers to entry and resource constraints around adopting AI, however I would recommend that business leaders find low hanging fruit where AI can prove successful and then look how they can apply to more and more complex issues.”
Ricky Ray Butler is one of the many speakers making an appearance at DeepFest, the premier meeting place for the global artificial intelligence ecosystem of thought leaders, changemakers, big tech, data scientists, innovators, enterprises, academia, startups, and entrepreneurs leading innovation across businesses. The event will be co-located with this year’s edition of LEAP happening in Riyadh from February 7-9, 2023- visit deepfest.com to register, and follow the event on Instagram @deepfestai.