The first word – ‘dignity’ – was donated by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai – to an AI algorithm that will generate a ‘Collective Message’ at the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020.

Al Hashimy’s selection is the first of tens of thousands of words that will create the stunning message from humanity to another civilisation as the UK Pavilion opens at Expo 2020 Dubai.

In a concept inspired by Stephen Hawking, visitors to the UK Pavilion will be invited to donate a word they feel describes humanity or life on Earth. Advanced AI technology will use these words to generate individual poetic couplets that will combine to create a Collective Message projected on the UK Pavilion’s stunning cone-shaped structure from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The algorithm used to create the AI-generated poetic couplets was trained on 15,000 poems from more than 100 British poets. Tying in with the Pavilion’s theme, innovating for a Shared Future, the interactive poetry installation will explore whether a computer programme can express the complex nature of humanity through verse.

The exciting initiative was unveiled alongside the Expo 2020’s official visitor app which launches tomorrow. The business-focused app aims to help millions of visitors make the most of the 182 visually striking and emotionally inspiring days of Expo. Users will be able to tailor their visit to Expo, matching individual interests to create a personal schedule of events and attractions, across a site twice the size of Monaco.

Visitors can also use the app to buy tickets, choose dining options and themed culinary events, and manage reservations for Expo 2020’s intelligent Smart Queue system – offering guests the ability to reserve a convenient time slot to visit a pavilion of their choice. A similar system used in Disneyland venues to avoid waiting times and long queues.

Available to download via the App Store or Google Play – the app allows visitors to create an Expo 2020 account or link their social media account, as well as access a GPS-enabled interactive map of the Expo site and step-by-step directions to points of interest across Expo.

A chatbot on the app will provide information on making visits to Expo 2020 safe and enjoyable, including details on opening times, parking options and how to reach Expo using Dubai’s extensive public transport options.

“Hosting the world in one place for six months, Expo 2020 offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore new frontiers and join in a celebration of creativity, innovation, human progress and culture. Whether you’re interested in boarding our Garden in the Sky observation tower 55 metres above the ground; partying at Expo Beats, our monthly music festival featuring a global cast; or experiencing the spectacular Expo Water Feature, the Expo 2020 app has everything on offer at your fingertips,” explains Mohammed Alhashmi, Chief Technology Officer at Expo 2020.

Separately, the Expo 2020 Business App matches users with similar interests and objectives among the business community, with the objective of facilitating meaningful business to business (B2B), business to government (B2G) and government to government (G2G) interactions across geographies and industries.

Powered by artificial intelligence and available for mobile and desktop, the app can also suggest potential matches for users based on their profiles, expertise, goals, and interaction patterns – ensuring every business visitor can meet their business objectives.

While free to download, a small registration fee applies to access the app’s premium features, such as networking, connecting, chatting, and scheduling meetings. Holders of the Premium Experience can enjoy complimentary access to the premium features which is great for business owners and government missions.

In addition to these two main apps, fitness enthusiasts visiting Expo 2020 can use the Glofox App – available via App Store and Google Play – to keep track of their wellbeing and make the most of all the sport and health-related activities available at Expo 2020.

The Expo 2020 Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub is hosting an eclectic mix for all ages and physical abilities, and Glofox helps users view timetables and services, book classes and engage with other members and instructors. When downloading the Glofox App, search for ‘Expo 2020: Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub’ before signing in and registering for sessions.

From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 will bring together more than 200 participants, including 192 countries, plus millions of visitors, to collaborate on ways to protect the planet for our communities and future generations, inviting them to join the making of a new world.

By Hermoine Macura-Noble
The first Australian English speaking News Anchor in the Middle East. She is also the Author of Faces of the Middle East and Founder of US-based 501c3 charity – The House of Rest which helps to ease the suffering of victims of war. For more from our Contributing Editor, you can follow her on Instagram, here.

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