21 centuries into our recorded civilization, we have come a long way. Our distant ancestors wore tattered clothes, hunted wild animals and slept in tiny shelters made of mud, gravel and hay. They were ruled by one powerful king or queen, fighting for dominance over vast regions. But today, our lives are sophisticated. Thanks to science and technology: there are smart devices, gadgets and machines—some small enough to place on our palms—helping us in almost all our needs. We have dating services bringing people together based on their personalities, tiny flying machines delivering items to people’s homes and powerful telescopes peering into the limitless stretches of outer space, just to mention a few.
Through millennia, people have been investing in science and technology steadily—because these fields help us survive. In 2021, these fields have become ingrained into the very fabric of our society. Innumerable people—hundreds of thousands or more—are working today dedicatedly to bring the fruits of science and technology to many more people as scientists, researchers, doctors, technology experts and more. In a very real way, these fields can help us overcome some of the most serious, urgent and crippling threats to our civilization today.
Yes, science and technology maybe our only way to overcome some of the biggest threats we face today like global warming, depleting natural resources of energy or food, crime and health crises including the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. So, when people submit or give themselves dedicatedly to the cause of solving these overwhelming challenges, it becomes a truly noble and helpful endeavour. This is the exactly true for a small but emerging group of experts at ‘ADGS Computer Systems’—a six-year-old Qatari company deeply invested in technology to help solve some of our society’s biggest challenges. The company believes in investing in niche deep technologies i.e. developing specific but powerful technological products to help humanity profoundly.
The company was established by ‘Mr. Hassan Al Ansari’ as well as ‘Mr. Christophe Billiottet’ in Doha, Qatar in 2015. The two had been successful in the past: Mr. Al Ansari had founded a telecommunications company and Mr. Billiottet is an entrepreneur with nearly 30 years of experience with hi-tech companies. Their love for the bright potential in science and technology to help our society guided them towards setting up ADGS Computer Systems together. In their quest to realize ambitious projects, they set up the foundational rule: to help society through ethical and honest application of technology.
An Endeavour to Bring the Fruits of Technology to Qatar
There is a wide consensus that countries heavily investing in the field of ‘deep technology’ can have a bright future. Mr. Al Ansari, the Chairman of the company, believes that this field has the potential to shape and to influence the very future of our society. He sees deep technology, as part of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, critically influencing our international landscape. But he also notes that most countries’ governments aren’t investing in this field today. So, he loved the idea of setting up Qatar’s very first deep tech company—to bring the fruits of this field to his own country.
As Mr. Al Ansari began blueprinting the company’s vital details with Mr. Billiottet, they realized that they must apply technology ethically and honestly for a bright future. They deeply and strongly disapproved GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) using artificial intelligence to exploit people’s personal information to make money. In stark contrast, the two would bring technology for a noble purpose—to help solve some of the biggest challenges our society faces. Thus, they established ADGS Computer Systems as a laboratory researching and developing groundbreaking technological products ethically, for everyone’s benefit.
To help realize their ambitious project, the co-founders took time to assemble a small team of brilliant and wise engineers, a mathematician, a phlebologist, a surgeon and a biologist. They ensured that everyone believed in performing research to help make the world better as well. As they formally established the company, the nation’s organization for Education and Science ‘the Qatar foundation’ offered invaluable help: they donated more than half a million dollars to the company to help build its critical artificial intelligence and machine learning platform.
The company took five years of research and development to deliver their flagship products: the STROKK, the TASMO and the PANDEXIT. “STROKK is a neuromuscular algorithm applied as a security program to recognize users by their unique typing style on a regular computer keyboard. TASMO is an unstructured big data analysis program supported by artificial intelligence and natural language processing. PANDEXIT is the most sophisticated: it’s a set of algorithms to simulate widespread mineral, biological or social phenomena,” Mr. Al Ansari says.
A Closer Look into ADGS Computer Systems’ Products
‘STROKK’ is cybersecurity program, safeguarding users’ personal information with some of the industry’s best security standards. Its machine learning and behavioral biometric algorithms learns users’ unique typing style on any standard computer keyboard. It’s a highly effective security measure because each person’s typing style is unique: even when someone’s password maybe unfortunately stolen, the program rejects access to the hacker because of the different typing pattern. Further, the program adapts to a person’s changing typing pattern over time.
‘TASMO’ is an unstructured big data analysis program. Its immensely powerful artificial intelligence and natural language processing capabilities can sort through vast quantities of documents. This can help researchers, doctors and police officers in their daily endeavours greatly.
‘PANDEXIT’ is a very powerful tool to visualize or to simulate scenarios, on a very large scale. It was built to help governments, especially its decision-makers, to evaluate the possible outcomes of various COVID-19 lockdown policies. It helps decision-makers to understand the outcomes and consequences from potential policies, before making them the law. It provides a reasonable estimation of the evolution of the pandemic, within configurable scenarios. Further, the company applies an agent-based modelling method ‘emergence’ to genuinely understand human beings and their interactions in society—in a much more accurate and elaborate way. This allows decision-makers to make more confident decisions for complex challenges.
A Strong Foundation: Arising from a Deep Fascination and Belief in Technology
The co-founders’ deep interest in the bright potential to help society can be traced to their early childhood. “When I was 8 years old, I found a pile of scientific magazines from the 1950’s in the cellar of my parent’s house in Doha. I was fascinated by the images shown: cities filled with flying cars, high speed levitating trains in vacuum tunnels, video telephones and cities built on mars under gigantic glass domes. Some of them have predicted the future very well. In these retro futuristic images, there existed an ambition and an optimism to improve our world in real tangible ways,” Mr. Al Ansari shares.
Mr. Al Ansari’s fascination with technology endured within unrealized for many years until he met Mr. Billiottet, a Frenchman having nearly 30 years entrepreneurial experience with hi-tech companies. Their shared love for the bright potential of technology to help humankind is the strong foundation for their company. So, they brought together talented people committed towards researching in the fields of cybersecurity, simulations, behavioral biometrics, social dynamics, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, space technologies, robotics, rocket systems, networking and nanotechnology, thus far.
At the workplace, Mr. Al Ansari brings passion to his leadership responsibilities, personally wanting to realize more harmony professionally. “I like to consider employees at ADGS as a family, managed transparently with everyone having voice and ears. I know the qualities of each one of us and I like to incentivize creativity. We frequently debate ideas until me and Christophe decide to perform research and development,” Mr. Al Ansari says.
Helping Qatar become a Technological Hub within the Gulf
Today, the company is well-supported by the Qatar foundation as well as various partnerships and agreements with renowned laboratories, universities and foundations around the world. They are becoming known as the company to seek for complex, out-of-reach and unique technological solutions. Further, the valuable applications of their innovative biological and sociological algorithms for the real world has been recognized. The company was recognized as one of the 15 most innovative health startups in the world by the World Innovation Summit for Health in 2020 as well as by 500Startups of the USA in 2019.
“I love our company. I am proud of what ADGS has accomplished so far. But it is only a beginning. We have accomplished so much with scarce resources. Imagine how much more we could with proper funds or resources.” Mr. Al Ansari sums it up, optimistically.