It’s Time We Export Innovation And Technology


Noor Alnahhas wants his Dubai-based company, Nybl, to be a “camel’ — profitable, sustainable, built for going long distances and much bigger than a unicorn — in the next five years. 

The homegrown knowledge-driven machine learning platform turns under-utilised data into actionable intelligence that helps businesses optimise or automate workflows, provide real-time analytics and even warn them about impending equipment failures.

Alnahhas, a serial entrepreneur with nearly 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, wants his company to be at the forefront of AI solutions globally. In this interview, Alnahhas talks about the increasing adoption of AI-powered technologies across sectors in the Middle East and how nybl is democratising AI.

Tell us about nybl’s innovative product portfolio.

Currently, we have three specific applications. Firstly, we have imminent failure prediction, future failure prediction — Production Maximisation and Operational Efficiency Maximisation for Artificial Lift Pumps (pumps that pull oil out of the ground) for the Oil & Gas Industry. 

Secondly, we have a Smart Inventory & Smart Supply Chain application that is sector agnostic.

And thirdly, we have developed our C6AI security system. This includes command, control, communications, computers, countermeasures, compliance and AI functionalities for the physical security sector.

Beyond this, we are also concurrently working on new applications in the consumer behaviour market, insure-tech and fin-tech sectors.

We also have Nubyla, our data science tool. Nubyla allows anyone to upload and run data science on a virtually unlimited amount of data without the need to write code or have a deep understanding of data science. 

Could you explain a bit about models you use to transform data into actionable insights? For example, do you fine-tune pre-trained models to specific classification tasks?

When we develop solution-specific applications using our platform, we focus on niche challenges that utilise science-based machine learning and AI. This means our machines understand the subject matter of the data they analyse and, in turn provide actionable, subject matter insight based on data analysis. In essence, we deliver pre-trained, pre-configured, and pre-tuned models for specific use cases.

At the same time, we provide the ability to build these pre-trained, pre-configured, pre-tuned models to anyone who would like to use our platform – and they don’t need to write code or have a deep understanding of data science. 

Even though AI is developing, many businesses still aren’t able to deploy it effectively. Why? 

AI applications are born at the intersection of data science and computer science. These are two complex and technical domains. And, when you add IT and cybersecurity regulations into that mix, you suddenly have a very complicated and technical challenge. 

Expertise and experience in these fields are indispensable when it comes to designing practical AI solutions with real-world impact. Not everyone can create technologies that strike that balance when seeking to develop AI solutions, and that’s why many businesses are still finding their way. 

In a nutshell, that’s what nybl does. Our platform brings all these components together into a seamless and comprehensive ecosystem. As such, our nybl tech stack allows any user to deploy AI solutions without the need to write code or be a data scientist, with the highest IT and cybersecurity industry standards.

Also Read: What is Graph Data Science? And Why Does it Matter? 

Do you see the increasing adoption of AI-powered technologies across sectors in the Middle East?

In the last two years, there has been a significant increase in the adoption of AI-powered technologies across the Middle East. That’s been down to two inter-related factors: the global pandemic and the need for digital transformations.

Companies have been forced to become more efficient, do more with less, reduce costs and conduct business with stringent health and safety regulations in place. That meant removing human contact and interaction from the consumer journey wherever possible. So, with the boom in sectors like eCommerce and conveniences like contactless payment, a huge swathe of data was produced and subsequently utilised by a raft of emerging AI applications that can process and analyse data faster than any human ever could.

When did you realise there was a gap in the market for the business, and what problem are you solving?

We identified the challenges of developing AI applications while developing our own. We first wanted to make our applications scalable and quickly realised the tools we were building for our internal use could also enable anyone to deploy AI solutions. We then came to the logical conclusion that this was something we had to share with the world to make AI accessible to everyone.

When it comes to problem solving, nybl’s technology is limitless. We are not constrained to a particular sector or industry. Our platform can integrate into any third-party device to analyse enormous sets of data and turn them into actionable intelligence for clients. Whether it’s enabling oil and gas companies to maximise the lifespan of their pumps or improving the efficiencies of critical healthcare equipment, nybl’s technology helps optimise businesses assets while saving them time and money.

Your AI-powered solutions are used in Oil & Gas and security. What problems in those sectors do you aim to solve with the-AI powered tools?

Within the O&G sector, we predict and prevent failure, optimise the operational efficiency and maximise the production of Artificial Lift Pumps. Those are the pumps that extract oil from the underground reservoirs. So, we’re delivering value to our clients by making sure they can get the most oil out of the ground in the most efficient manner while extending the life of their equipment, predicting when it will fail and helping them to avoid or mitigate the failure. 

In the security sector, we have developed the first fully functional AI security system. Our security technology has been designed to provide comprehensive oversight of any given physical location and offer preemptive security measures to protect an organisation’s critical assets. It does this by collecting data from all of the location’s linked security systems – including basic systems like CCTV and access control as well as specialised equipment like radar, fibre optic intrusion, long-range imaging and thermal camera and other very cool technologies  – and constantly processing the information to develop complete situational awareness. 

The tech then runs threat-tracking and mitigation measures and, when necessary, will initiate automated countermeasures to nullify any threat and alert the end-user. This is referred to as C6AI – delivering command, control, communications, computers, countermeasures, compliance and AI functionalities in a single security system. 

Also Read: How NLP Powers Conversational AI Through Intent Analysis

What are some of the common pain points that your customers commonly approach you with?

Pain points tend to be industry dependent. But they do follow a common theme. Companies are looking to be more efficient and more profitable in the post-pandemic world. Meaning, they have to do more with fewer people, do it remotely, and achieve all that while being more profitable. This is what we set out to achieve for clients using our AI. Increasing productivity and efficiency while helping them in their digital transformation journey. 

Tell us about your partnership with mCloud Technologies Corp? What do the combined forces aim to achieve?

nybl’s partnership with mCloud gives us both regional and technical competitive advantages. Regionally, mCloud is an established company in North America, and our partnership with them helps us enter the market faster, while we offer the same advantage to them in the GCC with our local presence. Technically, mCloud’s AssetCare product suite is a perfect complement for our AI. We can engage in technology and knowledge transfers that transcend borders, and we are able to collaborate closely on developing solutions for the wider world. 

Also Read: Is Cognitive Robotic Process Automation A Game-changer?

You recently acquired Nubila. What do you aim to achieve with this new acquisition?

The Nubila acquisition accelerated our AI for anyone platform release by 12 months in two ways. First, Marlon de Jesús González, Nubila’s founder, developed a data science tool that does not need any technical expertise. This is a critical component of our platform and was on our development roadmap before we acquired it. But the acquisition meant we could simply integrate his work and reduce our time to market. More importantly, the acquisition meant that Marlon also became part of our R&D Team. nybl is a people company. It’s the amazing people in our company that make it what it is, and Marlon was someone we had to have on our team. 

Where would you like to see the company in the next five years? Do you see nybl becoming a unicorn soon?

I don’t like the term unicorn, never have. It refers to companies valued by the amount of money they raise, many of which raise enormous amounts to fund their blitz-scaling and customer acquisition while remaining unprofitable. 

nybl is a camel. Profitable, sustainable, built for going long distances and much bigger than a unicorn. Our vision is to make nybl the next technology innovation and development giant of the world built in the GCC and based in the GCC. It’s time our part of the world exports innovation and technology, and we’ll pave the way.