Google says Middle East innovation is in bad shape

Google Day sees calls for more regional and Arabic content online and talks up need for innovation environment

Tags: Arabic contentArabisationCustomisationEgyptGoogle IncorporatedJordanSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates
3201 days ago
Milen

As a non-Arabic speaker I've been looking at the Arabic web as a window into the culture and the people. My experience shows that the majority of the Arabic web content is forum driven. Native Arabic search is also a problem - the context of a word is critical for producing relevant results. A friend of mine works for a company that produces a specialized Arabic search engine, called Jidha. It's available here http://jidha.yajeel.com. I don't really know how good it is, but I've had native Arabic speakers telling that it's much better than Google when it comes to Arabic search...

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3203 days ago
Tarig al-Mohaysin

I will write my comment in Arabic ! للاسف كلام السيد جودت صحيح الى حد ما؟؟؟ اذا لم نعتبر الاهداف التسويقية والاستراتيجية لشركة غوغل في هذا المجال، ثم ان من اسباب تراجع المحتوى العربي في الانترنت ان مثل هذا النقاش حول المحتوى العربي يدور باللغة الانجليزية على سبيل المثال للحصر،،،، لقد حاولت الوصول الى نفس المقال باللغة العربية ولكني لم انجح مع العلم ان هذا المقال قد وصلني على البريد الالكتروني باللغة الانجليزية، ثم اود ان اعقب على قضية البحث والمحتوى الديني! لا اجد رابط في الموضوعين حيث ان ما تدخلة في مربع البحث سوف يعكس النتائج التي سوف تعرض عليك فلو كتبت باللغة الانجليزية كلمة الدين او العقائد سوف تعرض عليك محركات البحث نتائج تتعلق بذات الموضوع وبجميع اللغات؟؟؟ حلها مثل اللغة العربية.

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3203 days ago
Derek

How do you get inovation if the cost of internet access here is 10 times that of the West? The ME ISP don't understand that they are killing the golden goose with there profit rates - In the UAE business internet is 5 time that of residential for the exact same service, i.e. same call center and no SLA. The only people who can afford unlimitted use internet are the MNC who will file their paitents elsewhere and not trust to the local courts. It's kind of funny, in Dubai we have an Internet City, but I see my customers actually restricting their operators internet usage to the point where they can't perform their duties because the cos of access is so high!

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3214 days ago
Nedaa Elkadi

In the few rare cases of searching in Arabic I was appaled by the huge number of religious articles and the repetition of these articles, which in many cases were pure anecdotes of non reliable and not documented sources. If Arabic content on the net is less than 1%, I am afraid that a big chunk of this 1% is useless nonsense. I wish that an arabic search engine may be designed to filter away such content, encouraging more scientific research in Arabic.

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3222 days ago
Safaa Kanj

My comment concerns the search in Arabic. I frequently try to use Google search in Arabic but it is so painful and often inconclusive. I have seen the progress made in this regards but still, searching in English and Latin languages is much easier. Second, the content in Arabic is rarely controlled, and the search brings irrelevant texts et non-qualified sources in the top 10 sites. Nonetheless, a huge effort is deployed by Arab countires especially in the Gulf area to enrich the Arabic content. Regards, Safaa

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3223 days ago
Ayman Sokkarie

David brings up a good point. Number of patents by itself is not a good indicator of the level of innovation. In the west, patents are registered to protect intellectual property and many in the ME do not not even consider IP. I will also have to agree with Gawdat. Actually I expected many more comments on this article. Ayman Sokkarie

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3226 days ago
David Prior

In most evaluations of innovation, patents are used as a proxy for 'innovation'. This is not necessarily a valid proxy as, by Western standards, patents are much more about protecting revenues than signifying innovative activity. For my money, true innovation is about solving problems, rapidly delivering solutions, and finding new ways to make use of what is available. In that regard, I would argue that the Middle East is just as capable as any other region and, in regard to manufacturing and more industrial innovation, somewhat further ahead than most. The point, of course, is that evaluating any 'more recent' area in the context of 'more established' metrics fails to take into account the differences in maturity. Arguably, the lack of patent maturity in the Middle East simply suggests that there is less focus on protecting revenues than on delivering solutions. It is always best to balance (a) opinions and (b) the reporting of those opinions in topics such as this. Have fun! David.

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