Hello. I am Tarek Hoteit, principal technology consultant and founder of INFOCOM AI LLC, a technology consultancy company located in the United States Pacific Northwest region. So what is this consultancy all about, and what is my purpose? It is a story that takes me back to my early years, programming computers since childhood, obsessed with communication and information technologies during my career and deeply immersed in problem-solving video game puzzles to this day.

I am originally from Lebanon and immigrated to the United States in 2001. I grew up in a culture that took knowledge very seriously. My father was a journalist. Books and magazines were all over the house. Whether on television, radio or in newspapers, news media is part of our daily lives. My parents got me a Commodore Vic-20 when I was seven years old. That was in 1981. I got hooked on computers ever since. Like many computer geeks in the 80s and 90s, I was into text-based adventure games (and later point-and-click games), Star Wars, Arcades, the movie War Games, and other sci-fi. As a teenager first, then as a young adult, and now in my middle age, computers, information, and communication media have always been integral to my life. More importantly, I always kept myself up to speed with the leading edge of technology innovation in information and communication technologies.

My Ph.D. and academic background in management and technologies, including computer science, business management, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and information retrieval, has been instrumental in my ability to innovate and drive enterprise solutions at various Fortune 500 companies in the United States, including startups. Along with my 20+ years of experience successfully leading software solutions with teams ranging from a few to hundreds globally, I have built solid expertise in information and communication technologies. These include enabling artificial intelligence into existing products, building communication platforms to foster human (and machine) collaborations, detecting and preventing fraudulent transactions through data intelligence, and bridging between human intuition and machine learning to solve multi-facets of technology-related problems. The depth and breadth of expertise throughout the years in these fields led me to realize that my call to action was just the same as when I was a kid programming or playing video games: “If there is a problem at hand, let’s leverage the technology we have to help solve it. If no technology can help fix it, let’s find ways to innovate and build something new to solve it!”

My proficiency is in finding solutions using artificial intelligence as the assisting tool to solve problems in the information and communication field. With INFOCOM AI, I will provide my customers with technology consultancy and contracts on building solutions, which may include subcontracting additional talent when necessary.

I would like to share another side of INFOCOM AI, and it is not commercial-based. My wife, Mayssaloun, and I, whom we first dated at the same age as our kids today, moved to the United States in 2001 and raised two Lebanese American kids, Adam and Leen. Both Mayssaloun and I built our professional careers in the United States. We took different roles and responsibilities throughout the years. My wife and her family shared the same principles of prioritizing knowledge. As a result, we continuously support our children and our development around learning and education. Even As the years went by in the United States, we never disconnected from our roots in Lebanon and the Arab world. We stayed in contact with our families but, at the same time, kept a steady balance between our Arabic roots and our American-based living. The last two decades saw computers becoming integrated into our daily lives. There is hardly anything, if anything at all, that is not touched by modern technology. For a geek like me, that is great. I love it. Everything and anything is under one’s fingertip on their mobile phone. Thanks to the Internet, information and communication have become so ubiquitous that only some would stop and think if there are problems in such fields that we need to address. It is no secret that none-first-world societies, including the Arab world, always play catchup with the Western world. The Arab youth and many elderly ones like me use English as their method of communication on the Internet because English has become the universal language of the Internet. There is no harm with that. But I realized as I watched my kids grow and technology advancing to improve societies further and make the world even more connected that new information and communication are powering the youth but are leaving behind the older generations. I, for instance, want our children who speak English to communicate effectively with their grandparents who can only speak their native language. I also wish multilingual techno geeks like myself to continuously develop technologies with the help of artificial intelligence that can close the divide between old and new cultures. For example, while volunteering at a local retirement center in the United States, I noticed how the elderly are left behind when using technology devices. Hardly anyone tech-savvy is around them to help. Such real-life experiences drove me to look for solutions that can help improve information sharing and communication across cultures and ages.

Through INFOCOM AI, I would want to provide solutions that bridge the gap between the young and the old and between the ones that speak English, the Internet language, and the nonEnglish or the native language of the many in this world. I fully support AI technologies, and I want those technologies to continue enhancing the communication and information we share between all generations. If we can help solve it or progress towards it using INFOCOM.AI, it would be a great accomplishment for all!