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UAE on a mission to lead AI

There’s no denying how leaps in AI could improve the quality of life in the United Arab Emirates: reducing road traffic, improving hospital capacity, cutting down on state bureaucracy and even creating an AI-enabled tour guide for tourists. Perhaps this emphasis on improving life and generating economics is what led the UAE to create the world’s first Ministry of Artificial Intelligence #AI.

Omar Al Olama, the UAE’s first AI minister

The 34-year-old Omar Al Olama was just 27 when he was appointed to his role in 2017, and given the task of turning the UAE into a leading nation in AI by 2031. Artificial intelligence is growing to become one of the key technologies in the world. Al Olama recognised this early on as he worked to spearhead dialogues on pivotal challenges. He emphasized the UAE’s role in establishing a platform that fosters global collaboration, seeking optimal solutions for the benefit of future generations in numerous world meetings.

Proactive UAE Govt wishes to emerge as AI force to reckon with

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, a key variable that will influence the macroeconomic impact of generative AI is the degree of public-private cooperation and overall regulatory approach toward the technology. Without proactive public sector involvement and sensible regulation, countries will lack the necessary amount of investment in both human and physical capital to harness the full power of AI.
As AI continues to grow in importance, so does the significance of its responsible development and deployment.

If successful, the efforts could catapult the UAE to a position of outsize influence in the world of AI. The country is fast emerging as a player to watch in the world of difficult-to-produce computer chips used to train powerful AI systems.

Last year, the UAE hosted Dubai Assembly for Generative AI, which was was attended by over 2,000 attendees and featured a number of big tech companies and consultancies such as Microsoft, Deloitte, PwC and IBM. During the assembly, Dubai Future Foundation launched the Dubai Generative AI Alliance, a new alliance of tech companies to help Dubai accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies and build one of the world’s most advanced and effective tech-enabled governments.

The future belongs to AI

Embracing AI comes with a million advantages

Embracing artificial intelligence in the UAE promises numerous benefits that can revolutionize various sectors. By incorporating AI into industries like healthcare, transportation, and finance, the UAE can enhance efficiency, accuracy, and innovation. AI-driven technologies have the potential to improve healthcare services through predictive analytics, personalized treatments, and quick diagnoses. In transportation, AI can optimize traffic flow, reduce accidents, and lower carbon emissions. Furthermore, adopting AI in finance can streamline operations, identify fraudulent activities, and tailor personalized financial services to individuals. Embracing artificial intelligence in the UAE is a strategic move towards building a smarter, more sustainable future for the nation.

Last year, Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi government, put together an international team of 25 computer scientists to come up with a deep learning algorithm before sending it to be trained on 4,000 powerful computer chips. The AI system had cost several million dollars to train.

However, once the finishing touches were done, despite the government’s substantial investment, ATRC decided to release the finished model online for free. If it was as good as the team believed, the boost to the United Arab Emirates’ reputation would be all the return the government needed on its investment.