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UAE’s Leading Position and Citizens’ Wellbeing Take Centre Stage at 1st Meeting of UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence

UAE’s Leading Position and Citizens’ Wellbeing Take Centre Stage at 1st Meeting of UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence

by Insight World EditorMarch 27, 2018

The UAE’s status as a trailblazer in artificial intelligence and the wellbeing of citizens were the main topics of discussion at the first meeting of the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence, which also discussed the Council’s objectives and role in implementing the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Headed by His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, the meeting stressed the importance of adequately implementing the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, which seeks to propel the UAE to the fore of the global AI sector, whereby the Emirates embraces the cutting-edge technology and uses it across strategic sectors. This, in turn, creates a promising new market in the region, supports the private sector in increasing its productivity, and generates sizeable economic revenues to improve quality of life in the UAE.

Present at the meeting were H.E. Dr Rawda Al-Saadi, Director General at the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC); H.E. Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO); His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Qasimi, Director-General of Sharjah’s Department of eGovernment; H.E. Ohood Al Shuhail, Director-General of Ajman’s Digital Government; H.E. Khalid Sultan Al Shamsi, General Manager of the eGovernment Department in Umm Al Quwain; H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Director-General of Fujairah’s Department of e-Government; H.E. Ahmed bin Saeed Al Sayah, General Manager of the eGovernment Authority in Ras Al Khaimah; and H.E. Mohamed Bin Taliah, Assistant Director-General for Government Services Sector, Assistant Director-General for Corporate Services Sector at the Prime Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future.

H.E. Omar Al Olama asserted that the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence’s first meeting had a full agenda, addressing a host of vital issues arising from the advent of artificial intelligence and its potential role as a strong foundation for excellence-driven future governments.

“Guided by the directives of its wise leadership, the UAE has embraced innovation and forged strategic international partnerships to present bold new scenarios where artificial intelligence plays a central role in building the future,” H.E. Al Olama explained. “The UAE is highly prepared to handle this breakthrough technology, and incorporate it in a clear, forward-thinking and long-term strategy to upgrade all vital sectors, in line with the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan.”

A Key Role in Securing the UAE’s Global Lead

At their first meeting, members of the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence discussed a number of strategic topics with a long-term future outlook, including the objectives and functions of the Council; the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, and its objectives and potential; and the competitive advantages and economic benefits of AI, among other topics.

The Council’s tasks were outlined to include providing counsel on matters referred to it by the UAE Ministerial Cabinet; proposing policies to create an innovation- and AI-friendly ecosystem; encouraging advanced research in the sector; and promoting collaboration between the public and private sectors – as well as international institutions – to accelerate the adoption of AI.

Fostering Knowledge Exchange and Forming Support Committees

The Council is tasked with encouraging the exchange of knowledge and experience in the AI field; integrating artificial intelligence in education; spreading awareness and knowledge in the public sector; using AI to ensure the happiness of individuals; and proposing policies and strategies to build a generation of tech-savvy citizens with deep knowledge of AI. The Council stressed the importance of establishing support committees that enlist representatives from the public and private sectors, scientists, researchers and experts from the academic sector.

Key Criteria to Evaluate Artificial Intelligence Applications

The Council examined a proposed four-criteria evaluation mechanism for artificial intelligence applications in the UAE. Bearing the name “UAI”, the approach assesses AI applications based on their compliance with four key metrics: Ensuring the positive use of artificial intelligence; privacy of user data; data security and integrity; and efficient data sharing with the competent authorities.

The meeting also discussed the economic benefits that the UAE can expect from adopting artificial intelligence technology, which are expected to be significant. AI is poised to increase economic output by 26%, and grow the economy by AED335 billion, driven by the savings made in terms of productivity and efficiency.

On another note, the Council discussed the seven main objectives of the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, namely: Transforming the UAE into a leading global destination for AI-powered application and government services; supporting various sectors to embrace and develop artificial intelligence technology to ensure faster growth; attracting and training talent for future AI-centric jobs; attracting prominent international scientists to work within specific sectors; establishing the necessary data infrastructure to transform the UAE into a global AI laboratory; ensuring efficient governance; and setting sound policies and legislation for AI-based technologies and innovations.

The AI Council’s Strategic Goals

The Council is tasked with implementing the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence and flagging opportunities for development by conducting in-depth studies to identify the sectors most likely to benefit from incorporating artificial intelligence into their operations. The Council will also issue recommendations for developing a robust AI infrastructure to guarantee the happiness and wellbeing of UAE citizens.

The UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence strives to implement the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence to establish the Emirates as a world leader in the AI sector by 2031, by forming committees and sub-councils to support its efforts.

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