UAE to boost number of specialised AI laboratories in the country

Council for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transactions reviews first phase of its agenda

Artificial intelligence is expected to contribute up to 14 per cent to the UAE's gross domestic product — equivalent to $97.9 billion — by 2030. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The Emirates plans to boost the number of specialised artificial intelligence laboratories in the country and accelerate AI research initiatives, the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transactions said.

The council held its first meeting of the year remotely on Tuesday and reviewed the outputs of the first phase of its agenda, state-owned news agency Wam reported.

The first phase included the graduation of more than 260 AI experts from a specialised programme, developed in co-operation with Kellogg College at the University of Oxford.

The programme, which featured participants from 90 local and federal government entities, aims to equip graduates with the skills to use AI technologies in their work, in line with the UAE's National AI Strategy 2031.

The UAE government has an extremely “advanced infrastructure”, which is a key driver for digital transformation and for enhancing efforts to utilise technology to streamline procedures in related services, Wam quoted Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Teleworking Applications, as saying.

The UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy, is projected to benefit the most in the Middle East from AI adoption. The technology is expected to contribute up to 14 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product — equivalent to $97.9 billion — by 2030, a report from consultancy firm PwC showed.

The council, which is overseeing the UAE’s AI strategy, aims to expand the use of the technology, promote online transactions in various areas, encourage the exchange of knowledge, attract talent and recommend guidelines to boost innovation and research.

During the meeting, the council's subcommittees also presented their implementation plans, their key objectives for the next phase and the proposed success indicators, Wam reported.

The UAE Cabinet adopted the national AI strategy 2031 in April 2019. The wide-ranging initiative will involve the rapidly developing technology being integrated into all sections of society — from government services to education.

The country has also established the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence to support the advancement of research, development, transfer and practical use of AI.

Updated: February 23, 2022, 7:27 AM