Artificial intelligence research and adoption across industries will help achieve the UAE’s economic diversification goals and generate economic and social value, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-designate of the Cop28 summit.
“Projections show AI solutions are on course to contribute an estimated $13 trillion to the global gross domestic product by 2030, optimising the industries of tomorrow and dramatically improving the lives of billions of people in the process,” Dr Al Jaber said during a visit to Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Dr Al Jaber, who is also chairman of the university, was accompanied by Peng Xiao, chief executive of Abu Dhabi’s AI company G42.
As the first university to have a singular focus on AI, the institution aims to attract students from around the world to advance the technology and propel the UAE’s economic diversification efforts. It was established in 2019.
The UAE was among the first nations to see an opportunity in AI for its economy. In 2017, the government rolled out an AI strategy, UAE 2031, outlining plans to use the technology to make governance more efficient and naming eight sectors it aims to transform including space, renewable energy, water and education.
The UAE also appointed the world’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Omar Al Olama.
AI is being tipped to be the UAE’s most important industry over the next 10 years. It ranked ahead of construction, electronics, aerospace, robotics, design engineering and IT and cybersecurity in a poll of technology and engineering employees in the Emirates by the UK-based Institution of Engineering and Technology.
“AI will contribute to the UAE’s net zero strategic initiative by 2050 and help unlock advances in climate progress,” Dr Al Jaber said.
“Technologies being developed today have the potential to increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions and ensure that economic growth and climate progress go hand-in-hand, while advances in technologies like AI, analytics and robotics will enable us to better decarbonise high emitting sectors, and measure and reduce energy consumption and emissions.”
The minister met with researchers from the university and the Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence to discuss research projects that will deliver on the UAE’s national priorities, including sustainable environment and infrastructure; world-class health care and education systems, and exploring large language models, particularly in Arabic, the university said in a statement.
Dr Al Jaber was updated on a joint MBZUAI-IBM project that aims to provide a data engine to identify urban areas in Abu Dhabi with excessive heat, which could be used to inform climate and sustainability policies.