Nearly 75% of UAE organisations have maintained or raised investment in AI programmes

Almost 68% of organisations in the country are investing up to half of their technology budgets in AI, new research shows

Not all AI is human-like, but some companies like Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong, are building products for a more robot-powered future. AFP
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Almost three in four UAE companies and organisations have either maintained or increased their investment in artificial intelligence initiatives in recent months, amid the rapid adoption of the technology in the country.

The UAE ranks higher (74 per cent) when compared with the 69 per cent in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, technology company Dataiku found in its latest research report.

Up to 98 per cent of UAE businesses consider AI to be a “major enabler” when it comes to being more resilient amid current economic conditions, compared to 95 per cent in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, the report said.

The research by New York-based Dataiku — which surveyed IT decision makers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region — also revealed that 68 per cent of UAE organisations are investing up to half of their technology budgets in AI.

“Enterprises here [in the UAE] have a strong grounding … as they are prioritising competitive advantage and improved customer experience,” said Sid Bhatia, regional vice president and general manager for the Middle East and Turkey at Dataiku.

“We have seen that by concentrating on the fundamentals, we naturally curve towards an AI future in which revenues are boosted and costs are reduced.”

AI is projected to make a significant impact in the Middle East and North Africa region's technology ecosystem, as rapid advancements in the sector drive adoption across industries, a study by Magnitt found this month.

The UAE is also projected to reap the biggest impact from AI, pegged at close to 14 per cent of its gross domestic product by 2030, Magnitt said.

The country has been among the front runners in terms of AI adoption.

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Journalists watch an introductory video by the 'artificial intelligence' anchor Fedha on the twitter account of Kuwait News service, in Kuwait City on April 9, 2023.  (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT  /  AFP)

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 top three business goals that UAE organisations are looking to achieve through AI are innovation (64 per cent), competitive advantage (56 per cent) and improved customer experience (54 per cent), Dataiku said.

Up to 92 per cent of respondents in the country said they were using low-code or no-code development platforms to make AI more accessible to business users and help automate and improve daily decision-making processes.

“To truly harness the value of AI and achieve business goals, we cannot leave progress solely in the hands of data scientists and backroom technologists. We need to fully democratise AI,” Mr Bhatia said.

“The wide availability of platforms like ChatGPT and Bard serves as a great example of what that can look like.”

Launched in December, San Francisco-based research company OpenAI’s ChatGPT provides humanlike responses to prompts in seconds, based on information publicly available on the internet.

Meanwhile, Google launched its generative AI platform, Bard, in February.

In the same month, Microsoft announced its new AI-powered Bing search engine that aims to deliver better searches, more complete answers, a new chat experience and the ability to generate fresh content.

Updated: May 16, 2023, 12:52 PM