UAE Cabinet approves national artificial intelligence strategy

Eight-point plan aims to ensure country is a global leader in the field

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The UAE Cabinet has approved ambitious plans to put the country at the forefront of global efforts to develop artificial intelligence.

The cabinet, chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, adopted the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The wide-ranging initiative will involve the rapidly-developing technology being implemented in all sections of society - from government services to education.

The bold strategy is comprised of eight objectives, including reaffirming the UAE's position as a global artificial intelligence (AI) hub, employing AI in customer services and recruiting and training people to work in fields which will be driven by the technology for years to come.

Sheikh Mohammed said the growth of artificial intelligence was key to the ongoing development of the country.

"We have launched a national strategy for artificial intelligence to make it an integral part of our business, our lives and our government services," said Sheikh Mohammed.

The strategy will be put into operation by the Emirates Council for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transactions, in partnership with a number of local and federal bodies.

The first phase of the strategy will focus on vital areas such as healthcare, cyber security, logistics and transportation and tourism and hospitality.

The high-level cabinet meeting was also attended by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The action plan is part of an ongoing bid by the UAE government to integrate artificial intelligence into everyday life.

In March of last year, the UAE Cabinet formed a council for artificial intelligence to oversee AI integration in government departments and the education sector.

The ten-member UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence is chaired by Omar Al Olama, who was appointed Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in October, 2017.