Omar Sultan Al Olama: Artificial Intelligence & Data are pillars in the future of the UAE’s economy

Monday 08 October 2018
Dubai - MENA Herald:

HE Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence (AI), stressed that the data sector will have a major contributing to the economy of the UAE. This is due to the increasing reliance on AI technology, which will be the base for many vital activities of the future society. Promoting investment in this rapidly evolving global economic sector comes as part of the UAE plans to celebrate the export of the last barrel of oil in 50 years.

“The Government of the UAE is working to achieve its future strategic objectives. It strives to employ the AI sector as the main source of a diversified and sustainable knowledge economy, through the development of innovative practices and scientific uses of AI technology tools and enhancing cooperation among all parties to employ them in the development of government services and private sector performance. This contributes to achieving the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021, and the establishment of the future model of the UAE 2071,” said Al Olama.

This came during the fourth meeting of the UAE Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Council, hosted by Ajman, on Sunday. The meeting was headed by Al Olama, in the presence of several officials and directors of federal and local government entities.

The meeting was attended by HE Dr Aisha bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai Office, HH Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qassemi, Director General of Sharjah e-Government Department, HE Ohoud Shuhail, Director General of Ajman e-Government, HH Sheikh Eng. Mohammed bin Hamad AlSharqi, Chairman of Fujairah e-Government Department, HE Eng. Ahmed Al Sayyah, Director General of RAK e-Government Authority, HE Khaled Sultan AlShamsi, Director General of UAE Smart Government Department, HE Hamad Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), HE Mohamed bin Taliah, Assistant Director General at Prime Minister’s Office, HE Abdulla AlSaleh, Undersecretary at Ministry of Economy, and HE Abdulla Lootah, Director General of Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

Following the implementation of the Council’s recommendations

The meeting discussed key challenges and recommendations proposed to standardise data collection by the Data Committee within the Council. These included preparing qualified human resources, establishing a unified database, and defining data classification standards, as well the mechanism of coordination of efforts and the exchange of experiences between different entities by establishing a joint team. The participants also stressed the need to follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the Data Committee, by speeding up the development of data collection for AI technology and digital transactions, to promote the UAE as a leading center for data in the region.

The participants reviewed the recommendations of the previous meetings, the results of the UAE AI Camp, the AI Programme, as well as events and other initiatives.

Cyber Security and Risk Management

The meeting also included the proposed recommendations for the development of cybersecurity and risk management infrastructure in the UAE, to keep abreast of the challenges of electronic security and raise awareness among all parties about the importance of these aspects.

‘Ajman Digital Heroes’ Program

The meeting reviewed the Ajman Digital Heroes Program, the first of its kind in the UAE. The Program is one of the top priorities of the digital government to prepare and develop human resources in the emirate in modern technology. It focuses on the inclusion of AI and robotics in curriculums, starting from Ajman Academy.

This Program targets students from the sixth to twelfth grades to enhance their skills in using modern technologies. It prepares them to enter local and international competitions, and guides them in their future disciplines and careers. The Program includes 4 courses: Artificial Intelligence, Renewable Energy, Robotics and Electronics.

A stimulating environment for innovation

The UAE Cabinet adopted the formation of the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence in March, to ensure the implementation of these technologies in various sectors to improve quality of life. It aims to move forward in the use of AI and its applications in various fields to improve government performance and create innovative work environments to accelerate development projects and research in AI. The Council also aims to encourage studies and advanced research and specialisation in this field and stimulate cooperation among organisations in the public and private sectors to accelerate AI adoption, while building strategic partnerships with the government and international organisations working in the same field to exchange knowledge and experience.

The Council also encourages the exchange of knowledge and experience related to AI, integrating AI into education, spreading awareness and knowledge among the public sector, using AI to ensure the happiness of individuals, and proposing policies and strategies to create a generation of tech-savvy citizens with knowledge of AI.

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