Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates photo by — @thomasdrouaultphotography

The National AI Strategy of the UAE

United Arab Emirates and the National Approach to Artificial Intelligence

In October 2017, the UAE Government launched ‘UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI)’. According to their official government website this marked the ‘post-mobile government phase’ because it will rely on various future services, sectors and infrastructure projects.

According to the stated goals it is meant to:

  • Achieve the objectives of UAE Centennial 2071
  • Boost government performance at all levels
  • Use an integrated smart digital system that can overcome challenges and provide quick efficient solutions
  • Make the UAE the first in the field of AI investments in various sectors
  • Create new vital market with high economic value.

If you were not excited by these bullet points you will be when you see this video:

Since the report is in the format of a website (a novel approach used by few AI reports besides the US).

On the website outlining the strategy they mention a few benefits in introduction:

  • Saving 50% of annual costs using Artificial Intelligence. 250 million paper transactions per year in the federal government. 190 millions of hours a year are wasted because of transactions. 1,000 million KM covering long distances in the UAE to finalise transactions.

It is meant to help in a variety of sectors:

  • Transport — to reduce accidents and cut operational costs
  • Health — to minimise chronic and dangerous diseases
  • Space — to help conduct accurate experiments, reduce rate of costly mistakes
  • Renewable energy — to manage facilities
  • Water — to conduct analysis and studies to provide water sources
  • Technology — to increase productivity and help with general spending
  • Education — to cut costs and enhance desire for education
  • Environment — to increase forestation rate
  • Traffic — to reduce accidents and traffic jams and draw more effective traffic policies.

It is mentioned in news coverage by the local Emirates News Agency that his Highness Sheikh Mohammed said:

“UAE Centennial 2071 forges ahead now by launching mega enterprises like Artificial Intelligence to lay a sold basis for the coming period, the new wave after the Smart Government upon which all our services, sectors and future infrastructure will rely on. We initiated electronic services 16 years go and today we are launching a fresh stage relying on Artificial Intelligence, we are seeking to adopt all tools and methodologies related to artificial intelligence to expedite and ensure more efficiency for government services at all levels.”

The UAE seeks to be a major hub for developing AI techniques and legislation.

Themes for the Strategy

The AI strategy has outlined five themes:

  • The formation of the UAE AI Council.
  • Workshops, programmes, initiatives and field visits to government bodies.
  • Develop capabilities and skills of all staff operating in the field of technology and organise training courses for government officials.
  • Provide all services via AI and the full integration of AI into medical and security services.
  • Launch leadership strategy and issue a government law on the safe use of AI.

Implementation by providing all services via AI, and the full integration of AI into medical and security services. It will boost reliance on AI in routine jobs in order to save time and efforts, and enhance productivity and efficiency.

The 10-year strategy, called the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031, was cleared by the Cabinet April 2019. A couple days after the launch of the AI strategy, the UAE became the first nation with a government minister dedicated to AI: H.E. Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama.

Soon in March 2020, the government is supporting an event titled AI Everything hosted by the Dubai World Trade Center and the National Program for Artificial Intelligence, which will highlight the UAE 2031 AI Strategy The event has been billed as “one of the largest AI applications conferences in the world.”

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 235. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My current focus for 100 days 200–300 is national and international strategies for artificial intelligence.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store