AI is the engine for the future, UAE minister says

Al Olama emphasises the importance of international cooperation in mapping current and future challenge

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Cristiano Amon, president and chief executive officer, Qualcomm; Arvind Krishna, chairman and chief executive officer, IBM; Omar Sultan Al Olama; Mike Rounds, US senator, Julie Sweet, chair and chief executive officer, Accenture, Ireland; Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, The Economist at the Generative AI: Steam Engine of the Fourth Industrial Revolution session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos on Tuesday. — Supplied photo
Cristiano Amon, president and chief executive officer, Qualcomm; Arvind Krishna, chairman and chief executive officer, IBM; Omar Sultan Al Olama; Mike Rounds, US senator, Julie Sweet, chair and chief executive officer, Accenture, Ireland; Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, The Economist at the Generative AI: Steam Engine of the Fourth Industrial Revolution session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos on Tuesday. — Supplied photo

Published: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 5:53 PM

The rapid growth observed in the global generative artificial intelligence market reflects that AI is the driving force and the engine for the future, Omar Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, said in Davos on Tuesday.

This came during a session titled “Generative AI: Steam Engine of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” as part of the 54th World Economic Forum.

The session, held as part of the initiatives of the World Economic Forum’s Artificial Intelligence Governance Alliance, focused on the evolution of generative artificial intelligence and the transformation of intelligent technology into one of the fastest and most impactful innovations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution across various sectors, from creativity to production and distribution. The session addressed the importance of developing digital skills in anticipating the future, the effects of generative artificial intelligence on global industry, the solutions for governments and leaders to manage its various challenges, and the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence solutions in improving production efficiency, industrial systems, and enhancing product quality.

Al Olama stated that global efforts’ integration through providing effective platforms for international dialogue, such as the World Economic Forum, contributes to enhancing governments’ readiness in future sectors and supports their efforts in developing solutions and tools to accelerate progress towards the future. Al Olama emphasised the importance of international cooperation in mapping current and future challenges and opportunities and laying the foundations to address them.

The minister said that the UAE government seeks international collaboration and partnerships with technology companies worldwide to ensure the realisation of positive returns and address the negatives of technology that may occur over time. Al Olama emphasized the UAE’s commitment to creating an environment conducive to accelerating the adoption of generative artificial intelligence, recognising its potential to contribute to the UAE’s ambitious goals and the positive opportunities it holds for large, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

He added that the UAE possesses significant capabilities and resources by having over 200 nationalities, making it an ideal platform for developing global artificial intelligence applications in various fields such as healthcare and other sectors in need of development and improvement. Al Olama highlighted the UAE’s digital infrastructure and flexible legislative frameworks, ensuring the mutual prosperity for the UAE and technological companies.

Al Olama stated that, with the evolution of generative artificial intelligence, the importance of developing digital skills has increased, emphasising the need to ensure the agility of talents to adapt to new technologies and keep pace with global changes. He added that the government has to closely explore new technologies, studying their challenges and potential opportunities rather than completely ignoring them. Al Olama said that the UAE has taken significant steps in the digital field by graduating over 400 participants from the AI programme in collaboration with Oxford University. The programme aims to train government officials and decision-makers in digital skills, ethics, digital foundations, and artificial intelligence to enhance awareness in government entities and society, ensuring the comprehensive adoption of digital technologies across various entities.

Al Olama mentioned also that the UAE celebrates the UAE Codes Day every year on October 29, with more than 100,000 community members participating in coding to promote digital awareness in society and encourage them to start their digital journey and excel in these future fields. His excellency also highlighted the success of the UAE in introducing artificial intelligence into educational curricula, teaching students programming methods, and the ethics of artificial intelligence.


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