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Why holistic AI policies are the need of the hour Filed on April 11, 2018
Why holistic AI policies are the need of the hour
The challenge for the UAE is to attract the right and best type of talent that is well-versed in artificial intelligence.

(Getty Images)

Challenge is for the UAE to attract the right and best type of talent that is well-versed in AI

Countries that are on the path towards becoming the digital leaders of the future will need to come up with a holistic artificial intelligence (AI) policy, says Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition.

Speaking at the launch of the company's office in Dubai, Husain said there are no shortcuts when it comes to AI. "It took many years for the US, which is today considered to be the leader in AI technologies, to come this far. However, we have seen a lot of great steps being taken in the UAE; the opening of an AI Ministry shows that the country is dedicated to its vision. And, we have seen that both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are fully invested in the idea of becoming an AI leader."

The challenge, he said, right now, is for the UAE to attract the right and best type of talent that is well-versed in AI. "The conversation that is happening right now is whether AI will end up taking 40 per cent of our jobs or 90 per cent. The way forward will require entities to rewrite the social contract. I believe that, in the short term, we will see unemployment as a result of AI adoption."

SparkCognition's expansion to Dubai comes shortly after the company announced its official Series B financing of $56.5 million, which confirmed SparkCognition as having raised the most venture capital funding in Central Texas in 2017. With SparkCognition's 2017 funding, Boeing HorizonX venture arm joined Verizon Ventures, Invenergy, CME Ventures, Brevan Howard and Alameda Ventures, among other investors.

Boeing and SparkCognition have gone on to establish a significant technology partnership solidified by a master agreement between the 2 organisations. Boeing's strong, established presence in the Middle East and Africa will extend their partnership globally.

"This expansion cements the UAE's and specifically Dubai's vision in becoming a leading hub for cutting-edge technology in the field of artificial intelligence," said Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. "Moreover, the launch complements the UAE's Strategy for Artificial Intelligence which aims to build global relationships and attract best talents to design a better future for the UAE."

Bernard Dunn, president of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said: "The UAE has clear goals to be an innovation and technology leader, investing in AI, 3D printing, robotics and autonomous systems. SparkCognition's cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology and business-critical solutions will prove invaluable to the leaders of the UAE and many others."

SparkCognition's AI solutions help customers navigate complex data stores to expose hidden risks, reveal actionable insights and achieve their greatest potential. The company's technology is deployed across a variety of industries.



Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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