Artelligence: How AI can improve govt services, ease procedures


Saman Haziq

Published: Mon 13 Sep 2021, 6:23 PM

Experts discuss its growing role in healthcare

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a solution to government problems, it is a powerful tool to increase and advance government interests, said an industry expert at the inaugural panel discussion at Artelligence - The Artificial Intelligence forum - held in Dubai on Monday.

Joining a panel of experts discussing the ‘future of AI’ virtually, Dr Khaled Alhazmi, director of the National Centre for Robotics and Internet of Things Technology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, said: “Whether humans can keep pace with the rate of information overtime or not, the early implementation of AI starting with low-risk applications in service delivery can pave the way for citizen feedback and engagement that can help improve government services.”

Talking about accelerating healthcare dependency on AI, Dr Osama Elhassan, health informatics specialist, vice-chair at UAE Health Informatics Society, Dubai Health Authority, said: “Famous scientist Stephan Hawking once said ‘Our future is a race between the growing power of technology (such as AI) and the wisdom with which we use it.’ Therefore, AI is very promising if used correctly. The technology can help in providing new treatments , correct diagnosis, empowering patients to take care of themselves by giving them easy access to treatments and virtual doctors. Maybe 70-80 per cent of our problems can be dealt with if AI is used judiciously.”

Dr Osama said the UAE has put in place important regulations around healthcare data such as on healthcare data sharing, data privacy, information governance, what should be the context of sharing data for research and for development of AI algorithms.

AI helps combat animal diseases

Aisha Al Shamsi, statistics and analytics director - chief data officer at the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa), elaborated on how AI is regulated in the department and used to its best capacity to reap benefits. Adafsa is one of the Abu Dhabi’s first government entities to issue an ethical charter on the use of artificial intelligence, she said.

“Adafsa issued a charter to introduce relevant stakeholders within its business to AI principles and ethics. The charter is made up of guiding principles to enable the ethical use of AI at the authority responsibly and without discrimination,” she said.

She added that Adafsa launched several AI-based projects, such as analysing big data, applying the IoT, and developing algorithm, to improve methods to combat animal diseases.

Al Shamsi highlighted the outstanding results of Adafsa’s smart algorithm to eradicate animal disease PPR, including improving animal immunity, reducing mortality of animals with PPR, raising veterinarians’ productivity, and increasing numbers of vaccinated livestock.

Talking about the benefits of applying AI at the authority, Al Shamsi said: “With the onslaught of the pandemic, we sped up deploying these algorithms and used them to ensure animals are in good health as we are responsible for the health of 3.5 million animals in Abu Dhabi. We also developed virtual doctors and have algorithms that can diagnose and treat disease; this saves times; has our service available 24X7; brings efficiency in procedure; and let us use allocated budget for doctors used in other projects.”

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