What is the UAE AI network?

29 December 2019

Lab Chat

The UAE is planning to launch an AI Network project in an attempt to position the country as a global leader in artificial intelligence. The announcement was made by the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar Al Olama, who said that the programme will comprise an integral component of the UAE Strategy for AI 2031.

That Strategy was unveiled by the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashtoun Al Maktoum in October 2017. Among other industries, the Strategy aims to implement smart technology in AI in education, health, renewable energy, transport and space exploration. As the first of its kind in the world, the Strategy is seen as intrinsic to establishing the UAE as the world leader in AI.

Public and private interests working together

The UAE AI Network is being touted as a collaboration between public government departments, private business concerns, international organisations, academic institutions and research centres. By pooling all of their various knowledge bases and exchanging expertise, the Network aims to accelerate the development of AI capability in the country.

“The UAE has made significant growth in its AI development and adoption road map globally, by connecting governments, private entities and international organisations to provide supportive platforms for this technology,” explained Al Olama at the launch of the initiative. “The UAE AI Network is a concrete step towards achieving our leadership’s vision in positioning the UAE as a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031, as well as developing an integrated system that employs artificial intelligence in vital areas in the UAE.”

Members of the network will be entitled to attend conferences, meet-ups, seminars and exhibitions held throughout the year, as well as interact with leading professionals in the field and submit their own suggestions to the UAE Council for AI.

Targeting all sectors

Al Olama stated that the AI Network would serve a crucial role in aiding the objectives of the aforementioned Strategy, which aims to foreground the role of AI in a number of different sectors. These include:

Education. To help increase student passion for learning and cut costs.
Environment. To aid forestation rates.
Healthcare. To control and mitigate the effect of chronic disease.
Renewable energy. To optimise and manage the operation of plants.
Science and technology. To help with scientific discoveries.
Space. To increase accuracy of experiments and reduce errors.
Traffic. To alleviate traffic, avoid accidents and devise effective policies.
Water. To analyse potential sources of water.

As well as positioning the UAE as the most advanced country in the field of AI in the world, the launch of both the AI Network and the Strategy for AI 2031 is intended to create new markets with a high economic value. This is all part of the UAE’s ongoing plan to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels, upon which it has traditionally relied for its enormous wealth.

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