AlOlama Shares Future Perspectives on AI and Its Societal Benefits at Digital Readiness Retreat

17 May 2024
AlOlama Shares Future Perspectives on AI and Its Societal Benefits at Digital Readiness Retreat

Omar Sultan AlOlama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, asserted that under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the proactive vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE has identified technology and digitization as the bedrock of governmental development and progress. This strategic focus has transformed technology into a pivotal factor for advancement, creating unprecedented opportunities and building the future.

This statement was made during AlOlama’s keynote address titled “Pioneering the Future of Artificial Intelligence and Empowering Society through its Applications” at the Digital Readiness Retreat. This event, organized by the Higher Committee for Government Digital Transformation, brought together UAE government leaders and officials from various ministries and federal entities to promote digital integration and collaboration, showcasing exemplary digital government models and notable digital projects.

During his session, AlOlama elaborated on the UAE’s developmental journey, emphasizing its commitment to keeping pace with global technological changes. He highlighted that artificial intelligence (AI) solutions have seen the fastest adoption in human history, necessitating that governments swiftly adapt to maintain leadership and harness AI’s potential across sectors such as healthcare, education, and media.

He noted that AI is expected to generate economic returns of $320 billion in the Middle East, and its sector is projected to contribute 14% to the UAE’s GDP by 2030, with the potential to increase productivity by 50%. These projections underscore AI’s immense potential to transform various sectors and economies, redefining jobs, skills, and qualifications.

AlOlama also discussed the wide range of opportunities and challenges within the AI sector. On one hand, deepfakes have been used to steal $25 million from a global company, and AI has enabled the rapid creation of thousands of toxic compounds in less than six hours. On the other hand, AI helps global factories save millions annually by reducing costs, and companies in the UAE have achieved a commercial value of 1.84 billion dirhams through AI techniques. Additionally, the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi utilizes AI to monitor soil and assess the quality of 250 sites covering 3.8 million square meters in just 50 days. This highlights the importance of optimizing AI use to benefit communities and enhance human safety.

He emphasized that the government’s role today is to keep pace with global changes to lead the future. The UAE recognized this early on by developing data centers and focusing on skills development, ranking third globally in attracting AI talent relative to its population size, according to LinkedIn. Furthermore, the UAE is committed to advancing educational institutions to align with future changes, a foundational step for significant projects like developing AI language models.

He concluded that the UAE, with its flexible legislative environment and collaborative efforts with institutions and the private sector, aims to create an environment conducive to prosperity and development. This approach embodies visionary leadership and a future-oriented strategy to integrate AI across all fields.