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UAE vows ‘responsible’ artificial intelligence rollout

A two-seater a prototype driverless “hover taxi” flying in a “concept” flight in Dubai in 2017, seen this {photograph} supplied by United Arab Emirates News Company.

The world’s first minister for synthetic intelligence says the United Arab Emirates is not solely searching for financial advantages because it seeks to turn into a number one nation within the sector.

The UAE’s minister of state for AI, Omar bin Sultan al-Olama, mentioned “quality of life” concerns have been key, and likewise confused the significance of a “responsible” rollout—with impacts doubtlessly reverberating for many years.

“We are looking at AI as a tool,” he advised AFP in an interview in Dubai. “It is a device that we have to use to unleash the quality of life side.”

The UAE additionally calls AI “machine intelligence”, defining it as a department of know-how enabling techniques to “think, learn, and make decisions like humans”, which may help every thing from virology to move.

“Yes, economic gain is something that every country wants, and we want it too,” Olama added. “But… we want to ensure the development and deployment and the use of AI is responsible.”

Olama was simply 27 when he was handed the cabinet-level place in 2017, tasked with launching the oil-rich Arab nation’s technique in a area which touches every thing from speech and facial recognition to commerce and autonomous vehicles.

His appointment got here a yr after the UAE additionally named ministers for happiness, hoping to create a “happier society”, and tolerance, primarily geared toward selling coexistence within the Gulf nation the place foreigners make up the vast majority of the inhabitants.

Fast-track gates that use face and iris recognition technologies at Dubai international airport, seen here soon after their inst
Quick-track gates that use face and iris recognition applied sciences at Dubai worldwide airport, seen right here quickly after their set up in March 2021.

The UAE’s said aim is to turn into one of many main AI nations by 2031, creating new financial and enterprise alternatives and producing as much as 335 billion dirhams ($91 billion) in additional development.

In accordance with consultancy agency PwC Center East, almost 14 % ($96 billion) of the UAE’s gross domestic product will come from AI by 2030.

“The UAE was the only country that appointed someone to actually oversee this mandate seriously,” Olama mentioned.

Driverless taxis

The rich Gulf nation has invested closely in know-how over the previous decade because it diversifies its financial system and reduces its reliance on oil.

Its bets embrace driverless vehicles, with autonomous taxis already examined on the streets of the capital Abu Dhabi, whereas Dubai, one other of the nation’s seven emirates, goals to have 1 / 4 of its transport driverless by 2030.

Abu Dhabi’s Mohamed bin Zayed University of Synthetic Intelligence, touted because the world’s first graduate-level AI college, opened to college students final yr, and the nation has launched quite a few start-up hubs and coaching schemes.

Self-driving taxis being used in a demonstration in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, seen in this photograph from December 2021
Self-driving taxis being utilized in an indication within the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, seen on this {photograph} from December 2021.

Nevertheless, the UAE has additionally drawn concern over its excessive ranges of surveillance, and in 2019 it denied stories {that a} fashionable cell app was getting used for presidency spying.

Olama mentioned an enormous a part of his job was instilling public confidence and avoiding expensive errors when AI techniques are put in place.

The hazards of AI embrace inadvertently introducing bias in opposition to sure teams of individuals, which may show damaging in areas akin to public companies.

“It entails that there’s no controversy around the deployment,” Olama mentioned of his position. “It entails that we deal with deploying it right this moment, however in a approach that makes certain it doesn’t affect future generations negatively.”

‘Aspect of concern’

An necessary step within the undertaking, he mentioned, was to correctly clarify AI to senior officers, to “demystify” the know-how and cut back the “element of fear”.

“If you’re dealing with something you don’t understand, you will have an aspect or element of fear associated with it, it’s human nature,” he mentioned.

Dubai has the first monorail in the Middle East -- a driverless, automated metro system
Dubai has the primary monorail within the Center East — a driverless, automated metro system.

“One program… is concentrated on coaching senior authorities officers on understanding what AI is, understanding the moral dilemma, understanding what good and unhealthy deployments are, how do you take away bias.

“Today, these people are our AI army. They are the people that are deploying AI across government, and really have a very strong foundation that they can build on.”

The UAE additionally has ambitions of changing into a significant participant in different areas of science and know-how, sending its first astronaut into house in 2019 and launching a probe in 2020 that went into Mars’ orbit the next yr.

This month, the nation introduced a digital financial system technique—together with a council headed by Olama—hoping the sector will contribute 20 % of GDP inside 10 years.

“I don’t think in the next quarter-of-a-century there’s going to be an economy in the world that is not dependent for the majority of its economic activity on the digital realm, and AI is a big component of that,” mentioned Olama.

“I also think we have not seen the true impact of AI on the economy.”

Robots, big data as Gulf nations bet on AI

© 2022 AFP

UAE vows ‘accountable’ synthetic intelligence rollout (2022, April 27)
retrieved 27 April 2022

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