Crown Prince and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation Sheikh Hamdan officially opened the 4th edition of the Dubai Future Accelerator (DFA) on March 24th at Dubai’s Emirates Towers. The program aims to boost tech development across the United Arab Emirates.
In 2016, Hamdan set a goal of achieving 25% autonomous transportation in the UAE by 2030, positioning the country of nine million as a regional reader in AI. This year’s theme — Take Part in Creating the Future — matches 12 government entities with private sector partners. The teams will collaborate for nine weeks to solve public challenges using frontier technologies.
The DFA’s AI deployment is both varied and wide. The Dubai Police will use statistical AI to support their decision-making processes, with a goal of cutting the crime rate by 25 percent by 2021. The Dubai Municipality will use AI and blockchain solutions to improve public infrastructure in areas of pest control, food safety, and health. Dubai’s Department of Economic Development will use AI in optimizing control and inspection produces.
Etisalat Telecommunications will adopt AR and AI to streamline operations and customer support, with the target of 90 percent service automation by 2021. Competitor Du telecommunications meanwhile believes AI and machine learning can upgrade its corporate support services by 30 percent.
Other government departments such as the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Smart Dubai, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, and the Knowledge and Human Development authorities will target challenges in urban environment, education, IoT operations, solar energy, and various explorational smart systems.
The UAE will host the Middle East’s biggest AI fair this year. “World AI Show” will run April 11-12 in Dubai before moving to Singapore, Mumbai, and Paris. The AI market in the United Arab Emirates is expected to reach $50 billion by 2025.
Last year, 27-year-old Emirati Omar bin Sultan Al-Olama was named the world’s first-ever Minister of Artificial Intelligence. Al-Olama’s previous contributions to his nation’s top-level strategies include UAE Centennial 2071 and the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In a CNBC interview Al Olama said “In ten years we will be the capital of AI in service and government. I also think we will be a hub for AI in the region.”
Journalist: Meghan Han | Editor: Michael Sarazen