Watch: Saudi Arabia launches artificial intelligence strategy at Global AI Summit

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Saudi Arabia announced its National Strategy for Data and AI at the Global AI Summit, hosted virtually by the Kingdom, on Wednesday.

The strategy was announced by Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) President Dr Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, who spoke on behalf of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, via Twitter on the Global AI Summit channel.

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"The year 2020 is a special year for Saudi Arabia as we have the honor to lead the G20 forum. Our summit today is an imperative of the G20 Digital Economy agenda with its special on artificial intelligence. I stood in this very place a year ago to announce the Global AI Summit and it didn't occur to me that we would be living a very different reality," said Al-Ghamdi.

"One thing we can all agree upon is that technology in general, and certainly artificial intelligence, has been at the center of this new normal. AI today is making our healthcare more intelligent, our cities smart and our road safe," he explained.

Saudi Arabia's AI goals

The Kingdom plans to be one of the top 15 AI global pioneers by 2030, announced Al-Ghamdi.

The new strategy will focus on bridging the skills gap, stimulating the market through research and innovation, and utilizing applications of AI for government and private sector agencies, added Saudi Arabia's National Information Center Director Dr. Esam Alwagait.

Alwagait also hailed the role of AI in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, describing it as the "right solution." He pointed to top-down decisionmaking and the use of technology as two key factors in successfully dealing with the pandemic.

UAE Minister of Artificial Intelligence

The Global AI Summit was also attended by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, the UAE's Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.

Al Olama hailed the transformative potential of AI, pointing to an increase in adoption due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This technology is so profound it has the ability to change our societies, our economies, and life as we know it," said Al Olama, whose minsiterial portfolio is the first of its kind globally.


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