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April-June 2018

UAE makes artificial intelligence leap

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) wants to be at the heart of the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution and is already testing its mettle as a global tech advocate and innovator. In 2017, the country created the world’s first “minister of AI”, along with an AI strategy that is leading the transformation of multiple sectors, such as transport, education and healthcare. The UAE has reportedly poured billions of dollars into AI investment and tech startup incubation funds, including its $270m Dubai Future Endowment Fund. “We think the UAE has the strategic need, leadership vision, deep resources and small enough population to potentially become the centre of disruption in the AI arena,” said Sam Blatteis, founder of research firm The MENA Catalysts and former Google head of public policy for the Gulf. “AI may be a way to help solve some of the UAE’s greatest challenges and inefficiencies and get it off the oil-economy rollercoaster.” And the UAE’s AI landscape is developing at lightning speed. Abu Dhabi government-owned investment ...

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