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AI has a minister in the UAE, but does it have a future in it?

The UAE seeks to be pioneers at every occasion, and the country beat every other nation in the world when they appointed a minister for Artificial intelligence (AI) in 2017.

The first person to occupy the state minister for AI post is 27 year old Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama who holds a degree in Project Management and Excellence from the American University of Sharjah and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American University of Dubai.

While we don’t know what specific duties he will be handling, we do know that he will be busy implementing Smart Dubai strategies and looking at enhancing the role of AI in sectors it already has presence in.

What are these sectors and how does AI impact them?

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AI is essential to these sectors

According to Futurism, a tech platform, the UAE’s AI strategy covers development and application in nine sectors: Transport, health, space, renewable energy, water, technology, education, environment, and traffic.

Digital learning, a magazine for ICT education, reveals that the strategy is part of the UAE Centennial 2071, “a project that extends to five decades to prepare the nation for future generations instilling advanced technology and engineering on education, economy, government development, and community cohesion.”

“The AI strategy aims to enhance sectors like education, transportation, energy, space and technology. By 2031, the UAE will achieve 100 per cent reliance on AI for Government services and data analysis,” it said.

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It all started with education

According to digital Learning, the UAE schools are now applying AI education by increasing the use of e-learning and virtual classrooms integrated with 3D demonstration bringing real life and industry examples.

“The Center for Executive Development affiliated to the University of Dubai, for instance, recently concluded training on AI and its role in company’s Purchase and Supply Chain Management department,” it said.

It continued: “It is likely AI will dominate the study of computer science in the UAE to meet requirements of Government including industries, health, finance, gaming, automotive sectors; and maybe soon introduced as a separate degree like BSc or MSc in AI like in Universities in the US and UK.”

Futurism quoted AL Olama as saying that the technology’s impact on education, in particular, could be quite dramatic.

“I don’t think the future will have tests, exams, or strict memorization. AI will help us actually make a more collaborative and personal learning process,” he said.

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AI will provide the intelligence for one of the world’s first flying taxi services powered by a drone.

Uber, which has partnered with the Dubai government, expects to conduct passenger flights as part of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Uber’s flying taxis will be small, electric aircrafts that take off and land vertically. These will have zero emissions and are quiet enough to operate in cities.


The country’s first Robocop joined Dubai Police last year.

“Robocop’s first job posting are malls and tourist attractions where people can tap a touchscreen on his chest to report a crime, pay traffic fines or chat in Arabic or English,” according to media reports.

The Robocop uses Artificial Intelligence in addition to a set of smart technologies to achieve the tasks, as explained by Money Market, a platform dedicated to comparing financial products. “It is pretty effective as it uses a software to recognize faces and therefore, helping police officers spot a possible crime scene. It is also capable of broadcasting live video feeds,” it said.

With all the hype surrounding AI can we expect this new technology to eliminate jobs in the future?

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AI: A job motivator

 In fact, to the contrary!

A Study by Gartner reveals that (AI) will become a positive job motivator.

The number of jobs affected by AI will vary by industry, it said.

“Through 2019, healthcare, the public sector and education will see continuously growing job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest. Starting in 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025,” it said.

It said that AI applied to non-routine work is more likely to assist humans than replace them as combinations of humans and machines will perform more effectively than either human experts or AI-driven machines working alone will.