Dubai hosted first ‘AI Everything’ Summit

RetailME Bureau

Dubai hosted the inaugural ‘AI Everything Summit,’ an event organised by the UAE National Programme for Artificial Intelligence in strategic partnership with Smart Dubai. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the summit took place from April 30 to May 1, 2019, at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Opened by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and chairman of the Emirates Group and chairman of Dubai World, the AI Everything Summit promoted initiatives, collaborations, partnerships and breakthroughs in the field of AI and harnessed its positive impact for governments, businesses, social enterprises and humankind in general. Included among the many dignitaries present for the event was Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai.

Smart Dubai’s role as strategic partner for the summit is part of its efforts to build interactive international platforms to explore leading global trends in advanced technologies, enhancing the emirate’s status as a hub for technology, innovation and for building the smart cities of tomorrow. The event explored AI-based innovations across various sectors – including government, the creative economy, social enterprises, education, energy, finance, healthcare, transport & logistics, travel & tourism, retail, security and telecommunications.

“It is clear that Artificial Intelligence has grown into a bona-fide sector of its own – and a rapidly expanding one at that. AI is gaining tremendous momentum around the world. Recent studies have predicted that AI will account for 45% of the world economy’s total gains by 2030 – that’s $15.7 trillion – and as much as $122 billion to our GDP here in the UAE by 2030,” said Bin Bishr.

“The UAE has long led the region – and surpassed much of the world, for that matter – in terms of embracing and employing AI,” she added. “We have a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and have launched the ambitious UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence to build an integrated smart digital system and find efficient solutions for the challenges of the future, boost government performance at all levels and achieve the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan to make the UAE the best country in the world across various sectors.”

Smart Dubai used the forum to shed light on its forays into the AI sector, showcasing the Ethical AI Toolkit, launched in January 2019 to set clear guidelines on the ethical use of the technology. It aims to prevent a fragmented, incoherent approach to ethics where every entity sets its own rules and to serve as a blueprint for governments to draft AI laws and regulations.

Smart Dubai also highlighted its AI Lab initiative, established in March 2017 in collaboration with IBM, to harness the power of machine learning and produce practical solutions that enhance the lives of residents and visitors in Dubai. Fundamental to its operations is the AI Roadmap, designed to integrate AI across all smart city services. Since its inception, the AI Lab has partnered with 13 government departments to identify more than 43 use cases that are currently being developed into pilots and live productions.

Smart Dubai also showcased its ‘Rashid’ initiative at the summit. Launched in October 2016., the sophisticated AI platform puts AI at the disposal of the community, offering official and reliable answers to their questions, procedures, documents and transactions – all according to the extensive database of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development. The service was latterly upgraded with the ‘Living in Dubai’ feature to provide residents and visitors access to the information they need to lead happy lives in the city and to complete transactions in a seamless and straightforward fashion.

The AI Everything 2019 Summit is the first event of its kind in the region to reward innovative applications of AI by end-user enterprises. It brought together data scientists, industry experts and decision makers from around the world in a series of workshops and panel discussions, featuring market-ready AI solutions presented by over 150 trusted tech titans and globally referenced start-ups from more than 80 countries, awarding companies for the measurable positive impact of their AI innovations.

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