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Artificial Intelligence Minister discusses AI and related misconception at DPC panel discussion

The Dubai Press Club (DPC) organized panel discussion covering artificial intellengce (AI) given the growing importance of the sector; and hosted Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence His Excellency Omar Sultan Al-Olama, who shone the light on the various applications of the artificial intellengce across the sectors, in presence of media representatives.

During event, which took place at DPC office, Sultan Al-Olama said that any entity aim to invest in AI will enjoy huge windfall.

Maitha Buhumaid, DPC Acting Director, said that organizing such events is a tradition that aims to offer additional knowledge through debating various topics of local or regional interest. She also expressed her happiness for hosting His Excellency Al-Olama for his first media appearance since his appointment as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, which was launched by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as part of the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Buhumaid said that the selection of AI as topic of discussion, is part of its endeavors to debate current topics. “Our nation plan to adopt all AI tools and techniques to develop new sectors, and provide new opportunities, and further cement the position of our country in the world. That’s DPC selected IA as a topic of discussion to highlight all challenges and impacts related to it,” Buhumaid said.

Al-Olama said that the UAE is making strides in leading IA around the world, adding that the development in AI will impact all areas of life including production process, administration and all areas. He also said that the world considered the oil as the engine of global economy, but today, and amid the impressive technological development and the fourth industrial revolution, AI will be the main engine for the development and progress of nations over the next few years.

Thanks to AI, people’s income will increase, and improve people’s quality of life through providing services and solutions to that improve efficiency, slash costs; where supply chains will be more efficient, and stimulate economic growth in the same way the digital economy did through opening new horizons and services.

The Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence said the UAE is using AI to create new type of economy that stimulate the future of humanity, where he referred to solar power where AI will help provide solutions in distributing and stocking the solar power. In healthcare field, smart robots can diagnosis diseases with 90% precisions, which exceeds the capacity of the smartest doctor in the world, which is very promising as it will help human to become healthy and live longer. He also said that AI teaches global governments to predict challenges before it occurs. Al-Olama said that the UAE pioneers the world in setting AI Strategy, where the vision of UAE leadership through setting legislations and attracting talents along with spreading awareness, will guarantees its  leadership in the AI field by 2030.

Drawing a relation between Education and AI, the State Minister said that great nations believes that the winner of the AI race will determine who will run the world, where the UAE also believe in it, to better serve the future of humanity. His Excellency said that The Ministry Of Higher Education works on educating a generation that is able to produce IA rather than utilizing it, through introducing programs and curriculums that help learning AI from early stages. He described AI as the brain and mind, where the robots are the body, where body without a mind is useless.

Tackling the doubts about AI raised by scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, who predict that the continuous development of AI will lead to the destruction of humanity as the will lose their value as human being, The Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence said that this can happen, but not in the near future, but may be in the far future; adding that we shouldn’t neglects the risks of developing it so quickly . He also said that the main objective behind creating a dedicated ministry of AI is to draft legislations and laws that govern the AI.

He also said that the UAE uses AI to analyses data and help us understand the future of our planet, as scientists need many years to analyze 10 GB of data, while robots can do it in few seconds. He said that there are three types of AI, analytic, producing information, while the third type is the AI that teach and run everything by itself, though it is still at its infancy, it is considered to be the most dangerous type of AI.

Commenting on the hypothesis that AI will lead to job loss, The Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence said that this is the main concern of communities and raises many questions, adding that experiences showed that with technological growth there is the raise of jobs that rely on human being, that why the country that will lead in AI, will also control job market across the world. He also said that understanding the purpose of AI and its employment are key challenges that we need to address, where the early adoption of AI will help the UAE avoid such challenge. He also said that it is easy for people to select futuristic jobs, as the government is clear in term of defining the objectives to achieve, which make it easy for people to select their domains.

He also referred to the misconceptions and rumors related to AI and the way it works, where he refrred to a video he received which features a drone that was used for criminal purposes, where he downplayed these fears and said that there are technics that limits AI. He also said that the side effects of AI can be avoided through setting the right legislations and laws.

Al-Olama also said that the UAE has what it takes in order to the lead the world in this domain, as it has the infrastructure and the abilities, where he referred to many start-ups that were launched from the UAE by local and Arabs, which became the attracted the attention of major international players. He also said that AI devices will be available for people at affordable prices in the near future.

Read more: http://www.mediaoffice.ae/en/press/press-details/6/12/2017/dpc.aspx