As Dubai moves on the AI ​​path, tackling ethical risk becomes a top priority


Data has become the new oil for economic growth. This is particularly the case in the case of the United Arab Emirates which is rapidly moving towards a knowledge-based economy with Dubai as a source of innovation. But what makes Dubai so successful in adopting artificial intelligence (AI)?

“I would attribute the success to the quality and enormity of the data,” says NSSivaraman, a Singapore-based AI facilitator who is one of a few government-sponsored AI initiatives in Dubai. The Dubai government knows AI can’t take off without the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, he adds.

Dubai is juggling its talents and resources intelligently, and it is already deploying algorithms, data sharing and AI integration in broad areas offering smart solutions and services in sectors such as healthcare, education, transport and public safety.

Sivaraman is not at all surprised by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s conclusion that 86% of banks and insurance companies will increase AI investments by 2025. Every person would be affected by the decisions made by AI in the days to come, he thinks.

“You know we are already using AI without even being aware of it. This is all the more true in Dubai, which has a global data strategy, ”he opines. Sharing her feelings, Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, managing director of the Smart Dubai office, said that Ai would be an important problem solver going forward.

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Interestingly, Smart Dubai Office has launched several strategies to harness AI and blockchain to improve government services, in addition to setting up an “experience lab” run by a dedicated team that collects data. citizen feedback to rethink and transform service delivery.

Meanwhile, according to another study, the Middle East would benefit to the tune of $ 320 billion from AI-based solutions by 2030. So it is obvious that Dubai does not want to miss the bus. Its movements are calibrated taking into account the reputation and ethics issues of AI.

Digital Dubai, an initiative of the Digital Dubai Authority (DDA) tasked with empowering and promoting Dubai’s smart and digital transformation with top-notch digital services, is aware of cases like Knight Capital going bankrupt due to algorithmic issues. .

“Digital security remains a major humanitarian challenge,” concedes Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, director general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). But turning your back on technology is neither a solution nor a cure, he hastens to add.


Calling attention to the United Nations warning that a global transition to digitization would require a new kind of accountability, Al Mansoori argues that the private sector should also actively participate in government efforts to give an ethical and human dimension to the plans. digital transformation.

“Profits should not be the only driver or the only goal,” he said. It is this philosophy that prompts Digital Dubai to shape the global conversation around AI ethics, making Dubai a thought leader in the adoption of AI in both the public and private sectors.

Digital Dubai’s Ethical Toolkit that helps industry, academia and individuals understand how AI systems can be used responsibly is not mandatory. But experts like Sivaraman believe that an ongoing conversation would inspire the community to finally join in.

“Happiness is not having a lot of money. In the globalized world, it is more about how individuals align with a community and how that community works to improve their social experience. In this way, I think Dubai is on the right track to position itself as the happiest city in the world, ”said Sivaraman.

Disclaimer: This article is one of a series on doing business in Dubai

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