If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
This is not a representation of what 2020 felt like -- it's a screen shot from Dead Cells. This is not a representation of what 2020 felt like -- it's a screen shot from Dead Cells. And thank goodness for that, right? Amid worldwide shutdowns, strenuous conversations about police reform, and an endless election cycle, we could all use a break. Do what I do: Pick up your Switch (or whatever console you use) and give yourself a well-deserved, news-free distraction.
Successive lockdowns imposed across the globe and travel restrictions accelerated digital transformation at workplaces and for essential services. Unable to step out, people turned to online portals and apps for most tasks including shopping, learning and banking. Healthcare gained importance, driving more people to get insurance and firms also embraced digitisation to serve consumers, globally and in the Middle East. But interacting with consumers and verifying claims online, in order to ensure contactless service, has its challenges when cybercrime is surging as quickly as the tech-savvy economy. Saudi Arabia's cooperative insurer Tawuniya also found itself vulnerable, at a time when 95% firms in the kingdom were reportedly targeted by cybercrooks.
RIYADH: The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) signed an agreement with the American multinational computer company Dell Technologies, combining the two organizations' expertise in emerging technologies to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the Kingdom. As Saudi Arabia aims to diversify its economy away from oil under Saudi Vision 2030, it is stepping up efforts to drive innovation and the use of AI. As part of this agreement, SDAIA will be provided with consulting services that will help them leverage solutions within AI, cloud, data analytics and enterprise storage, as part of the Kingdom's digital transformation. "This strategic collaboration will also witness an exchange of industry best practices and expertise needed to develop integrated projects that will serve the needs of public sector entities' technology across Saudi Arabia," SDAIA and Dell said in a joint statement. The agreement was signed last week during GITEX Technology Week 2020 in Dubai between Dr. Esam Al-Wagait, director of Saudi Arabia's National Information Center (NIC), and Mohammed Amin, senior vice president of Dell's Middle East wing.
Founded by Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, the DCO is to be driven by a vision to realize a digital future for all by empowering women, youth, and entrepreneurs, growing the digital economy, and leapfrogging with innovation. "We are joining hands together towards a commitment to drive consensus on digital cooperation to make sure that we seize an opportunity for our youth, our women and our entrepreneurs with the ambition to grow our combined digital economy to one trillion dollars in the next 3-5 years," said Abdullah Amer Al-Swaha, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Communications and Information Technology. "Our future prosperity will depend on the digital economy. But it can only reach its full potential if we are able to make governments work together collectively with businesses, and entrepreneurs so they can survive and thrive, expand their depth into current markets, and open doors for everyone into new ones." The launch of the DCO follows the conclusion of Saudi Arabia's G20 Presidency to maintain the Kingdom's momentum on accelerating the growth of the digital economy across the region and the globe, as nations everywhere increase their adoption of remote learning, telemedicine, and contact-less economic systems to survive and thrive beyond the social and economic impact of COVID-19.
The agreements followed the announcement of Saudi Arabia's National Strategy for Data and Artificial Intelligence, launched during the Global AI Summit Saudi Arabia has signed a series of partnership agreements with international tech companies to advance artifical intelligence (AI) in the kingdom. The agreements, which were rigned at the virtual Global AI Summit held in Riyadh, are underpinned by Saudi Arabia's newly-launched National Strategy for Data and Artificial Intelligence (NSDAI). Saudi Arabia's National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China's Huawei to enable strategic cooperation on the kingdom's National AI Capability Development Program. Under the MoU, Huawei will support the NCAI to train Saudi AI engineers and students, and to address Arabic language AI-related capabilities. NCAI and Huawei will also explore the creation of an AI Capability Platform to localise technology solutions.
The launch of the Data Analysis Laboratory by stc is the first initiative of its kind in the Kingdom. It will help create a cooperative environment for the analysis of big data and the development of artificial intelligence models with all the local, regional, or international partners, whether they were academic or research entities. It will do so through the Laboratory's advanced capabilities that will provide creative and innovative opportunities in the various fields where AI is implemented and help deal with big data to serve multiple fields. It will also contribute to strengthening the Kingdom's competitive position and improving the development of local capacities by enabling various initiatives to serve the Kingdom's data society, such as the development of young Saudi skills inside and outside the company.
When an apparently indecipherable manuscript from a lost language turns up, AI can help. But first, how is a language born and how does it die (or get lost)? We really don't know how human language was born; theories abound but all we know for sure is that it is unique. In a 2017 paper at BMC Biology, evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel states flatly, "Human language is unique among all forms of animal communication." Most ape sign language, for example, is concerned with requests for food.
Established by a royal decree issued on 30 August 2019, SDAIA is responsible for overseeing the national data and AI strategy through three executive arms: The National Data Management Office (NDMO), the National Information Center (NIC), and the National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI). Through its vision, SDAIA seeks to establish the Kingdom as a global leader among the league of data-driven economies. Its mission relies on unlocking the value of data as a national asset to realize Vision 2030 aspirations by setting the national data and AI strategy and overseeing its execution through harmonized data policies, data and insights capabilities, and continuous AI and data innovation. Given that nearly 70% of the strategic goals, as mentioned, are AI and data related, the role of SDAIA is imperative. Speaking earlier this year at the launch of its brand identity, Dr. Abdullah Bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, the President of SDAIA, said, "We have witnessed first-hand, the early impact of AI and data-driven initiatives and their potential to propel Saudi Arabia's future economy, but we are still in the early stages with several untapped opportunities available. We, at SDAIA, have been tasked with defining the national data and AI strategy, and delivering on our nation's vision for the future by optimizing our national resources, improving efficiencies and enabling the creation of diversified economic sectors."
Yet another country has gone to release the potential of artificial intelligence to fuel its economic growth plans. One of the largest oil manufacturing nations, Saudi Arabia, has now formulated and launched a nation-wide policy on AI. The project has been signed with approval from King Salman and aims to add the market value of up to 500 billion riyals (US$133 billion) in the country's GDP by 2030. The policy formulation had begun last year when the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) was established through a royal decree in August 2019 to lead the charge of the nation's transformation into a data-driven economy. Besides, the body is working on implementing a cloud platform, intending to build one of the biggest cloud frameworks in the Middle East by connecting 83 data centres controlled by over 40 government bodies.