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Minister for AI appointed in the UAE

On October 19, 2017, a new cabinet was appointed in the United Arab Emirates, numbering 31 ministers. This was announced on the Twitter account of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It was also announced (in English and Arabic) that the 27-year-old Omar Bin Sultan Al-Olama was appointed Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. He will be the first minister in the world holding this office, having led the UAE strategy on this issue.

According to the ruler of Dubai, Artificial Intelligence is the next big revolution of our time, and UAE’s goal is to be one of the most advanced countries in this field.

Three days earlier, the UAE announced its new policy on Artificial Intelligence (UAE 2031), which aims to speed up government’s performance, create a conducive, creative environment, and reduce the yearly expenses by using this technology, all this being part of the overall policy of the UAE Centennial 2071.

According to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, AI is “the new wave after the Smart Government upon which all our services, sectors and future infrastructure will rely on.” He added, “We initiated electronic services 16 years ago, and today we are launching a fresh stage relying on Artificial Intelligence. We are seeking to adopt all tools and methodologies related to artificial intelligence to expedite and ensure more efficiency for government services at all levels.”

The UAE seeks to be a major hub for AI techniques and associated legislation, he said, adding that

“Our 2071 Strategy is founded on a set of fundamentals, primarily Artificial Intelligence across all our government and private sectors,” while addressing the need to train appropriate personnel to meet these national interests.

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Written by Tal Pavel, Ph.D

Tal Pavel, Ph.D., Middle Eastern Studies. Lecturer, commentator, researcher. Expert on technology, Internet and Cyber in the Middle East and the Islamic world. Owner of the Middleeasternet.com website.

Translated by Eldad Salzman

Eldad Salzman
Eldad Salzman, B.A., Middle Eastern Studies (Tel Aviv University). Owner and manager, ESHTAR Translations and Computer Consultancy, currently Eldad Salzman Translations. Translator and editor (Hebrew, English, Esperanto, Arabic and other languages). Translator of bulletins on Middle Eastern affairs, global jihad, worldwide terrorism. Former translator for Israeli cellular companies Cellcom and Partner (Hebrew-English and English-Hebrew). Former lecturer on word processors, data retrieval, and indexing. Admin, editor and contributor, the Hebrew Wikipedia. Moderator of Internet forums (Translation; Linguistics; Esperanto). Topics of interest: Cyber and Internet; Wikipedia; lectures in Esperanto. Lectured on Hebrew and Arabic in the International Congress of Esperanto, Tel Aviv, 2000.