The two-day Ai Everything Summit took place at the Dubai World Trade Center. The first panel discussion was the State of AI in the Middle East Report. Picture Supplied

Fear-mongering talks about AI taking over jobs was one of the topics discussed at the Ai Everything Summit held in Dubai earlier this month.

UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence H.E Omar bin Sultan Al Olama said education was important when it came to AI.

“If you are worried about AI, take steps, do something about it. What we care about in the UAE is talking the talk and walking the walk and that is our approach towards AI. If there are concerns over AI there should be principles put in place. There should be legislation and policies that are active. If you are happy about AI being deployed, deploy it in certain sectors and show people what AI means. People are asking what is this technology, why is it important and why do we need to be part of it? The only answer is to show them the tangible impact that they can feel.”

The two day summit explored the impact of Artificial Intelligence in the fields of Education, Finance, Healthcare, Transportation, Retail, Marketing, Energy, Government and Smart Cities and also focused in on case studies from disruptive AI early adopters.

AI – a technology expected to contribute US$320 billion to the Middle East economy by 2030, is not going anywhere.

UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence H.E Omar bin Sultan Al Olama (left) poses with Dr Abdullatif M. Al Shamsi, President of Higher Colleges of Technology. Picture Supplied

He added that there was nothing wrong with being scared or worried.

“What is wrong is not taking any action against that. The action wouldn’t be going to the street and fighting with your government because your government doesn’t have the answer. The answer is for people to understand what AI is. For people to understand what the capabilities of the technologies are and then helping government and working with the private sector to steer the technology and to steer certain things towards improving their lives.”

Al Olama said the artificial intelligence had a lot  of promise in health, logistics, infrastructure development, minerals and resources.

“What we are doing in the UAE we are mapping out what jobs will be lost because of AI and trying to understand how the people here are going to be displaced if this technology advances in this specific manner. We are also creating programmes to reskill and retool people into new jobs. If people feel they understand what is coming, and they have a part in the future they won’t be scared.  

“We are always afraid of things that are alien to us. The role of government is to take care of people and ensure that we can build a better future and that will not  happen if we don’t do anything about it. My role is to ensure a smooth transition in to the AI revolution and ensure no one is left behind. It is about social, economic, political prosperity and that comes with action that starts today. If a government is not taking action today, it is already too late.”

@mane_mpi