Saudi Arabia hosts World’s Top Brains at the Global Artificial Intelligence Summit


Riyadh — Saudi Arabia has invited the world’s top brains and technology geeks from 90 countries for the second Global Artificial Intelligence Summit at Riyadh’s King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center.

The global summit which features more than 200 speakers is taking place under the patronage of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. It started on Tuesday and will run till Thursday.

The Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) is hosting the Global AI Summit, which will cover a variety of subjects including the effect of Artificial Intelligence on the public and private sectors, healthcare, the environment, transportation, smart cities, and culture.

“Tech companies, startups, investors, and entrepreneurs [will] unite at the Global AI Summit to influence the future of AI,” according to SDAIA’s website.

Abdullah Alswaha, Saudi Arabia’s minister of communications and information technology, said at during the opening ceremony that, “Saudi Arabia has become the largest tech force of coders and data scientists”.

He also said that there are currently more than 70,000 trainees in this area. While Saudi women now make up more than 30% of the technology workforce.

“We’ve worked with global innovators and thinkers leveraging data and AI to deliver the first cognitive city THE LINE, and [explore] how we can deliver the five-minutes liveability and walkability where you can work, live, play and learn with zero-emissions,” the minister added.

Alswaha added that Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Crown Prince, has demonstrated one of the best examples of AI deployment in THE LINE city in NEOM.

NEOM’s website boasts that, Artificial intelligence will fuel the automated services, and everything in this future city of THE LINE is meant to be reachable within a five-minute walk, and there is also access to public transportation that may provide a 20-minute end-to-end ride.

Saudi Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser, emphasized the importance of keeping up with the most recent advancements in the field of digital transformation,, and said that “any huge and large investment in artificial intelligence and information technology should make companies more profitable and more successful.”

“It is necessary to realize that the role and purpose of artificial intelligence is that it complements human [capital], and [does] not replace it. In my opinion, the primary priority for companies today is to determine the best and the optimal mix of human and machinery capabilities”, he added.

In reference to the cyberattacks, Nasser stated that they “are one of the major challenges that we face at Aramco with natural disasters or physical attacks” being the same degree of threats.

He said that AI helps thwarting some of these threats.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Participants at the summit will also concentrate on “exchanging knowledge with local and international specialists and investigating investment prospects connected to AI technology”.

Meanwhile, more than 40 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding are to be signed during the summit, between the public and commercial sectors from Saudi Arabia and overseas.

“This is in addition to announcing eight local and international initiatives among global companies and institutions in a bid to enhance international cooperation on AI and its uses”.

Aramco’s CEO made the announcement during his speech, about a new strategic initiative called “Aramco Global AI Corridor” that is “designed to develop and commercialize complex AI solutions to train Saudi talent, support Saudi startups, and together with global partners build a local AI ecosystem”.

Additionally, a strategic partnership between SDAIA and IBM was established to promote the use of AI in the industrial and carbon capture sectors throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Artificial intelligence technologies will be used by the Ministry of Energy, IBM, and SDAIA to identify, map, and eventually lower carbon emissions throughout the nation.

CEO for the National Center for Artificial Intelligence Dr. Majid Al-Tuwaijri said, “This agreement with IBM will contribute to creating opportunities by addressing key challenges in circular carbon economy, petrochemical and industrial domains, through the development of innovative solutions in the field of data and artificial intelligence, and the exchange of shared experiences and investment opportunities in this vital area to support achieving the goals of Vision 2030”.

With a focus on assisting the Kingdom’s sustainability and industrialization goals, IBM will collaborate with SDAIA as part of the overall agreement to identify high value applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve problems in public and private sector organizations in the Saudi Arabia.

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