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NEOM, Volocopter in eVTOL joint venture; Khalifa University develops AV
Here’s your weekly roundup of Middle East AI News!
Some interesting stories this week, including electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft manufacturer Volocopter's new joint venture with NEOM; movement forwards on the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology's Industry 4.0 initiative; and a new UAE data law that will affect all businesses using consumer data in 2022.
Meanwhile, Accenture and Microsoft published a new 5G study this week: 'Unfolding the next growth chapter in the Middle East'. You can download the full PDF report here: https://lnkd.in/d6kAZWSH
And finally, it seems that Saudi Arabia's Global AI Summit may not take place in 2021 after all! The inaugural event took place October 2020 in Riyadh and was the launchpad for the Kingdom's national AI strategy. However, after several attempts to schedule the summit during the year, I'm guessing this will have to be brought back in 2022.
Stay safe, have a great weekend and - if you're in the UAE - enjoy the Golden Jubilee celebrations!
Urban Air Mobility
#Germany #Saudi #eVTOL = NEOM, the smart and sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia and Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility, have established a joint venture company to design, implement, and operate the world’s first bespoke public vertical mobility system in NEOM. (NEOM)
#UAE #Operation300Bn - Siemens will evaluate 200 industrial companies in the UAE for their digital maturity by the end of 2022, in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT). The project follows the formation of the Champions 4.0 Network a few weeks ago. (Gulf Business)
#UAE #AVs - Khalifa University has become the first university in the UAE to develop and deploy its own autonomous vehicle on campus and one of the first to deploy an AV in a mixed road traffic environment. The driverless 12-seater shuttle will transport students and staff around the Sas Al Nakhl Campus in Abu Dhabi. (Emirates News Agency)
#Qatar #US #funding - Qatar First Bank LLC will invest an undisclosed sum in SoundHound Inc., a Silicon Valley-headquartered voice AI platform, which enables best-in-class conversational experiences. The investment is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. (QFB)
#World #ethics - UNESCO has shared the first ever global recommendation on the ethics of AI, adopted by 193 member countries including most Middle East states. Writers of the draft framework included experts from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (UNESCO)
#UAE #datalaw - New legislation to regulate the collection and processing of personal data in the UAE will come into force on 2 January 2022. The country's first comprehensive federal data privacy law will affect all businesses that collect and process personal data, aside from data governed by specialised data laws, such as digital healthcare and banking. (Clyde & Co.)
#Qatar #football - Semi-automated offside calls are being trialed at the Fifa Arab Cup in Qatar this week, using between 10 and 12 cameras which collect up to 29 data points for every player 50 times per second. Developed by UK-based Hawk-Eye, the technology could be used at the 2022 Fifa World Cup. (BBC)
#Egypt #drones - The Egyptian Armed Forces disclosed Monday its recently produced drone dubbed "Nut", at the Egypt Defense Expo (EDEX 2021). The drone can carry up to 65 kilograms of weight and hide from satellites. (Egypt Today)
#Israel #Morocco #drones - Morocco is planning to manufacture drones in the country, using Israeli technology, according to Moroccan media. Morocco and Israel have just signed their first defense MoU. Meanwhile, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported this week that Israel Aerospace Industries received $22 million from Morocco this year in payment for Harop loitering munitions (a.k.a. kamikaze drones). (The Media Line)
#Qatar #US #drones - US Congress representatives sent a letter to government officials on Monday to object to an impending sale of over $500 million worth of armed drones to Qatar. Qatar first asked the U.S. for armed MQ-9 Reaper drones last year, but the request has faced opposition. (Doha News)
#Saudi #US #drones - Fighting low-tech Houthi drones with air-to-air missiles is an expensive tactic – but Saudi Arabia may not be able to afford to give up shooting down thousand-dollar drones with AIM-120 million-dollar missiles. The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of the 280 AMRAAMs, beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAM), to Saudi Arabia. (Defence View)