Saudi drone startup FalconViz secures funding; Qatar drafts new drone law
Here’s your weekly roundup of Middle East AI News!
People in the UAE and India are the most likely to try air taxis once they become approved in their country, according to a new survey by Horizon Aircraft. Scroll down to the end of the newsletter for this and lots more drone news!
Today's newsletter also shares news on AI ethics policy, a new report on the UAE's digital transformation, Saudi Arabia's 2021 IT spending, robotic surgery in the UAE, plus the Washington Post's story on how Facebook and Twitter's algorithms recently blocked or restricted millions of mostly pro-Palestinian posts and accounts.
Stay safe and have a great weekend!
#Saudi #UAE #retail - Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, in collaboration with eGrocery innovator Takeoff Technologies, launched an automated fulfilment centre at its Carrefour store in Jeddah’s Al-Sulaymaniyah neighbourhood. (Zawya)
#Israel #Palestine #Gaza - Just days after violent conflict erupted in Israel and the Palestinian territories, both Facebook and Twitter copped to major faux pas: The companies had wrongly blocked or restricted millions of mostly pro-Palestinian posts and accounts related to the crisis. (Washington Post)
#UAE #DX - The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) has published the "Digital Transformation in the UAE Report 2020", which provides a great overview of the UAE's digital connectivity, Internet usage, national digital transformation initiatives and the nation's standing in the digital world. (Emirates News Agency)
#Saudi #spending - Saudi Arabia's spending on IT is expected to increase by 2.1 percent year-on-year in 2021 to $27.734 billion, according to a new report from global research and advisory firm Gartner. (Arab News)
#UAE #R&D - Masdar has announced the arrival of Abu Dhabi high-tech sector drivers, the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) and its two-pillar entities, Technology Innovation Institute (TII) and ASPIRE, to Masdar City in the capital of the UAE. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #healthcare - American Hospital Dubai gives new hope to a passionate motorbike rider, 72-years old British man, by performing knee replacement surgery successfully using the latest ROSA Robotic Knee Replacement System, developed by US firm Zimmer Biomet. (Khaleej Times)
#UAE #healthcare - Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, is aiming to transform surgical care in the whole MENA region by introducing the Cambridge-based medical device company CMR Surgical’s next generation Versius Robotic Surgical System. (Gulf News)
#UAE #AIethics - The Abu Dhabi #Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has issued a charter consisting of four guiding principles to support the ethical use of by the organisation, responsibly and without discrimination. ADAFSA is one of the Abu Dhabi’s first government entities to issue an AI ethics policy. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #spacetech - UAE’s lunar rover will use AI to explore the Moon. A Canadian firm Mission Control Space Services is building an AI flight computer that will help the Emirati Rashid rover navigate the lunar surface The UAE aims to land the Rashid rover on the near side of the Moon due to its smoother surface. (The National)
#Egypt #education - Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has signed MoUs with Dell Technologies, Huawei Technologies, Kaspersky and Vodafone Egypt to support the the Egyptian Digital Builders education initiative. (Zawya)
#Luxembourg #UAE #AIdiplomacy - Luxembourg’s economic relations with the United Arab Emirates, which have traditionally been centred around exchange of services, will expand to many more new areas, including space, fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies, digitisation and artificial intelligence, according to a top Luxembourg official. (Emirates News Agency)
#Japan #UAE #AIdiplomacy - Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, met with Hiroshi Kajiyama, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, to discuss the economic partnership between the UAE and Japan. The two representatives reaffirmed bilateral cooperation in target areas and sectors that support the economy of the future, especially technology, electronics, advanced industries, medical research, space sciences, automation, artificial intelligence and entrepreneurship. (Emirates News Agency)
#Estonia #RAK #AIdiplomacy - Officials from the Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently met with experts from the Republic of Estonia to discuss ways of reinforcing economic cooperation and the development of Artificial Intelligence technologies. (Khaleej Times)
#Qatar #dronelaw - Qatar's Council of Ministers has approved a draft law to regulate all activities related to drones in order to maintain the security and safety of air navigation in the country. The new law has been drafted in accordance with international standards and best practices and defines the responsibilities of different authorities. (The Peninsula)
#Saudi #drones - Wa'ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, has invested a further $500,000 in Saudi drone operator FalconViz to help scale its operations to expand overseas, it was announced on Wednesday. (Arab News)
#UAE #airtaxis - People in the UAE (87%) and India (82%) are the most likely to try air taxis once they are approved in their country, according to new global research from Horizon Aircraft. The report predicts that air taxis will be a big success with passengers, once they are approved. (Trade Arabia)
#UAE #UK #cloudseeding - A UAE-funded electric drone project by the University of Reading is designed to be the new cloud seeding strategy that will trigger rainfall to boost crops and provide domestic water supply. Scientists have developed special drones that can fire an electric charge into clouds to make them rain, potentially paving the way for downpours in the Gulf region. (The National)
#Turkey #MENA #UCAVS - Turkey is building its influence abroad through mass production of military drones, defence analysts say. Turkey's large-scale production of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) means that it is now selling unmanned aircraft to countries such as Poland and Ukraine and is looking for sales to countries including Tunisia and Qatar. Its main attack drone, the Bayraktar TB2, has been used in Azerbaijan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and against the Kurdish PKK. (The National)