Saudi unveils first smart chip; Turkey unveils national AI strategy
Here’s your weekly roundup of Middle East AI News! Again, a very busy week for the month of August!
This week we saw key policy announcements from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - the launch of Turkey's new national AI strategy; Egypt's new data centre and cloud services regulatory framework; and yesterday's extravaganza in Riyadh, which (reportedly introduced $1.2 billion of new initiatives and announced the Kingdom's ambition to become one of the world's top five countries in AI.
Meanwhile, the new academic year is upon us. Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence has welcomed its second cohort of graduate students. You'll also find a story about an innovative new programme at Zayed University that combines study with real-life skills.
Scroll down for these stories and more from Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.
Stay safe and have a great weekend!
National AI Strategy
#Saudi #AIstrategy - Saudi Arabia ups the ante and now aims to be one of the top 5 countries globally in AI, according to the head of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA). Last year the SDAIA had announced that the Kingdom planned to be one of the top 15 AI countries by 2030. At the same event, Saudi's Minister of CIT showed off the first Saudi-made smart chip. (Saudi Gazette)
#Turkey #AIstrategy - Turkey announced its first national #AI strategy, the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2021-2025 (or NAIS) on Tuesday, after its publication in the Official Gazette last Friday. NAIS supports Turkey's Eleventh Development Plan, and is consistent with Presidential Annual Programs, Digital Turkey, and the National Technology Initiative. The strategy was developed around six strategic priorities. Download the strategy here. (Linkedin)
#Saudi #bigdata - Saudi Arabia’s big data and AI spending could reach $891.7 million in five years, according to a new report from Reporterlink.com. The market reached $162.5 million in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the Kingdom’s technology ambitions., and it could grow at an annual rate of 32.6 percent until 2026. (Arab News)
#Egypt #datapolicy - Egypt has approved a regulatory framework for data centres and cloud computing services in the country. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) hopes the new regulations will support the nation's digital transformation, attract foreign investment and help position Egypt as regional and global data services hub. (Linkedin)
#Egypt #funding - Arab Bank has launched the AB Accelerator in Egypt, a fintech-focused corporate acceleration programme which aims to invest in early-stage startups specialised in fintech and other related tech verticals, such as AI and cybersecurity. Eligible startups receive up to $500,000 in funding. (WAMDA)
#UAE #wellbeing - Launched in 2020 and part of Abu Dhabi's Hub71 ecosystem, MindTales makes use of AI to provide mental health services via an online platform. Uses gain access to knowledge, wellness games, help with meditation, access to experts and progress tracking. (The Entrepreneur)
#UAE #procurement - Tradeling, a B2B procurement marketplace platform, formed in 2019 and backed by Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), has launched Tradeling Pro, an AI and machine learning digital procurement solution for enterprises and multinationals. (Gulf Business)
#UAE #MBZUAI - Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) has welcomed its second cohort of students for the start of the 2021 fall semester at its purpose-built campus in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. A total of 74 students from 29 countries have joined the graduate-level, research-based academic institution. (MBZUAI)
#UAE #innovation - Zayed University, in partnership with US education provider Minerva Project, began a radical new bachelors degree programe this week, which will teach students real-world skills. Students choose from business transformation, computational systems (which includes elements of AI and software engineering) and social innovation majors. (The National)
#Saudi #justicesystem - The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched an AI unit in an effort to improve operational efficiency, enhance electronic services and increase the overall customer experience. The new AI unit will implement new AI technologies, conduct pilot projects and supervise the development of AI-based services. (Saudi Gazette)
#Saudi #drones - The Prince Sultan Defense Studies and Research Center and Advanced Electronics Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, will co-produce and further develop the Sky Guard drone for operational use (not to be confused with Rheinmetall's similarly named air defence system). The carbon fiber drone, that has been developed domestically, has a radio range of 200 km and can perform reconnaissance, surveillance, tracking and carry laser-guided bombs. (C4IRNet.com)
#Afghanistan #Qatar #robotics - A robotics team of 10 high schoolers, who became a symbol of progress in modern Afghanistan, have fled to Qatar with the assistance of the Qatari government. From Afghanistan's western city of Herat, the robotics team has made international headlines for several years for its work developing and building robots. (NBC)