Countries need artificial intelligence to cope with changing world: Minister

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - AI is applied in national security, finance, healthcare, education, criminal justice, transportation, smart cities, and elsewhere.-Supplied photo

In recent years, the UAE has been exerting a lot of effort in digitising all government services.

There will be a "new world disorder" if nations don't adapt to artificial intelligence (AI), a top government official told a digital conference in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking at the Digital Next Summit which kicked off on Sunday, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, said the world is witnessing a shift in all aspects of society.

"AI is now being used in all spheres and it is transforming every walk of life. This requires all governments to adapt to new technologies as fast as possible to cope with the changing world," Al Olama said.

"AI is applied in national security, finance, healthcare, education, criminal justice, transportation, smart cities, and elsewhere."

It has been helping people rethink "how we integrate information and analyse data", and resulting insights are now being used in decision-making, he added.

In recent years, the UAE has been exerting a lot of effort in digitising all government services, thus transforming society and boosting business, the minister said.

"The UAE has empowered the youth, and the government is working hard to ensure that youngsters are well-equipped with new techniques. Today, the nation is focusing on building brains that can help integrate AI into day-to-day activities."

For environmental solutions, too

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said the UAE is trying to get the best out of AI for solutions in all spheres, including eco-challenges.

"Last year, the ministry launched an interactive environmental Geographic Information System (GIS) that provides access to baseline geospatial database of environmentally significant locations," said Al Zeyoudi.

The environmental GIS has three main products: GeoEnvAE smart application for smart phones and tablets - compatible with Google's Android and Apple's iOS operating systems; the MoCCAE GIS website; and the ad hoc 'Environmental Atlas' maps system.

"The bilingual system was aimed at facilitating and expediting customers' access to environmentally significant locations. It provides niche maps that can be of great value to the ministry's customers, environmental and agricultural researchers, as well as control and awareness teams from the ministry and local entities," Dr Al Zeyoudi said.

The new system serves as a guide for the ministry's services, eco-tourism sites, and environmental development and research activities, among many others, he added.

The two-day conference has presented a unique platform and an opportunity to analyse, examine and understand how digital transformation is shaping the way governments across the world are embracing innovative technologies to achieve excellence.

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

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