Images generated by artificial intelligence (AI) applications have recently revolutionized the online world, but AI is more than just creating images.

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines or computer systems. A Magnet report on the impact of artificial intelligence on the economies of the Middle East and North Africa region said that India and China are leading the way with regard to artificial intelligence, while the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa is still in its infancy.

According to Google’s “The Future of Artificial Intelligence in the Middle East and North Africa” report, it is estimated that the Middle East and North Africa region will collect $320bn by 2030 in value added by AI.

The annual growth in the economic contribution of AI is expected to reach 20-34% annually across the region, with the highest rates expected in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The report says that the contribution of artificial intelligence to Egypt’s GDP will reach about 10% by 2030, while it will reach about 14% in the UAE and about 13% in Saudi Arabia.

Over the past few years, countries in the Middle East and North Africa have published their strategies for artificial intelligence.

The UAE was the first country to launch its AI strategy in 2017, followed by Egypt in 2019.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE also have specific government-led initiatives for AI-related strategies with inclusion in the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative.

According to the report, the adoption of artificial intelligence has also witnessed an increasing acceleration, a significant increase has been seen due to the value of AI-powered automation, remote work, and change in consumer habits.

With the recovery of e-commerce and retail due to the closure of physical stores during the Corona pandemic, a new avenue was opened to improve customer experience by collecting sets of customer data, which led to this sector being one of the fastest in selecting AI operations.

With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, machine learning and big data analytics are reshaping the world around us, according to the report.

Fintech, the most funded sector of the technology ecosystem, integrates the use of artificial intelligence in fraud detection and investment detection, according to the report.

The most significant use of AI in the healthcare industry is seen in areas such as diagnostics, telemedicine, and drug discovery.

In the UAE for example, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention has implemented an AI-supported system to detect COVID-19 cases while Saudi Arabia is currently using AI to diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy.

AI has the potential to bring great benefits to society and the economy in the MENA region despite the many challenges it poses.

One of the most talked-about impacts of AI adoption is job shedding. According to McKinsey, between now and 2030, 45% of current businesses in the Middle East will likely be automated.

However, this also opens up a whole new avenue for re-skilling and an opportunity for companies to achieve high productivity and growth by equipping the workforce with the right skills with the adoption of AI and automated processes.

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