Dubai is committed to AI ethics and data governance as the emirates positions itself as a global hub for developing and deploying AI solutions, the Director of Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DCAI) said.

Saeed Al Falasi told Zawya Projects that the emirate will abide by and work with the Ethical Charter of Development and Use of AI, which the UAE cabinet announced on Monday.

DCAI was launched in June 2023 to position Dubai as a world leader in adopting AI in public sector work.

According to a report by the official news agency WAM, the charter comprises 12 principles aimed at preserving the respect of human values and ensuring fair and safe treatment for all members of society. Key principles include ensuring all AI systems comply with the highest safety standards and developing AI technologies responsibly to be inclusive and accessible to all.

Speaking on the sidelines of the AI Retreat event in Dubai on Tuesday, Al Falasi highlighted data governance as a key concern and a crucial building block for successful AI adoption. He noted the event facilitated discussions between government entities, academia, and the private sector to ensure responsible data practices.

"The team is now consolidating all their notes, trying to understand what the actual plan for Dubai would be," he said.

Al Falasi underlined that unless a framework turns into a law, nobody will abide by it.

He said: "This is exactly where we're heading toward. We believe that in order for the city to excel in the adoption of AI, we need to make sure that we hone our skills when it comes to data."

While he didn't commit to specific timelines, the DCAI director said one could expect "something very soon."

"Dubai tends to move really quickly; it is part of our DNA and the way that we operate," he noted, adding that the government is committed to a collaborative approach which involves the private and other sectors.

"So definitely in the next period, you will see multiple announcements specifically for AI," said Al Falasi.

He pointed out that government departments in Dubai are attuned to working together to increase the quality of the people.

"For example, in May last year, we launched a cohort for adopting generative AI specifically for government services. Before we knew it, we had 33 government entities involved, so we brought them together in one place to collaborate. Having them all on the same table so that each one knows what the other is doing, is really the kind of autonomy that we want for the city."

Al Falasi said the recent appointment of Chief AI Officers across various government departments further emphasises Dubai's commitment to AI leadership. On Sunday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, announced that the emirate will have 22 Chief AI Officers across various government entities to spearhead specialised plans and programmes in the field of AI and advanced technology.

"That kind of grouping is actually what would move the city in terms of a smart city. At the end of the day, Dubai will not adopt any sort of technology unless it impacts the quality of people in the city."

Dubai's Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence, announced in April, seeks to accelerate the adoption of AI applications to achieve the targets of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 by contributing 100 billion UAE dirhams annually to emirate's economy through the digital economy and increasing productivity by 50 percent through the adoption of innovative digital solutions. 

AI Retreat 2024 drew participation from over 2,500 decision-makers, AI experts, and industry leaders, and major technology companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, Amazon, Oracle, SAP, Nvidia, and Samsung.

(Reporting by Anoop Menon; Editing by SA Kader)


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