A ministry devoted to Artificial Intelligence (AI), a simulated environment of Mars in the Emirati desert and a high-speed transport system Hyperloop has now given Dubai a new identity as “cradle of future technology”.
From flying jetpacks to cars that can clock 950 km/hr on a single charge, the future is closer than ever imagined. In order to avoid the missteps of the previous industrial revolution, a proper planning is the need of the hour. The UAE’s main efforts are concentrated around the city of Dubai, already home to many futuristic projects. In order to have a dedicated task force that understands the importance of AI, the UAE became the first nation in the world to have a ministry dedicated to AI on October 19th, 2017.
The Ministry of AI
Tech companies of the world are starting to base their business models around AI, as such it is of little surprise that countries like the UAE want to be on the frontlines of development due to the reason being its government investing heavily in future-focused technologies.
“We want the UAE to become the world’s most prepared country for artificial intelligence,” said Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad. The UAE’s first minister for AI is 27-year-old Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama. The 27-year-old is currently the Managing Director of the World Government Summit in the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and he holds degrees in Project Management and Excellence from the American University of Sharjah.
The aim of setting up a ministry of AI is in line with its UAE 2031 AI Strategy that aims to make the government more efficient and streamlined with the help of AI-based technologies. These technologies will be used not only to streamline costs but also to bolster education, reduce road accidents and create savings in the energy sector amongst others.
Mars on Terra
The UAE government is about to embark on a project of epic proportions by announcing its plans to build a simulated Mars colony in the Emirati desert.
The $136 million (Dh500 million) facility will cover nearly 177,000 square meters (1.9 million square feet) of the desert.
The goal of the project, dubbed Mars Science City, is to emulate conditions for human settlers on the Red Planet. According to the UAE government, “The project comprises of laboratories for food, energy, and water, as well as agricultural simulation and studies about food security that will be useful in the future.”
The campus will also contain a museum that will celebrate humanity’s achievement in space exploration. The hope is that the museum will spur the coming generations to pursue an education in science and mathematics, thus ensuring continued innovation in the future.
Hyperloop – It’s happening!
Imagine if you could live in New York, work in Mumbai, attend a dinner in London and watch a movie in Tokyo. It will sound like a plot for an outlandish sci-fi movie, but such a feat is possible.
Over the decades, a number of governments have stepped forward to bring a host of innovative technologies to life, and in doing so, have accelerated the golden age of technology like never before. Now, Dubai has made major strides in bringing some of the world’s most futuristic ideas to life.
The Dubai Future Foundation recently organized an International Hyperloop Competition in order to help make the (seemingly) impossible possible. The competition had contestants design three Hyperloop terminals which were evaluated by a panel of judges.
In a release, H.E. Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of the UAE Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Vice Chairman of Dubai Future Foundation, added that Dubai is working to become “a global platform for innovative minds to come together to create futuristic solutions on issues of relevance to humanity and to that end, this contest is a great opportunity to explore innovative ideas in the smart transportation sector.”
The Hyperloop is not without its technical challenges, but despite these potential difficulties, countries around the world, including Dubai, are driving the concept forward through initiatives that clearly demonstrate their interest in making our world a more connected and efficient place.
What’s in store for AI enthusiasts?
“AI is not negative or positive. It’s in between. The future is not going to be a black or white. As with every technology on Earth, it really depends on how we use it and how we implement it,” said Al Olama. “People need to be part of the discussion. It’s not one of those things that just a select group of people need to discuss and focus on.”
Today’s biggest tech companies want to put AI at the core of their businesses, and the UAE hopes to do the same for the entire nation. Keeping this goal in mind, the World AI Show aims to gather an exclusive group of AI experts, data scientists, technology leaders, startups, investors, researcher’s academicians, and global AI technology innovators – to discuss the ethical implications of intelligent machines and its impact on commercial applications across all the sectors.
In addition to this, the event will also dispel common misconceptions regarding AI and help in fostering a new age of technology in the long-run. For more information about the upcoming AI show, click here to know more.