Middle East, News

Smart Dubai teams up with IBM for AI Lab launch

Smart Dubai Government Establishment has launched the first cognitive AI Lab in partnership with IBM, as part of its development roadmap for artificial intelligence (AI) in Dubai.

Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Smart Dubai

It was announced at a one-day workshop that the Lab will provide skills training for government and private sector employees and local students; host workshops for entities and individuals to experiment and build prototypes; and provide go-to-market support for new services with AI.

This latest announcement, which supports Smart Dubai’s goal of enabling the emirate to become the cognitive city of the future, follows the release of ‘Saad’ in October 2016 – the city’s first government service utilising AI and powered by IBM Watson.

The service was launched to allow entrepreneurs and investors to ask questions related to setting up a business in Dubai, and to get real-time responses on various topics, including business licensing requirements and registration processes.

Speaking at the workshop, HE Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai Office, said, “We believe that by harnessing the latest technology, we can offer innovative services to enhance citizen experiences in Dubai. The impact of Saad is an example of a successful collaboration, and we look forward to continuing to transform Dubai into a Smart City,” she said.

“IBM and Smart Dubai Office plan to work hand in hand to equip Dubai Government Agencies with the skills necessary to accelerate their AI journey,” said Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan. “In this AI era, Dubai Government Agencies now have the potential to use Watson to provide citizens with uniquely customised services and enrich their day to day experiences.”

The AI Lab will support the implementation of Dubai’s AI roadmap, and will help accelerate the development of AI services across Dubai, by equipping government agencies and their partners with the necessary AI skills to develop their own cognitive services and applications.

“The UAE’s centennial vision, led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, is to make the UAE the best country in the world by 2071,” said H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment. “In order for us to progress forward in achieving this goal, we must redefine our government to ensure we stay ahead, and we can do this by embracing the technology of the future. We are launching the AI Lab with the 10X initiative in mind, which involves us doing today what others will do in 10 years.”

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