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Dubai to appoint AI officers across all government entities

Dubai's appointment of chief AI officers is part of a broader push to adopt the technology Alamy via Reuters
Dubai's appointment of chief AI officers is part of a broader push to adopt the technology
  • Drive to embrace new technology
  • All government entities to take part
  • Push for investment and skills

Dubai has ordered that all government entities must appoint a chief artificial intelligence officer, as part of a new drive to embrace the new technology.

The Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence was launched on Monday and as part of the initiative the new government AI officers will be tasked with leading specialised AI projects to boost performance levels.

Launched by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the blueprint aims to contribute AED100 billion ($27 billion) to the emirate.

The Dubai Center for Artificial Intelligence, which is part of the Dubai Future Foundation, will assess candidates before they are appointed.

Dubai’s decision mirrors a March policy directive from the US government, which mandated federal agencies to appoint chief artificial intelligence officers to oversee AI strategies and manage associated risks. 

The first phase of the plan includes launching Dubai’s AI and Web3 Incubator, to build the largest hub for AI and technology companies in the region. This initiative aims to attract top talent and startups to help AI companies set up in Dubai and then expand globally.

The plan also includes the introduction of a new AI commercial licence that aims to increase investments in this technology.

To equip students with skills and educate them about AI and coding, the plan involves launching AI Week in educational institutions.

“In recent years, the evolution of artificial intelligence has accelerated, presenting numerous opportunities for nations and governments adept at utilising it, while posing challenges to those unable to keep pace. This required swift and adaptive action plans responsive to the rapid changes in technology and artificial intelligence,” Sheikh Hamdan said in a post on social platform X, formerly Twitter.

Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi established a new artificial intelligence council as part of efforts to regulate the technology and create research opportunities. 

The Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and strategies related to AI research, infrastructure and investments and advanced technologies in the emirate. 

Despite the growing prominence of AI, a survey by ServiceNow revealed UAE consumers are still cautious when it comes to AI, with 77 percent expressing reluctance to engage with AI-driven brands. 

A third of respondents cited lack of personalisation, while a fifth said they do not trust the answer they will get. 

The findings also showed a preference for human-to-human interaction among UAE consumers. More than half said they would like to see a human-based customer service, to minimise automated routes.

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