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Dubai calls for global unity to regulate generative AI

Illustration of words on screens Experts say cooperation is needed to tackle the opportunities and threats of large language models and generative AI generative artificial intelligence Photo by Google DeepMind
Experts say cooperation is needed to tackle the opportunities and threats of large language models and generative artificial intelligence
  • AI holds both promise and concerns
  • GenAI could be worth $23.5bn per year in GCC
  • Leaders seek international cooperation

Senior Dubai officials and executives have called for more global regulation of generative artificial intelligence, but dismissed the notion that the technology will lead to widespread job losses.

“We need to be ready … We need to understand how we can regulate something as big as AI,” Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) told delegates this week at the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI event.

“We need to get started now,” he added. 

Belhoul said there was a need for “global unity to solve big matters” such as AI.

“We need to work hand-in-hand. We need joint alliances to design and develop the most effective and resilient regulations.”

Generative AI holds tremendous promise, with the potential to reshape our world. However, it also raises regulation-related concerns, such as the proliferation of deep fakes and harmful content. 

Globally, 26 percent of smaller and 38 percent of large companies experienced deep-fake fraud in the past year, resulting in losses of up to $480,000, according to a blog post by the World Economic Forum.

Nonetheless, the potential economic impact of this technology remains substantial.

According to Strategy& Middle East, widespread adoption of generative AI is expected to continue in the corporate world over the next six to 12 months, with rapid progress in the field. 

The consulting business estimates that the GCC region could experience approximately $9.9 of economic growth for every $1 invested in this technology. At that rate, the overall economic impact of GenAI within the GCC could reach $23.5 billion per year by 2030.

Governing artificial intelligence

AI governance emerged as a prominent topic at the assembly, with Omar Sultan Al Olama, the UAE minister of state for artificial intelligence, digital economy and remote work applications, advocating for a fresh approach.

The UAE, having introduced the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 six years ago, aims to nurture AI talent capable of experimenting and solving intricate challenges within a secure environment.

Al Olama called for a focus on governing AI use cases, rather than the technology itself, emphasising that forward-thinking governments should lead the way in harnessing AI. 

There is a growing consensus on the importance of international cooperation in regulating AI technologies.

The UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, earlier this year called for a global framework for governing AI, recognising its transformative potential with global implications. He stressed the necessity for a collaborative alliance among global partners from various sectors.

Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister of Italy, echoed the call for global AI governance ahead of the G7 meeting this year.

UAE at the forefront of innovation

Stephen Anderson of PwC Middle East told AGBI that he commended the UAE’s role in the global AI landscape and the innovations it has spearheaded, such as the Falcon generative AI model. 

He dispelled the belief that AI will eliminate jobs, highlighting its role as a transformative force that can address global challenges, including climate change and sustainability.

Costi Perricos, global analytics and cognitive lead partner at Deloitte, said: “The new algorithms and tools at our disposal today are more computationally intensive than ever before.

“Globally, we have, in the past, been limited by the availability of GPU-based computing power and access to cloud services.

“This has improved significantly in recent years, which has enabled the widespread use of generative AI – and as a result, the way we work and live with AI will never be the same.”