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Saudi Arabia lays out ambitious national AI strategy

Saudi Arabia lays out ambitious national AI strategy

Saudi Arabia lays out ambitious national AI strategy

Saudi Arabia Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has set out a plan to become a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030.

The Saudi National Strategy for Data & AI (NSDAI), unveiled today at the Global AI Summit in Riyadh, intends to put AI at the heart of the country’s development and growth.

The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) will oversee the NSDAI. Under the strategy, Saudi Arabia will implement a multi-phase, multi-faceted plan that includes skills, policy and regulation, investment, research and innovation, and ecosystem development.

Saudi Arabia has a strong foundation for its AI ambitions: The Kingdom has a young population and a desire for large scale transformative programs such as Vision 2030. Upcoming Saudi megaprojects including NEOM smart city, Qiddiya entertainment and leisure capital, and National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, will provide testbeds and living laboratories for AI and data-driven concepts and applications.

The country has already implemented a data infrastructure with a centralised ecosystem of resources to support government agencies to complete their AI initiatives, including a National Data Bank, G-Cloud, and a whole-government analytics and AI platform.

Read: Oracle building major cloud data centres in the UAE, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia also aspires to play an active role in the global dialogue on the use of AI to support economic and social development. The Global AI Summit has been inaugurated as an international platform to connect thought leaders and high-level decision-makers in AI and to host discussions on the most important issues related to this emerging technology.

“The National Strategy for Data and AI sets the direction and foundations upon which we will unlock the potential of data and AI to fulfill our national transformation priorities and establish Saudi Arabia as a global hub for data and AI,” said HE Dr. Abdullah Bin Sharaf Alghamdi, President of SDAIA.

The implementation of the NSDAI will follow a multi-phase approach, which will focus on addressing the immediate national requirements for Saudi Arabia until 2025, particularly the development of data and AI programs to support the Vision 2030 strategic development goals. From 2025 until 2030, Saudi Arabia will shift focus to establishing the foundations of a competitive international AI ecosystem, by developing specialisms in specific areas of AI, to become one of the leading AI and data-driven economies by 2030.

In the initial stage, the Strategy will focus on initiatives to accelerate the use of AI in five critical sectors: healthcare, mobility, education, government and energy.

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