AI center confirms Saudi Arabia’s drive toward innovative future

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Sawaha. (SPA)
Updated 01 September 2019

AI center confirms Saudi Arabia’s drive toward innovative future

RIYADH: The royal decree to establish an artificial intelligence (AI) center will enhance the drive toward innovation and digital transformation in Saudi Arabia, according to Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Sawaha.

King Salman issued the decree on Friday, to establish the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and an organization called the National Data Management Office, which will be linked to the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority.

The establishment of the center came in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, and will help develop performance efficiency through the applications of AI and big data, Al-Sawaha said.

He added that the establishment of the center was a clear indication of the Kingdom’s determination to develop its digital capabilities and build a future based on AI and innovation.

Al-Sawaha said that AI would enhance productivity, boost decision-making processes across all sectors, render services provided to Saudi citizens more innovative, and open new horizons to stimulate entrepreneurship and support young people.

The king also issued a number of other decrees including the creation of the new Ministry for Industry and Mineral Resources.  SPA Riyadh

Meanwhile, Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad expressed his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for appointing him as the new chairman of the Saudi Human Rights Commission. Mazen bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al-Kahmous also expressed his gratitude to the king and the crown prince on his appointment, as chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 52 min 14 sec ago

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.