Saudi Arabia to host global artificial intelligence summit in October

The Global AI Summit, under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and organized by the Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA), will take place on October 7-8 with the theme “AI for the Good of Humanity.” (SDAIA)
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Updated 05 September 2020

Saudi Arabia to host global artificial intelligence summit in October

  • Summit will be a virtual one due to the ongoing coronavirus precautionary measures
  • Event will tackle global changes and their impact on transformation of AI

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is to host this year’s Global Artificial Intelligence Summit (GAIS) under the title, “AI for the Good of Humanity.”

Organized by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), the event will run from Oct. 7 to 8 under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but will be held virtually in line with precautionary measures to protect participants from COVID-19.

The summit will bring together international and regional decision-makers, experts, and specialists from various governmental and private sectors, including leading technology companies, investors, and businesspeople and is aimed at building global dialogues to help with recovery from the pandemic and shape AI trends.

Among the participants will be many distinguished speakers and global experts from different countries, who will cover a range of topics divided into four sectors: ‘Shaping the New Normal,’ ‘AI and Governments,’ ‘Governing AI’ and ‘The Future of AI.’

During the summit, officials will announce the launch of a national strategy for data and AI in Saudi Arabia, an initiative that was recently adopted by King Salman and forms part of the Kingdom’s plans for global leadership through a data-driven economy and AI.

Muhammad Khurram Khan, professor of cybersecurity at King Saud University, told Arab News: “The goals of the GAIS are aligned with the vision of Saudi Arabia to become a vibrant, ambitious, and thriving nation by using the power of data, digital transformation, and AI.

“This event will enable local organizations, scientists, academics, professionals, and decision-makers to learn and exchange knowledge about new frontiers of AI.”

Khan, who is also the founder and CEO of the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research, Washington D.C., said that the summit would highlight the tech-posture and journey of the Kingdom toward becoming a competitive data-driven economy.

“Artificial intelligence is transforming the way we live, work, and perform businesses. In the near future, it is expected to make greater positive impacts on our society and socio-economic system.”

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.