Saudi Arabia announces collaboration with ITU to support global AI cooperation

SDAIA and ITU signed an agreement on Thursday to support global AI cooperation. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 22 October 2020

Saudi Arabia announces collaboration with ITU to support global AI cooperation

  • The ITU’s secretary-general said the agency looked forward to working with SDAIA
  • The MoU aims to make AI best practices available to all, develop initiatives and optimize the benefits of AI

LONDON: The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed an agreement on Thursday to support global AI cooperation.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on the second day of the Global AI Summit hosted in Riyadh, aims to make AI best practices available to all, develop initiatives and optimize the benefits of AI.
It will also help to develop an internationally recognized system for countries to mobilize resources and provide assistance for official agencies that want to adopt AI technologies, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The President of SDAIA Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi welcomed the agreement.
“The ITU will share best practices in the field of AI with the Kingdom. This will help in shedding light on how to sponsor and support emerging companies and new incubators in the national space, especially as there is no official framework that currently exists to support the AI readiness of countries and international cooperation,” Al-Ghamdi said.
The ITU’s secretary-general said the UN agency looked forward to working with SDAIA to develop projects and initiatives that will accelerate progress toward achieving sustainable development goals and promoting AI as a force for good.
“We dream of a world where nations harness the power of AI together, where we all exchange ideas and best practices, where we collaborate to unlock the full potential of AI,” Houlin Zhao said.
“With AI impacting every aspect of today and tomorrow, collaboration is needed more than ever,” the secretary-general added.


Egypt plans big rail expansion, nears agreement with Bechtel

Updated 2 min 23 sec ago

Egypt plans big rail expansion, nears agreement with Bechtel

  • Egypt also plans a 438.5km fast rail at a cost of $8.2 billion

CAIRO: Egypt is rushing ahead with plans for an expansion of its metro and railway networks and is near agreement with Bechtel to implement Cairo’s sixth metro line, Transport Minister Kamel Al-Wazir said on Monday.

Speaking to the American Chamber of Commerce, Wazir said most of the bigger transport projects, which also include dry ports and river transport, should be finished by the end of 2024.

Egypt was working on a memorandum of understanding with Bechtel for feasibility studies and implementation of the $5 billion, 30km sixth metro line, he said.

“Just yesterday we had the contracts and we quickly reached near-agreement,” Wazir said.

“We told them to submit a written offer. If we reach agreement we will begin working at once and expedite all the contracts and agreements.”

Egypt had lined up finance for the metro line from Canada, America, Britain, France and Japan, Wazir said. He did not give its route, but reports have said it will run east of the Nile from north to south.

Last week, Egypt’s Orascom Construction said it and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation had signed an $800 million contract with Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels for work on the 19km first phase of Cairo’s fourth metro line, with financing from Japan.

That line will extend underground from central Cairo to the Pyramids to the west, connecting 16 stations.

Among planned new railways around Cairo are a 49km $175 million line from 6th of October city to the Nile north of Cairo, a 69km $235 million cargo line from Bilbeis to eastern Cairo and a $435 million, 227km dual line to Atay Al-Baroud on the western edge of the Delta.

Egypt also plans a 438.5km fast rail at a cost of $8.2 billion.

In Alexandria it plans a $1.7 billion metro line to the eastern suburb of Abu Qir and a $406 million upgrade of an above-ground tramline through the city.