RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s big data and artificial intelligence (AI) could reach $891.7 million in five years, a new report showed, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the Kingdom’s technology ambitions.
The market reached $162.5 million in 2020, according to Reporterlink.com, and it could grow at an annual rate of 32.6 percent until 2026.
The pandemic, the report said, has led to innovative solutions that supported Saudi Arabia’s response to the global health crisis.
These include the Tawakkalna mobile application that facilitated curfew permits electronically, among others.
The Kingdom is creating an AI-friendly ecosystem, supporting big data concepts and solutions through its smart city programs such as NEOM, the report said.
These are all in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, in which the Kingdom aims to transform its cities into smart ones, utilizing modern technology and municipal data to achieve its objectives.
In October last year, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed an agreement to support global AI cooperation.
Saudi Arabia also pledged to assist the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in developing projects, activities, and initiatives aimed at facilitating greater multi-stakeholder participation, international cooperation, and knowledge-sharing to accelerate progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Kingdom was regarded as a top digital riser among the G20 countries by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness.
It is expected to be one of the leading countries in the Middle East in AI and big data market, given an increase in government backing, as well as a competitive industry with a considerable number of regional players.