RIYADH: An advanced technology that uses machine learning to predict diabetes by analyzing people’s eyes is under development by the Saudi Co. for Artificial Intelligence, a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, a top official revealed.
In an interview with Arab News, Shahd Attar, the head of technology and media investments at PIF, emphasized the potential impact of AI on the global gross domestic product, stating that it could increase it by $7 trillion by 2030.
She noted: “In just a small time, there are a lot of different products that we are testing and trying. For example, one of them we’re proud of is called EYENAI. It uses artificial intelligence computer vision to look into the eyes and try to predict diabetes. As you know, diabetes is a challenge here in the Kingdom.”
However, Attar clarified that this advanced diabetes prediction technology is not yet available commercially and requires time for testing and obtaining the necessary licenses.
According to her, investing in the technology value chain is crucial for the development of other sectors in the Kingdom.
“The investments across the value chain of technology are enablers for all other sectors. Let’s take digital infrastructure, for example. By investing in connectivity and computing capabilities, like creating data centers, you’re able to support the digital transformation of all different entities across different sectors,” she said.
Discussing the Internet of Things, Attar highlighted its role in helping business owners analyze data for better decision-making in their operations.
She also hinted that SCAI is interested in investing in the sports and entertainment sectors.
Attar highlighted the potential of AI and technology in sports, explaining that football clubs worldwide can collect player data to make informed decisions.
“Sports and entertainment are one of the most exciting sectors today. PIF has been investing a lot in sports. But AI and technology can help sports in a big way. The best clubs around the world actually collect a lot of data about their players,” said Attar.
She added: “So when you collect (details about players), for example, how many right kicks, how many left kicks, how many goals. You can give individualized training and coaching to your players so they can become better.”
Attar further pointed out that the SCAI is keen to develop partnerships and joint ventures with private entities.
“SCAI as a company to unlock the air sector not only develops products locally, but it also has a view to look at the best leading companies in the world and develop partnerships through joint ventures and through other commercial agreements,” she noted.
Attar emphasized that Saudi Arabia is committed to providing training and support to students interested in technology, and both men and women with talent are welcomed to work with PIF’s portfolio companies.