RIYADH: The stage is set for the opening of a new artificial intelligence center in Riyadh, dedicated to promoting ethics in advanced technologies and contributing to the development of sector policies in the Gulf region.
Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Farhan announced the establishment of the International Center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Ethics during the 42nd session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris on Nov. 11.
The initiative, approved by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in June, aims to advance competencies and legislative frameworks in the field of AI and other advanced technologies.
The proposal for the International Center for AI Research and Ethics was initially submitted to UNESCO in March 2022, garnering support from Kuwait and Oman. As per the Saudi Press Agency, the center will operate with legal personality and financial and administrative independence, working toward fostering the growth of advanced technologies like AI within the Kingdom.
Earlier this year, the global consultancy firm PwC projected that AI would contribute $135 billion to the Saudi economy by 2030, positioning the Kingdom as the primary beneficiary of technology in the Middle East.
“In absolute terms, the largest gains are expected to accrue to Saudi Arabia where AI is expected to contribute over $135.2 billion in 2030 to the economy, equivalent to 12.4 percent of the gross domestic product,” said PwC in its report.
In June, Saudi Arabia established the Global Cybersecurity Forum Institute in Riyadh, aiming to harness the potential of cyberspace and support global efforts to enhance cybersecurity.
According to a report published by the SPA, the institute will host an annual global security forum, bringing together experts and decision-makers from around the world to discuss ways to protect the most vulnerable in cyberspace while maximizing its benefits for everyone.
As Saudi Arabia continues its embrace of advanced technologies, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella told in a recent interview with Arab News that the country’s push toward artificial intelligence has significantly increased productivity.
“Especially with the age of AI coming, this is a fantastic time for us to bring world-class technology to Saudi Arabia so that it can create world-class technology for the world,” he said.
Nadella added that small businesses in Saudi Arabia could become more productive if they leverage the advantages of AI.