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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Officials mull applications of artificial intelligence in Dubai 

AI is seen as a key pillar in providing services across the board

Artificial intelligence will be the main focus of this year’s World Government Summit as Dubai aims to transform itself into the most digitally-savvy city.

Beyond smart cities, AI is seen as a key pillar in providing services across the board.

“Every phone will be like a personal computer,” said Hussain Lootah, director general at the emirate’s municipality. “Providing it in hardware and robotics will maintain the city’s landscape too – we plant 70 million flowers every year but AI will help save us a lot of time. We will also have 'smart canes' for the elderly and disabled.”

In water and electricity, Dewa plans on producing 75 per cent of its electricity from solar energy by 2050.

“We are trying to make sure all our resources and design plans will achieve this,” said Khawla Al Mehairi, the company’s VP of marketing and corporate communications. “We’ll focus on producing more clean energy for Dubai, increase solar energy and use it to produce potable water, which will improve efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.”

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It plans on increasing drinking water production for Dubai from its current 470 million gallons to 750 million by 2030 through AI-related desalinated techniques.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority will focus on innovation, education and science as well as AI. “Forty-five per cent of jobs won’t be available in 15 years which is a clear indicator we need to be innovative in education,” said Omar Al Mahmoud, its chief executive of ICT fund. “We’ve already sent over 900 students to study the future of technology abroad, including at MIT.”

Du also plans on becoming more effective with its services. “We should have a dialogue about what is possible technologically today, what is feasible economically, how we can improve people’s quality of life and ensure a balance,” said Osman Sultan, the firm’s chief executive. “These are dialogues that are in need of real platforms. These indispensable questions are at the heart of our work.”

The goal is to ultimately make a difference in people’s everyday lives. “Forecasting the future is very important because we’re witnessing fast-paced developments and changes,” said Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Investment Fund. “Developing countries are benefitting more and more from these changes. We as financing parties were facing challenges in terms of delivering energy to areas that are very far from cities but renewable energy has given us the tools to reach these remote areas.”