Omar Al Olama in an interview with “Time”: The UAE is moving forward to contribute to shaping the artificial intelligence scene

The American “Time” magazine chose His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, among the 100 most important people in the world in the field of artificial intelligence, along with a number of senior developers of technology companies around the world, including Elon Musk, owner of the “Time” platform. … CEO of Nvidia.

His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, confirmed that the approach adopted by the UAE in dealing with artificial intelligence and in its governance is interesting, as it has invested in it several years ago, which put it ahead of many countries in this regard.

His Excellency gave an interview to the American “Time” magazine, on the occasion of its selection of His Excellency among the 100 most important people in the world in the field of artificial intelligence.

His Excellency said: “Artificial intelligence is not a new technology, as we all know. Rather, it is a technology that has been with us for more than 50 years, except for the emergence of social networking sites, then the emergence of self-driving cars, and the ability to do things that seemed impossible before that.” , show us how far forward the path that artificial intelligence is taking. Our leadership in the UAE believes that instead of waiting for artificial intelligence technology to come to us as a byproduct of the decisions of others, and interacting with something foreign to our nature, we must be the nation that is most prepared for the positive as well as negative aspects of artificial intelligence. Accordingly, the position of Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence was established.”


He added: “At first, my view was that we can do a lot in our own way regarding the use of artificial intelligence. However, today I am 100% certain that we cannot place this technology on an isolated island. You cannot handle this technology alone, but you must do it in cooperation with others. We should do this…and it should be global in the true sense of the word. Accordingly, there is a need for a global agreement governing artificial intelligence that everyone participates in concluding.”

His Excellency touched on the UAE’s approach to dealing with artificial intelligence, saying: “I actually believe that it is healthy for the approaches adopted by countries to diversify in dealing with artificial intelligence. It is a good thing that the European Union is moving in a certain direction in dealing with this technology, while China is moving in another direction, and the United States in a third direction, because I do not think that anyone will deal with artificial intelligence correctly at first glance. Therefore, when we have different models for dealing, we can draw specific elements from these models and imitate what works from them, and also ensure that we are able to deal with all models and trends, instead of moving in one direction.”

He added: “The approach adopted by the UAE in dealing with artificial intelligence is interesting. We realized that we are in a unique position, and therefore, we invested in artificial intelligence a few years ago. So, we are ahead of many other countries in this regard.

We cannot compete with China and the United States, and I don’t think we even want to. Our mission is to empower and leverage all AI players.

When our government and policy-making are agile, and when we are able to move very quickly, we will ensure our ability to use AI in a regulatory environment. We want the UAE to be the first name that comes to mind when it comes to using artificial intelligence under governing regulations. Then, we will be able to provide the rest of the world with any results we have achieved. “In this way, we complement other players when it comes to artificial intelligence.”

His Excellency spoke about the priorities that countries must discuss regarding the opportunities and challenges associated with artificial intelligence. He said: “Artificial intelligence is not a single technology, and each technology has a different benefit. For example, self-driving cars are very different from large language models. The first problem when it comes to governance of AI or researching its future is that people actually categorize it as one technology and think that we have one answer to all the questions about it. The second problem is that we need to determine the extent to which artificial intelligence can bring about change, whether this change is positive or negative.”

He continued: “This ability varies from one country to another. For example, self-driving cars will bring positive changes in the UAE, because we have an ultra-modern infrastructure. Let’s compare this to another country that has more than a million truck drivers and whose infrastructure is not equipped to receive this type of technology. At the same time, countries with upcoming elections will have to grapple with a pressing problem caused by large linguistic patterns and technologies that spread disinformation. What needs to be done first and foremost is to provide protection.

We need a global dialogue and sounding board on AI research. It is imperative that this be done in an apolitical manner. “So Chinese scientists have to talk to American scientists, who in turn have to talk to Emirati scientists.”


He added: “We also need the existence of an entity similar to the United Nations through which we understand where the limits of artificial intelligence are and what its capabilities are, because there is a problem that we suffer from today, which is that the bad players are always much more flexible, and always better at the advanced technology that They have it from governments and good players. What is actually happening is the spread of misinformation.

He said: “A picture circulated two months ago of a missile explosion that hit the Pentagon building, and once it spread, the American stock markets were negatively affected for a short period, then they quickly recovered, when it turned out that that picture was fake. Let us imagine what would have happened if the publication of that fake image had occurred in a coordinated manner, such that the majority of people believed that the image was real.”

His Excellency concluded: “The technology of artificial intelligence is so profound that we can, in fact, go back to history to understand why we need to establish a ministry for it. When humans relied on coal and wood fire for energy, there was no Ministry of Energy. When it became important to secure energy production and distribution, each government appointed a Minister of Energy. The same thing happened with communications. “I believe that artificial intelligence is at the same level.”

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