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Artificial Intelligence at the World Government Summit

Dubai, 14/02/2024

The International Advisory Group (IAG) presented its report on the role of artificial intelligence and data technology in Arab government administration, in a press conference hosted by the Prime Minister’s Office, within the framework of the World Government Summit held in Dubai. AFED Secretary General, Najib Saab, participated in the conference, commenting on the report’s findings. He stressed that failure to engage quickly and speedily in artificial intelligence technology puts countries and companies outside the realm of competition. However, proper engagement requires acquiring more knowledge locally in programming and management, lest we become consumers of ready-made knowledge controlled by others. The major problem in the Arab world is the weakness in generating data, and not just the failure to collect it and make it freely available. As artificial intelligence does not create basic knowledge, but rather collects and analyzes it, its results must depend on the quality of the underlying knowledge and its availability.


Saab also stressed that a hurried approach to keep pace with the times is necessary, but leapfrogging is not burning through stages and replacing education and innovation by entertainment on social media, as some holders of academic titles do these days. Scientific research is not mere posting on Facebook, with some choosing to share pictures and trivialities on a daily basis, instead of serious research and scientific publishing.


On the other hand, artificial intelligence cannot replace humans in holding the responsibility of decision making, because what is required is to strengthen the mentality of accountability and not give ministers, for example, an excuse to blame their errors on artificial intelligence.


Using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence in the right way accelerates environmental and climate action and sustainability measures, from natural resource management to climate modeling and forecasting.