While the US government seem not yet convinced that AI power would rule the world, China and Dubai appear dead serious about the technology. In fact, Dubai a key member of the Emirates has revealed its plans to grab “soft power,” in print, under the new ministry of AI.
Yes, you hard that right, artificial intelligence is now a complete cabinet docket that receives government funding like health, security, and other serious ministries.
It’s this office that keeps the print, which reveals how autonomous robocops might in future patrol around the Dubai Mall. How smart drones will deliver goods to addresses, how flying taxis will lift and drop commuters around the city, and how buslike pods with brains will pick and drop passengers from their doorsteps.
These Are Not Dreams
It’s easy to think that the above-mentioned AI driven concepts are mare smart imaginations from tech aficionados, but you know what, there is real money set to implement these ideas. Among others, the administration set aside over $270 million as Future Endowment Fund intended to specially enhance AI research.
The government has also come out clear to support and fund innovative startups, those that plan never to give up in research, like Derq, an amazing body that uses AI power to enhance traffic safety. Derq employs machine learning techniques to predict and avert car accidents and to expand its coverage across the Emirates, it received another $1.5 million again to establish another of office in the Motor City.
What is amazing is that the 3 founders of Derq (which reports that it has added a satellite office in Detroit to bolster monitoring of the city,) are all graduates from US universities. George Auode, Derq’s Co-founder to be particular, is a 2011 Ph.D. alumni of MIT, aerospace engineering. In plain words, this explains how Dubai’s government is practically offering irresistible perks to future-focused startups.
Since 2016 the government of Dubai has been pushing Derq to transform the emirate without fear of funds. In Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid’s (hereditary leader and VP of the United Arab Emirates UAE) words he said, “Dubai will become a living laboratory for embryonic technology.”
The VP laid out his goal to have 25% of Dubai’s transport system autonomous before 2030 and that is evidently in progress. In 2017 again, Dubai showed its position as leader of UAE when it promised to adopt blockchain technology fully into its government system.
Hitting the Promise
Going by the facts, all these plans are bound to be successfully achieved, because for one, what the leader says in this Arabic state is final. No room for debates in the name of democracy –which of cause is often what slows down projects in democratic systems.
In fact, in a recent leadership reshuffle, which took effect in October, the hereditary leader appointed Omar bin Sultan, 27 years old, as the first UAE’s Minister of artificial intelligence. To support his action he said, “With AI, it’s smart that we be proactive and not reactive like other nations.”
Citizens Are Also AI Driven
According to Accenture’s report last year, UAE residents collectively seemed to embrace AI-powered services and devices. In fact, only a fourth of the population appeared undecided with the concept of machine intelligence.
Well, it’s not clear whether the citizens embrace AI because the system of governance gives no other option. As put by researchers, machine learning is a major disruptive technology and in other countries, certain applications would spark courtroom squabbles: but not Dubai, what the authority says is final.
This far, nobody can debate that machine intelligence techs need regulations to keep the evil mind from weaponizing AI. Now here comes the confusion, neither the U.S. nor China; or any other nation has so far set bounders to machine learning innovations, (the safety of algorithms etc.)
As the super power, the United States to be particular -needs to lead the way in regulating technologies that might instigate havoc in the world. Waiting for China, Dubai, Russia or any other country to decide how disruptive technologies should be handled means waiting to be led to unknown destinations.
However, with all said, the race to who will dictate “soft power” (AI, Big Data and the rest) is becoming fierce with each daybreak.