Saudi Arabia announces AI MoUs

Saudi Arabia announces AI MoUs

The Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence (SDAIA) has been quick to add detail to its plans for artificial intelligence (AI) partnerships, with the signing of a number of MoUs during the kingdom’s recent Global AI Summit.

Saudi Arabia is reported to have signed memorandums of understanding with IBM, Alibaba and Huawei in areas of AI at the summit. The aim of the SDAIA and Alibaba Cloud partnership is to support Saudi Arabia’s path to develop smart cities through AI. Through Alibaba Cloud’s AI Platform, the partners plan joint developments in areas including safety and security, mobility, urban planning, energy, education and health.

SDAIA and Huawei, meanwhile, signed an MOU to recognise Arabic language and characters using AI technology, while SDAIA says it is seeking IBM’s help in developing real use cases of AI in areas of health, energy and other sectors, as well as training through a strategic relationship.

But these were not the only significant agreements in the past few days. SDAIA and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have also announced an MoU, the aim of which is to collaborate on initiatives aimed at supporting and strengthening efforts to optimize the benefits of AI technologies and applications for sustainable development.

Under the terms of the partnership, Saudi Arabia will support the ITU in developing projects, activities and initiatives that will, among other things, aim to facilitate greater multi-stakeholder participation, international cooperation and knowledge sharing to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This, the Global AI Summit announcement said, could potentially include developing initiatives such as an AI Readiness Landscape Framework that would explore and highlight country responses, progress and best practices related to AI policy frameworks.

As we mentioned yesterday, these partnerships will have a role in enabling the kingdom’s Vision 2030 concept, which aims to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors.

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