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Artificial Intelligence in the Arab World

posted on: Jul 30, 2020

Artificial intelligence in the Arab world

By: Yasmina Hage/Arab America Contributing Writer

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is undergoing a significant evolution. There are a lot of new practices and discoveries with artificial intelligence. The question is, therefore, the following: What are the Arab countries doing during this 4th revolution? This is what we will discover below. 

Artificial intelligence is evolving exponentially around the world. Between Siri, electric cars, and the robot that wins the go champion, artificial intelligence is found everywhere in the world. Moreover, artificial intelligence represents an economic opportunity for the countries of the Middle East. 


Artificial intelligence in the Arab world

The UAE has a great desire for development and progress, and it projects a lot towards the future. UAE has expressed that it plans to invest and fully commit itself to the development of artificial intelligence (AI). It intends to do so from a scientific point of view but also as a support to accelerated development of the UAE society.

The first visible manifestation of the UAE’s desire to steer the entire country towards an AI society was the official launch in 2017 of the “UAE Vision on artificial intelligence” project. This government initiative was the first in the region and the first in the world at the state level!

The UAE decided to create a Ministry of artificial intelligence, which is also a world first! In this new and visionary field, a young 27-year-old Emirati, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, has been appointed to head it. The will of this State is clear, and they are giving themselves the means to achieve it.

Artificial intelligence in the Arab world
University of Artificial Intelligence Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed

As for being the first when it comes to artificial intelligence, this State does not stop there! The UAE created the first university in the world entirely dedicated to research in the field of AI and intended to deliver Masters and Doctoral degrees in artificial intelligence. In fact, on October 16th  2019, they announced the opening of the “Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.”

In just a few years, the UAE has become the leading Arab country in Artificial Intelligence!

Artificial Intelligence doesn’t Speak Arabic

Artificial intelligence in the Arab world

Alexa and Cortana don’t speak Arabic. Siri understands standard Arabic, but not the dialects. In terms of understanding the fifth most spoken language in the world, 21st-century technology is not yet mature. “Arabic has about 300 million speakers worldwide and is the religious language of about 1.5 billion people,” says Moustafa Jarrar, a computer engineer at Bir Zeit University in Ramallah [Palestine]. And yet it is the least represented language in the digital world.” So Mustafa Jarrar and other computer scientists in the Middle East want to do something about it. Their job is to improve the understanding of dialectal Arabic through artificial intelligence.

3D Prosthesis in UAE

Artificial intelligence in the Arab world
3D prosthesis

As you know, some people have lost the use of their legs. However, scientific progress has done wonders for these people. Currently, there are prostheses. However, these prostheses are not as practical as if they still had the use of their legs. So, research to improve their situation has steadily increased. In fact, better prostheses have been created today! In the UAE, 3D prosthetics have been created. These are prostheses that are custom-made for those who can afford them. 

The first double amputee man who had the opportunity to take advantage of this is an engineer in the UAE. This engineer claims to have almost forgotten that he was wearing prostheses because he began to imagine that he was walking with his own feet. Moreover, he says there is a big difference between conventional prostheses and the new ones. Thanks to artificial intelligence, doctors can imagine what the legs of a double amputee will look like and even make an intraoperative model.

Ambulance without Driver

Artificial intelligence in the Arab world

Soon, ambulances without drivers will be able to arrive at the homes of sick patients. It’s a smart and self-contained ambulance. Patients who take this ambulance will have to be equipped with a portable device that monitors their health. When something happens to the patients, the device will send all the information to the hospital so the doctor can monitor the patient’s condition. One of the advantages of this ambulance is that on its way, all the traffic lights will turn green so that the patient will be able to get to the hospital faster. In the ambulance, high-resolution cameras will be able to observe the patient’s face and transmit all the information to the hospital so that they can help the patient. Inside the ambulance, there will also be a virtual doctor. 

An Implant that Records Vital Parameters

These are artificial intelligence devices that are put under the skin to monitor heart patients wherever they are. This system has already saved one person’s life! In fact, a man who had this device went to London. Once there, the doctors noticed an abnormality in his heart, thanks to this device. They informed him of this so he can go to the hospital. This implant saved his life. 

DP World CARGOSPEED, Hyperloop

Artificial intelligence in the Arab world

The Hyperloop is levitating modules that carry goods and passengers. This project is of interest to many countries, but the Dubai Hyperloop should be the first to be operational. It is a 100% electric system where the gondolas move in a low-precision tube. The Hyperloop will enable goods and services to be delivered to businesses and consumers three times faster than a high-speed train! Another advantage of this system is that it will help reduce costs. We will see the version of the Hyperloop built and publicly available in 2021. 

Police Robot in Dubai

Artificial intelligence in the Arab world

The robot uses facial recognition to identify and store information. Then, it send the gathered information to the police. The functions of this robot will allow the population to report crimes and pay for parking tickets without going to the police station. It is also able to identify people wanted by the police.

Further information

An Arab American, Ahmed Elgammal, wrote an article about an innovation made by artificial intelligence. It’s a robot that goes beyond our expectations because it touches a unique thing that humans have, creation! Take a look at this article!




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