Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The Middle Eastern nation has created the world's first Minister of Artificial Intelligence position, and both the public and private sectors are investing in AI research and development.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is positioning itself at the heart of the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution, and is poised to be a global technology advocate and innovator. The country recently launched a national AI strategy titled “UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031,” the first such strategy in the region. The strategy aims to bring AI tools and technology to various sectors. In the UAE, AI has the potential to boost economic growth by an estimated 1.6 percent, add $182 billion to annual gross value added (GVA) by 2035, and contribute 13.6 percent of GDP by 2030. The annual growth in AI contribution to the UAE economy is projected to be 33.5 percent from 2018 through 2030. AI is expected to have the greatest impact on the financial services; health care; and transportation and storage industries in the UAE, with increases of $37 billion, $22 billion and $19 billion respectively.

The UAE health care sector will certainly reap the benefits of AI technology. With an aging population and high incidence of chronic diseases, there is demand for personalized specialist care. AI-driven personal health care technology can reduce patient-doctor interaction and provide digital health surveillance in real time. Wearable remote devices could reduce patient visits to health care facilities and allow them to receive medical consultation as quickly as possible. Treating patients remotely is already part of the UAE health care landscape, with online and app-based medical consultations being increasingly common. While these consultations still take the format of a video call with a real-life physician, AI is now allowing machines to take the lead via chatbots. Image-guided surgical robots are another case of AI adoption in the health care sector. Complex surgeries requiring extreme precision can be conducted using robots. This can be especially helpful in cases where there is a high risk of fatality due to surgical error. AI could also trigger a giant leap forward for medical education in the UAE. AI coupled with virtual reality can be a great learning tool for future doctors by providing them with a virtual learning environment.

The UAE will be hosting a first-of-its-kind Artificial Intelligence Week Exhibition in September 2018. The exhibition will provide an opportunity for funds and investors to explore investment opportunities in the AI sector.

Industry highlights:

  • In 2017, the UAE created the world’s first Minister of Artificial Intelligence position.
  • The UAE has formed the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence to ensure the implementation of the latest technologies across various sectors.
  • The Dubai Future Foundation has invested in AI development initiatives such as the UAE AI and Robotics Award for Good, which asks participants from around the globe to develop and submit advanced uses for AI across various industries.
  • The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is expected to launch the first radiology AI algorithm as part of Dubai Health Strategy 2021. The initiative will expedite the processing time for chest x-ray scans, which are required for people seeking UAE residency.
  • The state-backed Khalifa University has a Robotics Institute exploring AI in manufacturing and AI conferences.
  • New York University-Abu Dhabi is working on several AI-related research projects.
  • The DHA has revealed the first fully autonomous artificial intelligence medical fitness center in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.