How artificial intelligence will add $320bn to the MENA economy by 2030: Google report

The potential economic impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the MENA region’s economic growth is significant, with the region estimated to accrue $320 billion by 2030 from value added by AI, according to a new report launched by Google.

The Google report titled The Future of AI in the MENA region provides a high-level outlook for artificial intelligence (AI) developments over the next decade, with a specific focus on the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Kuwait.

The report explores artificial intelligence-based investments and industry trends in tourism, transport, finance, retail, energy, and government services.

The report also highlights key policy takeaways that governments should consider when strengthening their AI ecosystems and capabilities.

The head of Government Affairs and Public Policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Martin Roeske, said: “The report shows that the responsible development of AI creates massive opportunities to improve the lives of people in the MENA region and to turbo-charge key sectors of the economy.

“To ensure we reap the benefits of this wave of technological transformation requires a joint effort between the private sector, governments and civil society, including investments in infrastructure, people, technology and policy development.”

Development of artificial intelligence in the MENA region

The region has taken initiative in developing national AI strategies that can create a friendly business environment, however, they remain lacking of suitable digital policies such as in the field of data governance as well as trust and safety.

Saqr bin Ghalib, Executive Director of the Artificial Intelligence Office of the UAE Government, stressed that setting key policies is essential to enhance the artificial intelligence systems in the government and private sectors.

“Increasing the concept of depending on AI as the main factor in systems and business ensures the acceleration of digital transformation in the region,” he said.

The reports, statistics, and data available contribute positively to following up the development journey’s updates and help innovate ways to support the private sector.

He added: “Correspondingly, it ensures continuous improvements in the AI field by creating and launching initiatives to encourage the use of artificial intelligence in all required fields.”

Saqr bin Ghalib also pointed out that the first-of-its-kind National Strategy of Artificial Intelligence in the world comes in line with the world approach to increase the usage of AI technology in the future fields.

“That helps achieve the strategy’s goals and accelerate the implementation of programs and projects depending on AI.”

The manager for Tech and Society at Economist Impact, Walter Pasquarelli, said: “Behind recent success stories is the role that governments have played, stimulating private sector investments and launching comprehensive AI strategies.

“As the region is looking to write its next chapter, our report highlights the MENA’s development trajectory, learning experiences and proposes pathways for cultivating a safe and prosperous AI ecosystem.”

Source:Arabian Business

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