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Smart Dubai Government Establishment outlines development roadmap for artificial intelligence

The Smart Dubai Government Establishment (also known as Smart Dubai Gov or SDG), the technology division of the Smart Dubai Office, has outlined a development roadmap for artificial intelligence in Dubai.

Plans were also announced to launch a AI Lab called the ‘AI Center of Competence’, in collaboration with IBM, to provide skills training for government and private sector employees and local students; host workshops for entities and individuals to experiment and build prototypes; and provide go-to-market support for new services.

The lab aims to equip Dubai Government Agencies and their partners with the necessary AI skills to develop their own AI services and applications. It will support the implementation of Dubai’s AI Roadmap, and help accelerate the development of AI services across Dubai.

Smart Dubai also organised a one-day workshop to raise awareness on Dubai’s artificial intelligence service, "Saad" for executives and technical teams from various Dubai Government Agencies. ‘Saad’ was launched in October 2016 by Smart Dubai Government Establishment and Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED), as the city’s first government service utilising artificial intelligence, powered by IBM Watson. It enables entrepreneurs and investors to get real-time replies on various topics, including business licensing requirements and registration processes and other questions related to setting up a business in Dubai.(Other government agencies have launched AI driven automated communication services in 2017, including the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Dubai Customs). Saad is designed for natural language processing. It relies on massive volumes of data to learn and reason from its interactions, and provide responses that will be helpful to users. Dr. Aisha bint Bishr, Director-General of Smart Dubai Office, talked about the value of public-private partnerships for contributing smart services to the city. She said, "We believe that by harnessing the latest in technology we can offer innovative services to enhance citizen experiences in Dubai. The impact of Saad, which we delivered in partnership with IBM, is an example of a successful collaboration and we look forward to working side by side as we continue to transform Dubai into a Smart City.” Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment, said: "Acquiring the latest technology has become nowadays the easiest part but not the most essential element of preparing for the future. In contrast, employing and humanising technology is the most crucial element in preparing for the future and a goal that we have put before our eyes since the first day the Smart Dubai Government Establishment was launched. Based on the above, this workshop is held to pave the way for the launch of the AI Lab for all services in Dubai City to be compatible with artificial intelligence requirements."

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