BY: Wojciech Bajda, head of Ericsson in GCC
In a world characterised by technology, where new advancements and innovations come to life every day, our capabilities have far exceeded what were once thought possible. When the first mobile phone call was made, when the first electric car was driven, and when the first remote surgery was performed — the world was wowed, as it has been with every great “first” in the realm of technology. We are consistently amazed by what technology can do, and as time passes, the magnitude of its capabilities and the world’s subsequent astonishment are heightened. And as society progresses, technology will only continue to redefine what is possible when innovation, resources, and initiative come together.
With the recently launched UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy, introduced by his highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai, the world will bear witness to a slew of new “firsts” — technological developments conceived in one of the world’s greatest innovation hubs which will make ripples across the globe. The UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy is the first long-term plan of its kind in the world, created by a government with ambitious goals it has every intention of achieving.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the future of intuitive technology. It is already present in so much of modern life, business, and government; and it will only continue to grow and diversify in the coming years. Consider: experts forecast that by the year 2025, AI will drive 95 percent of all customer interactions, and total AI revenues will rise to $36.8 billion globally. AI is already revolutionising day-to-day operations on an enormous scale, and with figures this of this caliber being projected for the next eight years, one can only imagine the extent to which AI will evolve in the next century — but this, in fact, is exactly what the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy seeks to define.
The strategy was devised to invest all capabilities in an ideal way, utilising resources, human, and financial capital in a constructive manner that will quicken the execution of future programs and development projects in the UAE. In turn, it will drive the technological processes that will transform the country into a global leader in Smart technologies, innovative solutions, and technological development. It seeks to revolutionize all the services, sectors, and future infrastructure in the UAE, and is founded on the fundamental goal of incorporating AI into all government and private sectors across the nation. Beyond generating new revenues and providing fresh opportunities for the national economy, the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy will pave the way for future advancements and developments.
To bring this groundbreaking strategy to fruition, the UAE will need to employ ICT infrastructure and solutions capable of supporting and sustaining the technologies of tomorrow. Execution of the strategy will require resources from a technologically ambitious government, as well as support from leading ICT providers in the region such as Ericsson.
Ericsson is already a pioneer within intelligent networks with its portfolio of Engineered Intelligent Services, including offerings such as Accelerated Network Build, App Experience Optimisation, and Preemptive Support Services. Ericsson has also invested in recent initiatives to learn more about AI implementation and optimisation, such as its 2017 report on the future of AI in consumer experience, released together with the AT&T Foundry and Rocketspace, as well as its sponsorship earlier this year of a new lab for machine intelligence at the University of California Berkley School of Engineering.
In the coming years, Ericsson’s efforts in machine intelligence and automation will lead to new use cases, such as pure cloud-native applications, on-premises data center operations, and distributed deployments across multiple sites – all of which will be beneficial to digital businesses, industries, and governments. Ericsson has also delved extensively into the key technologies driving innovation and technology, including 5G, edge computing, and IoT, with the intention of transforming Dubai into a Smart City and the UAE population into a Networked Society.
With its extensive portfolio of research and developments in the AI realm and related areas, Ericsson is perfectly positioned to provide the UAE government with the necessary technologies and ICT infrastructure to turn the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy into reality. In a world increasingly defined by the presence and advancement of technology, the UAE’s vision for the future is undoubtedly attainable; but its success will depend on the strength and versatility of the systems and infrastructure supporting it. For the UAE, this means working collaboratively with ICT providers like Ericsson to embrace and optimize the AI technologies of tomorrow, enabling the country to pioneer the next century of firsts.