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March 12, 2021

Qatar forms artificial intelligence committee

By GlobalData Technology

Qatar plans to set up an Artificial Intelligence (AI) committee under the country’s Transport & Communications Ministry (MoTC). The country’s cabinet approved the draft decision establishing the committee on 3 March. It will consist of three representatives from the MoTC, one of whom will head the committee.

The following entities will also be represented:

  • Qatar Computing Research Institute (representative will be a committee vice-president)
  • Ministry of Interior
  • Ministry of Education & Higher Education
  • Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Qatar Science & Technology Park
  • Hamad bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar National Research Fund
  • Qatar Development Bank

The committee will help establish follow-up mechanisms and implement the Qatar National AI Strategy, which the country launched in 2019.

It will supervise the programmes and initiatives related to AI launched by the state and coordinate with the ministries and relevant authorities in developing plans and programmes “for preparing human cadres in the field of artificial intelligence applications”. Qatar’s National AI Strategy focuses on education, data access, employment, business, research and ethics. It envisages Qatar producing “world-class AI applications” and establishing the country as an efficient consumer of AI, with “a properly educated citizenry, sound laws and ethical guidelines”.

This is one of the latest developments by national governments in the Middle East and North Africa region to accelerate the adoption of AI. In October, Saudi Arabia launched a strategy to train 20,000 AI specialists and experts, have 300 active startups, and attract $20bn in national and foreign investments in AI by 2030. In October 2017, the UAE government unveiled its national AI strategy to support the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071. The UAE’s AI strategy aims to boost government performance in all levels and focus on nine sectors: transport, health,  space, renewable energy, water, technology, education, environment and traffic.

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