The Qatar National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, aims to make the country a global hub for attracting AI talent and encourage local businesses to embrace new AI solutions.
The national AI strategy, based on a blueprint produced by Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), was launched recently at Qatar Information Technology and Communication Conference and Exhibition 2019.
The strategy blueprint says, “Qatar is well positioned to take advantage of the golden opportunity and become a critical player in the AI economy of future. However, we need to act with a sense of urgency to realise this opportunity before it becomes too late as the AI race among countries is becoming very competitive.”
The blueprint, developed by Qatar Centre for Artificial Intelligence, part of QCRI, highlights that AI is likely to be embedded in all aspects of human activity, a phenomenon that can be called “AI+X.” It has become very clear that AI will transform all facets of human society – education, healthcare, transportation, business, entertainment, warfare, and more.
“The strategy aims for strong academic and experiential learning curriculum for the AI future and make Doha as a global hub for attracting “AI+X’ talent. It also looks at AI augmented jobs by encouraging local businesses to embrace new AI solutions. It will help to invest in people and their ideas for Qatar’s future through training, immersive experiences and startup funds,” it continues.
The strategy notes that AI will significantly assist Qatar in its plans for economic diversification to become a knowledge-driven society.
“The National AI strategy of Qatar has six pillars: education, data access, employment, business, research, and ethics. It envisions two roles for Qatar: First, Qatar must become capable of producing world class AI applications in areas of national interest and have a business environment enabling the use AI as a driver for innovation. Second, Qatar must be an efficient consumer of AI, with a properly educated citizenry, sound laws, and ethical guidelines,” it points out.
It recommends that in the AI+X paradigm, AI education should be an integral part of the curriculum at all educational levels in all disciplines. At the K-12 level, younger students should learn to deal with the recommendations of AI and in addition to nurturing local AI talent, Qatar should attract top AI talent in education, research and entrepreneurship.
“Qatar should develop guidelines for data sharing that encourage people with data to share it and make clear the best practices for doing so. The guidelines should spell out the obligations of the receiver of the data. For government entities, these guidelines can be elevated to be mandatory policies. Qatar should launch and lead multilateral level diplomatic efforts for data-sharing among countries,” highlights the strategy.
It also maintains that Qatar can leverage the AI revolution to realise its vision of transforming into a knowledge based economy by carefully investing in strategically important AI technologies.
“Encourage local businesses to embrace new AI solutions. Educate or train Qatari citizens in managing, building and investing in AI solutions for continuously improving the standards of life and economic productivity in Qatar,” suggests the strategy.
It also points out that it is imperative for Qatar to develop local AI solutions in some areas such as: Arabic Language Processing; National Security; Precision Medicine and Systems Biology; Transportation and FIFA World Cup 2022; Food Security and Oil and Gas.