Police look to AI, robots to make Dubai the world's safest big city

As part of the Smart Dubai 2021 initiative, Dubai Police are developing AI applications and ‘robocops’. They're also working to overcome concerns of the residents they are serving.

al razooqi
Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi

When the UAE government launched its Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in 2017, the first of its type in the region, the goal was to promote government productivity and innovation. So far, the results in Dubai -- where robot cops patrol the streets -- suggest that the AI plan did indeed shake things up.

In line with the UAE initiative, the Dubai Police approved its own Strategic Plan for Artificial Intelligence (2018-21), aiming to develop AI techniques and tools designed to make Dubai the world's most secure major city, served by innovative, smart services.

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, director of the Artificial Intelligence Department of the Dubai Police, says that the plan involves a balanced approach to policing, stressing that the basic pillars of the strategy include customer services as well as criminal investigation.

"The way we are implementing this strategy is by understanding the potential of different use cases, assessing the maturity of technology, and making sure we cover all the pillars," Al Razooqi says. The Dubai Police are taking a step-by-step approach to each type of application. "We refer to the final set of use cases as an AI wave. Once we are done with the first wave, we start another and so on."

Gaining public trust is key to police use of AI

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