AI plan points to Saudi Arabia's global ambitions, future beyond oil

Saudi Arabia’s national AI strategy aims to not only fuel deployment of new technology and economic opportunities, but to elevate the nation’s geopolitical status.

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Saudi Arabia has laid out an ambitious plan to become a world leader in development and deployment of AI technology by the end of the decade, attracting billions of dollars in investments, fuelling startup growth, training tens of thousands of data and AI specialists, and working with some of the world’s leading IT vendors — including Chinese tech giants Huawei and Ali Baba — in related initiatives such as the building of smart cities.

National leaders view the plan as a central component of the country’s Vision 2030, established in 2016 to reduce reliance on oil revenue and diversify the economy, increase foreign investment in the country and develop public sector services and infrastructure.

The AI plan, officially dubbed National Strategy for Data & AI, was launched last week at the Global AI Summit, a virtual conference organised by the Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA), which will implement the initiative.

 “The National Strategy for Data and AI sets the direction and foundations upon which we will unlock the potential of data and AI to fulfil our national transformation priorities and establish Saudi Arabia as a global hub for data and AI,” said SDAIA President Abdullah Bin Sharaf Alghamdi, in prepared remarks at the summit.

Saudi Arabia's National Strategy for Data & AI

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