UAE government launches AI summer camp

DUBAI, 13th May, 2018 (WAM) — Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, announced the organisation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) summer camp, in collaboration with a number of leading national and international technology and education companies in the private sector.

The organisation of the camp is part of the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence initiatives, which aims to support the strategic direction of the UAE in this field, supporting the efforts of knowledge transfer and building a generation capable of adopting advanced technology in developing solutions for various future challenges.

Al Olama stressed that this AI specialised camp is the first of its kind in the Arab region. The camp will focus on developing mechanisms to apply the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, which aims to make the UAE a leading country in the recruitment of artificial intelligence technologies in various vital sectors.

The Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence noted that creating an advanced generation and a high value market in the region, while supporting private sector initiatives and increasing productivity, as well as achieving economic returns that contribute to the welfare of society and strengthen the global leadership of the UAE, require promoting the concept of artificial intelligence and building capacities of government staff and national youth in the field of AI. This can be achieved through strategic international partnerships, providing the best qualification and training on tools and future skills.

Al Olama valued the efforts of the strategic partners and participating companies in the camp, including Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Careem, Autodesk, Cypron, Ajyal, GEMS Education, and Eventtus.

The summer camp programme will be divided into two phases, the first is in partnership with the private sector and hosted by Dubai Future Accelerators and the Dubai Future Academy, and the second is in partnership with the government sector and is organised over all the UAE regions. All efforts will be focused on empowering next generation to lead AI and transform it into a strategic power that supports economy and boosts the UAE position globally in all fields.

Registration will be open for the target segments of high school students and universities in June, and is expected to attract more than 3,500 students, who will spend the months of July and August in the camp, undergoing programmes and practical and theoretical workshops in various locations and places in the UAE.

For their part, the strategic partners stressed that the Summer Camp for Artificial Intelligence is a great initiative for the UAE governments, which seeks to achieve the best results in adopting this future technology and transfer them to new practical dimensions of application that contribute to the promotion of vital sectors and improve the quality of life.

Sayed Hashish, Region General Manager, Microsoft Gulf, said, “Our participation in this initiative by Dubai Future Foundation, reiterates Microsoft’s commitment in supporting UAE’s approach to implementing its Artificial Intelligence strategy, which will focus on core industries and areas such as transportation, healthcare, space, renewable energy, technology and education. Today’s youth is the workforce of tomorrow, and we look forward to extending our support in upskilling our future generations to prepare them for the jobs of the future. We look forward to contributing our efforts to support UAE in harnessing the power of AI and the intelligent cloud, enabling the nation to building a future-ready workforce, accelerate innovation and increase economic competitiveness.”

“As a leading tech company for the region, AI is fast becoming integral to our business as we continue to grow and diversify. With the benefits it can bring to our business intelligence, customer service and digital technologies, AI is now a core focus for Careem. We are both proud and excited to be partnering with the office of AI and the UAE Government in their mission to raise awareness of AI and to become a global leader in the field,” said Magnus Olsson, Chief Xperience Officer and Co-Founder Careem.

“The UAE government’s vision represents a very solid strong reference for innovation opportunities, where technology can be tailored to serve human needs and society development. It is an honour for Sypron Solutions to be part of this tech revolution represented in the cooperation with the Minister of AI. The ministry initiative to launch an AI based summer camp is a very valuable step towards helping future developers build their own tomorrow and we believe this will illuminates the road for others to initiate similar programs that supports youth innovation,” Ibrahim Ouda, MD and Executive Manager, Sypron Solutions.

“Human intelligence will carry on to play a central role in harnessing Artificial Intelligence,” said Mai Medhat, CEO and Co-founder of Eventtus, the official mobile app partner for UAE Artificial Intelligence Summer Camp. “Although we believe that human and machine will always be more powerful together, working collaboratively, we know the next generation must evolve to stay competitive in this changing futuristic workforce.”

“There is a big gap between the idea to do something good for the society and the action to actually do something.” Mai stresses that this gap will be bridged if the next generation becomes aware and takes responsibility to finally become an active participant of the development and progress of artificial intelligence for the common good. This presents the starting point for an integral piece of the government sector transformation into AI, and realizing the UAE Centennial 2071 initiative.

“GEMS Education is committed to teaching our students about the exponential growth of technology and its impact on both society and workforce of the future. Understanding AI is an essential component of this and features as a unique part of our future focused curriculum. We are delighted to be a key educational partner with the Ministry of AI on this exciting venture,” according to Michael Gernon, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Innovation, GEMS Education Technologies such as Artificial intelligence are changing the way people design and make things. We believe education is key to preparing the next generation to thrive in a future that will require people to make and build more, better, with less negative impact on the world. Government of Dubai is placing a huge emphasis on developing first-rate education systems, and we are proud to work with Dubai Future Foundation to empower students on a journey of lifelong learning through problem-solving, collaboration and design thinking More than 680 million students and educators from around the world have free access to Autodesk’s professional software and services for use in classrooms, labs and at home. Young students are pushing the boundaries of design and innovation both inside and outside of the classroom using the same Autodesk design software used by professionals every day.

From his side, Amr Refaat, IBM General Manager, Middle East & Pakistan, commented: “AI is now a big game changer in the global economy; and the UAE government has been a leader in realizing the shift globally towards this technology, and the importance of unleashing the greatest value from data to create unique opportunities and improved experiences.” He added: “Such initiative is vital for creating skilled calibers who are capable to explore the potential of AI for the creation of innovative services and entirely new business models that can transform the world in dramatic ways in the coming years. It will furthermore generate new jobs opportunities in the UAE that require new skills that our workforce must be equipped with; at IBM, we call it ‘new collar’ jobs.”

“We are excited and proud to be partnering up with the Minister of Artificial Intelligence to bring AI education to youth throughout the UAE. At Ajyal, we aim to empower students with the knowledge and skills of the future, and AI is the future,” said Saeed Basweidan, CEO of Ajyal Talent Management.

Gergi Abboud, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SAP in Middle East South, praised the UAE Government’s efforts and the AI Summer Camp.

“Upskilling young talent especially in Artificial Intelligence will have a direct impact in reinforcing the UAE’s position as a leader, not only in consuming technology, but also developing and exporting it to the world,” said Abboud.

“We are proud at SAP to support this initiative and help drive forward the technological advancement roadmap and dedicate as much sources as possible to assist the new generation in realising their dreams, especially those related to Artificial Intelligence,” added Abboud.

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