The influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) on organizations and our environment is undeniable—from personalized suggestions to predictive analytics for business insight. Saudi Arabia is establishing high-speed broadband and 5G rollout, data access, and a security environment favourable to AI. Through several smart city projects like NEOM, it is also encouraging early adoption of AI and Big data ideas and technologies to accelerate creative solutions.
The Saudi Arabian Big Data and AI Market was estimated to be worth USD 164.98 million in 2020; by 2026, it is anticipated to have grown to USD 891.74 million, exhibiting a CAGR of 32.6% during the five-year period from 2021 to 2026.
Artificial Intelligence & Vision 2030
Vision 2030 is the Kingdom’s ambition to transform into a knowledge-based society, diversify its oil-based economy, and establish itself as a centre for technological advancement. AI is one of its key pillars. Surprisingly, 70 percent of the 96 strategic objectives in Vision 2030 have a direct relationship with AI.
The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) has been at the forefront of enhancing AI adoption and has made significant contributions to creating the ideal conditions for the growth of a complete AI ecosystem.
SDAIA runs through three centres. They are the National Data Management Office (NDMO), The National Information Center (NIC), the operator of data infrastructure and AI-powered analytics, and The National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI), the driver of AI innovations.
The NCAI focuses on advancing AI innovation by coordinating AI research, creating AI solutions, offering strategic AI advisor services to the government, and improving AI education. Additionally, the NDMO digitizes national data as a national asset. The NIC offers the nation’s government entities the current technological services and digital solutions.
Why Artificial Intelligence is Important to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia intends to foster sustainable development. To promote AI usage in the industrial and carbon capture areas across Saudi Arabia, SDAIA and IBM have forged a strategic partnership. The deal states that IBM, the Ministry of Energy, and SDAIA will utilize artificial intelligence technologies to identify, map, and ultimately lower carbon emissions across the nation.
2.Promoting local AI ecosystem
The oil giant Saudi Aramco signed a $250 million deal with Beyond Limits, a California-based artificial intelligence technology startup, to create a global AI corridor. Through the commercialization of sophisticated AI solutions, the development of Saudi talent, and support for Saudi companies, the global AI corridor will build an ecosystem in the Kingdom.
The Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence (SCAI) and Lean, a top supplier of healthcare management systems, have agreed to pursue the creation of AI-powered healthcare solutions for Saudi Arabia. The two parties will work together to advance AI-driven technology and provide cutting-edge healthcare solutions.
4.AI-powered smart cities
With the goal of expanding the use of AI in building smarter, safer, and healthier cities, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) introduced a new competition named “SMARTATHON.” In addition to constructing AI-powered smart cities, Saudi Arabia also sponsored the automation of 4,000 industries to reduce its dependence on low-skilled labour.
Currently, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning play huge roles in our lives. Saudi Arabia is one of the nations that has decided to invest heavily in the industry. This move is necessary to actualize its Vision 2030.