What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a transformative technology of the 21st century and one of the main arenas in which the world's nations will compete. The CEO of Google has stated that AI may be "more important than fire or electricity." This is an exaggeration, but it has become very clear that AI will transform all facets of human society – education, healthcare, transportation, business, entertainment, warfare, and more.
Qatar needs an overarching Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy that supports the national vision and is rooted in its local context. This strategy seeks to leverage AI to secure Qatar’s economic and strategic future and prepare the society for effective adoption of AI technology that is aligned with local needs and traditions.
The AI strategy is focused on six thematic pillars that together will guide Qatar towards the transition to an AI future. Currently, there is a growing consensus that AI technology will permeate all aspects of human life: health, entertainment, business activity, education and research. Modern AI focuses on using data as a strategic resource.
Raw data should be coupled with the technology's ability to produce new AI-based products that will transform the normative basis of how societies operate. Qatar, which has invested heavily in education and research infrastructure, is poised to play a pioneering role in the future of AI.
Pillars of Qatar AI Strategy
Qatar National AI Strategy 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 allowing for the use of 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.
The National AI strategy would be a powerful technological enabler for the Qatar National Vision 2030, which is built on four pillars: economic, social, human, and environmental, and AI is indispensable for all the four pillars. For example, the economic pillar calls for the development of a "knowledge-based economy." By investing in AI education and home-grown AI solutions, the effort to ground the economy on knowledge capital can be accelerated. Similarly, developing an endogenous AI-based capacity for promoting transportation efficiency can help reduce pollution and foster environmental development.
Qatar advanced in the global ranking index for the Artificial Intelligence Index, as it ranked 29th, with a growth rate of 37% compared to the last classification.
In 2019, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology approved the outline of the national strategy for AI presented by the Qatar Computing Research Institute of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, as this strategy is the first of its kind between the government and a research center.
The strategy aims to shift to artificial intelligence and harness it to secure Qatar's economic and strategic future, thus continuing its progress in the transition to a sustainable knowledge-based economy.
Qatar is a forward-looking nation and has a clearly stated vision of using its economic advantage derived from fossil fuels to transform itself into a knowledge-based economy. Indeed, the investments that Qatar has already made in research and development efforts in AI can serve as a foundation to build strong capabilities in the area and provide a head start to make globally recognized AI-based solutions.
For more information, please check the detailed file of Qatar National AI Strategy.