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Technology & Innovation

The Global AI Summit Wraps Up in Riyadh, Reaffirming Saudi Arabia’s Growing Stake in Shaping the Future of AI

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 16

The second-ever Global AI Summit [ ] concluded today, affirming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s recognition of, and investment in, the rising importance of artificial intelligence (AI). The three-day global event gathered prominent leaders and experts in AI to discuss opportunities and limitations posed by the technology. Hosted by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), the Summit attracted more than 15,000 participants, and 200+ speakers from over 90 countries.

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“We are witnessing the exponential growth of AI and its potential benefits for society today and tomorrow,” said H.E. Dr. Esam Alwagait, Director of the National Information Center in Saudi Arabia, said in the closing remarks. “Together, we can build a pioneering model that unlocks the value of data and AI that will propel knowledge-based economies, solve challenges and provide a brighter future for generations.”

Highly esteemed business leaders and academic experts spoke at the Summit, including Amin Nasser, CEO of Aramco, Dr. Junaid Bajwa, Chief Medical Scientist of Microsoft Research, Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Kitty Hawk, and Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber, Director of AI Initiative at KAUST.

While the Summit showcased the potential of AI, it also spurred more immediate action. On opening day, member states of the Digital Cooperation Organization finalized and signed the Riyadh AI Call for Action Declaration, outlining their long-term vision for harnessing AI to benefit people, communities, nations, and the world as a whole. The next day, Saudi Arabia announced it would join the World Bank’s Digital Development Partnership, which helps bring AI technologies to developing countries.

Today, the Summit concluded by launching a new joint initiative between SDAIA and Google Cloud aimed at empowering women to occupy roles in AI and machine learning. The program will provide free training to 25,000 women over the course of five years with the goal of increasing the proportion of women working in the field.

In total, more than 40 partnerships and memorandum of understanding were signed at the Summit. These partnerships, together with the conclusion of the Summit, mark the Kingdom’s steady progress towards its Vision 2030 [ ] goal.

This material is being distributed by Edelman on behalf of Veyron Company, Ltd. a representative for the Saudi Data Artificial Intelligence Agency (SDAIA). Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington D.C.