The United Arab Emirates has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) council to lead the nation’s foray into the emerging ecosystem.

An official press release disclosed the passing of a law establishing the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council (AIATC) in the UAE. The law, signed by the UAE’s ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, confers powers on the AIATC to formulate and implement AI innovation and adoption policies.

The newly minted council members comprise high-ranking government officials, academia, ethic professionals, and AI executives, with Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan named AIATC Chair.

“The establishment of the AIATC reflects a strong belief in the importance of technological leadership in building the economy of the future,” read the announcement. “The council will develop plans and research programs in collaboration with local and global partners to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status in the fields of artificial intelligence.”

Top on the list for the AIATC is to fast-track the adoption of AI systems across critical sectors of the UAE economy to drive growth. The creation of the council follows the UAE’s drive to diversify its economy from oil to new horizons powered by emerging technologies.

“The council will contribute to enhancing and ensuring the continued development and prosperity of the post-hydrocarbon economy,” according to the official statement.

The UAE has since unveiled its intention to be a leading player in the AI ecosystem within the Gulf as it eyes parity with the United States, China, and the European Union. While its ambitions seem far off, the UAE has taken the first steps toward realizing its goals, embarking on a nationwide AI sensitization initiative to deepen its talent pool.

Alongside the mass rollout of AI educational programs, the government is lowering the barrier of entry for key industry players via the establishment of free economic zones for AI firms. Licensing subsidies of up to 90% have been introduced to support AI and Web3 firms keen on setting up shop in the UAE.

A string of partnerships

UAE enterprises are inking AI partnership agreements with industry-leading stakeholders, with ChatGPT maker OpenAI partnering with G42 to explore novel solutions for AI integration across several sectors.

Etihad Airways, the country’s national carrier, has turned to AI for tighter flight safety protocols, with technology firm Bedu embracing AI for individual and enterprise use cases.

While the UAE has shown a keen commitment to own its AI systems independent of China or the U.S., there are fears that the country may use the technology to crack down on dissent and perpetuate human rights abuses.

In order for artificial intelligence (AI) to work right within the law and thrive in the face of growing challenges, it needs to integrate an enterprise blockchain system that ensures data input quality and ownership—allowing it to keep data safe while also guaranteeing the immutability of data. Check out CoinGeek’s coverage on this emerging tech to learn more why Enterprise blockchain will be the backbone of AI.

Watch: AI & blockchain will be extremely important—here’s why

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