RIYADH: The Line, the flagship development in Saudi Arabia’s $500-billion mega-city project NEOM, will make use of artificial intelligence technology to the fullest, according to its CEO, Nadhmi Al Nasr.
While talking at the Global AI Summit on Sept. 13 in Riyadh, Al Nasr noted that the strategic works and the planning phase of NEOM were successful, and execution is progressing steadily.
“After finishing the strategies, we moved to the planning year. Converting strategy to planning was not an easy job. That was during the end of 2021. In 2022, we call it the execution mission. Now, we have the strategy, the plan and we have the talents and leadership to execute,” said Al-Nasr.
Al-Nasr noted that construction at NEOM started nine months ago.
He said: “Three to four weeks ago, we announced The Line. It is a future world that will go live fully on artificial intelligence.”
He said that over 10 million people will be accommodated in NEOM, and everything that happens within the city will be monitored and enabled by AI technologies.
He pointed out that NEOM aims to bring a revolution in urban design planning and livability.
Al-Nasr added that people from 78 different nationalities are currently living in NEOM. “Today, we have 78 nationalities living in NEOM, with their families and kids. You do not see them because they are busy there,” he said.
He further noted that NEOM will bring together the best talents globally and regionally, as it pursues its AI ambitions.
RIYADH: As Saudi Arabia plans to build 200 smart cities, it has launched a new challenge called “SMARTATHON” with an aim to extend the usage of Artificial Intelligence in creating smarter, safer, and healthier cities.
“We today announce the launch of SMARTATHON, the smart cities challenge,” said Abdullah Al Ghamdi, head of Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, during the Global AI Summit in Riyadh on Sept. 14.
This comes as Majid Al Hogail, minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, revealed the plans to unveil a number of smart cities in the Kingdom in partnership with SDAIA.
Our dream is to have more than 200 smart cities in Saudi Arabia using AI, in areas of parking, special planning and the most important is the citizens’ engagement, and how that will improve the quality of service in our country,” Al Hogail stated.
The Global AI Summit, which runs from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, is exploring the impact of AI on topics as crucial as economic mobility, health care, human capability development, and smart cities.
RIYADH: Google has reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia to help implement artificial intelligence sustainable solutions and cutting-edge technologies in the Kingdom.
The Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, in partnership with the global business, has established AI programs and initiatives for the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
The agreement covers three programs and 11 initiatives, according to Mansour bin Hilal Al-Mushaiti, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of environment, water and agriculture.
Al-Mushaiti also announced the launch of an AI-based Earth Observation and Sciences Program aimed at addressing climate change risks and improving environmental protection in Saudi Arabia and beyond.
He said finding solutions would not be an easy task as food and water must be provided while the environment is preserved — the importance of balancing industrial growth and economic development with protecting the environment is equally crucial for the Kingdom’s future, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Artificial Intelligence will aid in accelerating multi-progress and achieving sustainability goals aligned with Vision 2030,” Al-Mushaiti said.
AI is also expected to contribute to the transformation of society, economy, and nation into a digital one.
“It is necessary to implement disruptive solutions that will enable us to depart from the old legacy and implement state-of-the-art technologies and deploy artificial intelligence when, where, and how needed,” he added.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance has signed a number of financing agreements with several local banks, amounting to SR25 billion ($6.6 billion) to execute infrastructure projects by the National Debt Management Center.
The infrastructure projects are scheduled to start in 2023 and 2024, according to a statement.
In line with Saudi 2030 Vision, this comes as part of the ministry’s aim towards enabling and supporting strategic infrastructure projects.
RIYADH: Saudi banks will continue to stand strong despite rising interest rates globally, the CEO of one of the Kingdom’s biggest banks told Argaam.
Tony Cripps, head of the Saudi British Bank, known as SABB, sees a positive outlook for the Kingdom’s banking and overall economic growth.
According to the executive, Saudi banks are unlikely to witness pressures during the second half of 2022, unlike global peers who are suffering from the consequences of rising inflation.
He expects lending to be healthy in the coming period of 2022, as was the case in the first six months, adding that retail loans did not see a slowdown.
In a separate announcement, Cripps revealed SABB’s strategy for environmental, social, and governance as one of the main pillars of its 2025 strategy.
“As one of the largest financial institutions in the Kingdom, we are committed to supporting the government’s vision in its path to achieve this transformation, which will push companies to invest in technology, and grow their businesses with sustainability as the main driver,” he said.
Saudi-listed SABB recorded a 10 percent profit surge to SR2.1 billion ($559 million) for the year’s first half, largely due to a rise in operating income.
RIYADH: The Digital Cooperation Organization agreed to adopt the “Riyadh AI Call for Action Declaration” following a ministerial roundtable held during the Global AI Summit on Sept. 13.
The declaration seeks to use AI technology to benefit people, communities, nations, and the world as a whole, a press release said.
The DCO is a global digital organization founded in 2020 by seven member states—Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia — but has recently added Morocco, Djibouti, and Rwanda to its ranks
The call to action aims to advance the DCO’s commitment to identify and address present, emerging and future humanitarian issues in the field of AI, the statement said.
“DCO was created with the ethos of establishing an inclusive digital economy through collaboration across diverse entities at all levels. The RAICA declaration is this idea put into practice,” Secretary General of DCO, Deemah Al-Yahya, said.
All members of DCO signed the declaration.
She added: “By signing this declaration, all DCO member states are reaffirming their shared desire to usher in a brighter future for all by harnessing the huge potential of AI to improve the lives of people around the world.”
The declaration consists of seven pillars, each comprised of principles that aim to address methods to ensure that the benefits of AI are enjoyed by all while harming none.
Today DCO adopted the Riyadh AI Call for Action Declaration at the @globalaisummit, which seeks to use AI technology to benefit the world.
We thank all our member states for their continued cooperation and support!
Download the RAICA declaration here: https://t.co/DU8xJnJezt pic.twitter.com/qbxIaS220m
Seven Pillars of the RAICA
As the DCO has developed a series of action areas to help these pillars to be implemented, it said the member countries will push to provide all individuals with the resources they need.
The aim is to help individuals obtain AI literacy, work with organizations to identify how to employ AI to advance human rights, improve digital infrastructure, and adopt comprehensive AI ethical guidelines, the statement added.
Resources also aim to help them develop AI-supported initiatives to address global challenges, use AI to reduce human impact on the climate and set up a multilateral collaboration to accelerate AI accessibility across nations.