Dubai launches 'Cognitive City' strategy

Program with IBM will aim to make Dubai the AI city of the future

Tags: Artifical intelligenceCognitive computingIBM (www.ibm.com)Smart Dubai Office (www.smartdubai.ae)United Arab Emirates
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Dubai launches 'Cognitive City' strategy Dr Aisha Bin Bishr announced Smart Dubai Office's new cognitive computing strategy for Dubai. (ITP Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  March 27, 2017

Smart Dubai Office has announced plans to make Dubai the first ‘Cognitive City', with artificial intelligence (AI), embedded in government services and experiences city-wide.

Speaking at the launch of Smart Dubai's cognitive computing strategy today, HE Dr Aisha Bin BIshr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office, said that Dubai is entering a new phase of digital transformation, where cognitive computing will enable more efficient, seamless, secure, and more impactful experiences.

The cognitive initiative will be carried out in partnership with IBM, and Smart Dubai also announced the opening of a Cognitive Computing Lab with IBM to support the strategy.

Dr Bin Bishr said that the strategy is intended to bring a collaborative focus to Dubai AI programs: "To achieve the promise of cognitive computing, we have to take a different approach, in the past we began with independent solutions which we then merged, but to achieve our goal of making Dubai a cognitive city, we must work together from day one."

The initiative will build on the experience of Dubai Economic Department, which launched the Saad AI service last year, as an AI assistant for businesses looking to set up in Dubai. Under the plans for a cognitive Dubai, Saad will be expanded to become a ‘city concierge'

HE Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment, said that the initiative will make Dubai "the AI city of the Future", with artificial intelligence embedded throughout government functions.

As part of the strategy, Lootah unveiled the roadmap for cognitive development, which aims to have Dubai government entities developing use cases and proof-of-concepts before the end of this year, ready to launch live city services in 2018.

Smart Dubai and IBM will develop a City AI enablement layer, which will create a centralised platform to enable AI in government solutions. Government organisations will also be able to embed AI within processes and experiences for the city.

Lootah also announced the first AI lab for Dubai, which will be operated in partnership with IBM. The Cognitive Lab will focus on three areas: skills development around cognitive computing, experience and prototype building and go-to-market support.

The lab will help to develop skills for AI for around 270 government personnel, and will also provide tools, resources and a sandbox environment to develop AI and cognitive solutions.

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