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Smart Dubai and DED launch Watson-based service

Saad service will answer inquiries about business licensing using IBM Watson cognitive computing

The Saad service will simplify processes for business registration, says Dr Aisha bin Bishr.
The Saad service will simplify processes for business registration, says Dr Aisha bin Bishr.

Smart Dubai and the Dubai Department of Economic Development have launched their first city service using IBM's Watson cognitive computing system.

The ‘Saad' service will allow users from the business community to ask questions and get up-to-date answers on business licensing and registration in Dubai processes.

By using the Watson technology, Saad is able to understand natural language; rapidly analyse and verify massive data stores; interpret data; and provide answers. The system will allow investors, entrepreneurs and business owners to ask natural language questions and get information based on the latest information available in DED information resources.

Saad will be available on the DED website and the DubaiNow app. Users can submit questions in audio format or written format.

For its pilot deployment, Saad has been trained to respond to business licensing and registration queries. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time, to improve the quality of answers.

The service was developed by Smart Dubai Office, the Smart Dubai Government Establishment and the Department of Economic Development, in collaboration with IBM.

HE Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development, said that the service will simplify and streamline enquiries.

"Saad positions Dubai on the global stage as a smart and competitive destination for new business. It provides customers with an advanced self-service option to get fast and appropriate responses to all their questions relating to the services of the Department of Economic Development and its agencies, namely, Dubai Exports, Dubai FDI and Dubai SME," he said.

"By becoming smart in our service delivery and engaging with the public and business community, through modern technology and digital services, we are contributing to Dubai's smart city vision and making Dubai the preferred business destination for the 21st century," he said.

Commenting on the announcement, Her Excellency Dr. Aisha bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, said: "We are consistently guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai the happiest city on earth. At Smart Dubai, we are working to achieve this vision by embracing the latest technology innovation to improve quality of life and access to opportunity in Dubai. Supported by IBM Watson's cognitive computing capabilities, Saad will significantly improve the business environment in Dubai.

Dr. Aisha bin Bishr highlighted the benefits that the new service will provide by simplifying the business licensing and registration process and boosting entrepreneurship through a smarter economy. "Today marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to make Dubai an international leader for innovative economic conditions fuelling entrepreneurship and global competitiveness," Dr. Aisha said.

Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, the technology arm of Smart Dubai, said, "Cognitive computing is the future of technology. Supported by new machine learning technology, Saad is powering opportunities for enriched customer engagement and efficient mining of big data that can accelerate innovation and enhance decision making for customers, businesses and city leaders. Cognitive computing will make city experiences more seamless, safe, efficient and impactful in line with the vision of Smart Dubai."

SDG, DED and IBM will continue with their partnership to develop more cognitive computing solutions in future.

"Our collaboration with the Smart Dubai Office, Smart Dubai Government Establishment and Department of Economic Development to offer entrepreneurs a government service app powered by IBM Watson's cognitive technology is a clear demonstration of Dubai's direction towards a smart and cognitive city. Watson allows organisations to harness the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better and faster and also solve complex challenges," said Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan.