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Artificial Intelligence to grow exponentially in the UAE

I Robot? I don’t mind. The UAE’s population is increasingly at home interacting with artificial intelligence (AI) assistants when dealing with government agencies and local businesses, more so than their international peers, according to new research from Accenture. Which is just as well, given that such interactions are likely to increase exponentially in the future.

Accenture said that 76 per cent of consumers in the UAE are comfortable with the use of AI in their interactions with government organisations and businesses, with 68 per cent of residents having interacted with computer-based applications in the last 12 months.

Such percentages are significantly higher than the global average, according to Accenture’s Technology Vision 2017 report, which surveyed digital trends across 31 countries worldwide between November and January.

Interactions between UAE residents and AI-assisted interfaces are set to increase dramatically; ninety per cent of respondents in Accenture’s survey agreed that offering products and services through centralised platforms or assistants will be extremely or very important to the future success of their organization.

Earlier this year, Smart Dubai signed an agreement with IBM to establish a Cognitive Center of Competence in the emirate, which will see the deeper embedding of AI into a range of government services.

The UAE’s banks are increasingly looking to AI and other digital technologies to enhance customer services and cut costs; Mashreq Bank told The National last week it would shed 10 per cent of its workforce in the next year, as investments in AI had lessened the lender’s reliance on human resources. Emirates NBD and ADIB have also announced increases in their digital spend.

“In the region, there is a real push towards increased digitalisation, thanks to the leadership’s visionary agenda,” said Omar Boulos, regional managing director for Accenture in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

However, while the region strives to become the smartest in the world, the findings of Accenture’s report are clear: technology must not replace humans, instead both must work together symbiotically to complement each other’s aptitudes. As problems become more abstract, local business leaders must seize new opportunities, embrace new solutions and leverage strategic partnerships and this can only happen if they use technology to support their most valuable asset, their human capital.”

The publication of Accenture’s report coincides with the opening of the Gitex Technology Week in Dubai on Sunday. Around 150,000 attendees are expected at the exhibition and conference, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, which concludes on Thursday.

Source: The National

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