Saudi Arabia’s National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) has announced a strategic cooperation with Huawei on the Kingdom’s national AI capability development programme.
NCAI is an arm of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), with responsibility for driving the national AI strategy execution, AI innovation and capabilities building.
Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU), Huawei will support the NCAI to train Saudi AI engineers and students, and to address Arabic language AI-related capabilities.
The partnership will also explore the creation of an AI capability platform to localise technology solutions and aims to create a comprehensive strategy that will develop AI skills and capabilities in line with the aims of the country’s Vision 2030 goals.
The MoU was announced at the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), during the Global AI Summit 2020.
WHY IT MATTERS
The partnership is in line with the NCAI goal to support Saudi Arabia’s National Strategy for Data and AI (NSDAI) and to increase national AI innovation and capabilities.
NCAI and Huawei will also explore the national AI talent cultivation and onboarding programme, which will provide professional training to Saudi university students, researchers and developers, to enable them to master AI technologies and tools.
This ongoing programme is intended to create a supply of qualified AI talent to meet growing demand from public and private sector organisations in Saudi Arabia.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Mouwasat Hospital in Al Khobar, Saudia Arabia was recently awarded Stage 7 on the HIMSS EMRAM, or Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, while Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Hospital in Al Khobar was validated at Stage 6. The EMRAM measures the adoption and maturity of a health facility’s inpatient EMR capabilities from 0 to 7.
ON THE RECORD
Dr Majid Altuwaijri, CEO of NCAI, said: “We welcome this partnership with Huawei which seeks to transform the Saudi workforce so that it can utilise the power of data and AI. This will be done through education, upskilling and reskilling of Saudis to create a steady supply of data and AI-empowered talent for the country’s workforce.
“This initiative will play an important role in supporting the Kingdom in achieving its vision 2030 goals, of which around 70% are directly impacted by the data and AI agenda; and in supporting the national ambition to make Saudi Arabia a world leader in the field of AI.”
Charles Yang, president of Huawei Middle East, commented: “Huawei has adopted an ambitious long-term research and development strategy regarding AI, creating unprecedented opportunities through the synergy of AI with 5G connectivity, cloud, computing, and industry applications. In cooperation with SDAIA, we look forward to creating new value across these tech domains, collaborating with local AI developer and industry partners to transform the Kingdom into a leading data-driven economy.”