The UAE has had a cabinet reshuffle, and it looks like the government is now very much future focused…

Last year the UAE got a Minister of Happiness, and now, in another world first, the country has a Minister of Artificial Intelligence – an acknowledgement by the Emirates that these are the technologies that are going to change the world around us, and quickly.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, announced a full cabinet reshuffle today, and as part of that 27-year-old Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama has been announced as the Minister of AI.

Al Olama has been working as the Deputy Director of the Future Department for just over a year now, and he has been on the Executive Committee of the World Government Summit since 2014. He has a BBA from the American University of Dubai, and a diploma of excellence and project management from the American University in Sharjah.

This announcement comes just a few days after the UAE announced their UAE 2031 AI strategy, which aims to make the government more efficient and streamlined by relying on AI technologies:

How will the AI plan affect you? Well, they plan to use AI to not only streamline costs, but to also bolster education and a desire to learn; to reduce accidents on the roads; and to create savings in the energy industry. We’re sure more will be released on the 2031 strategy in the years to come.

Okay, great, but what is AI?

We all know it’s important, but let’s be honest, many of us don’t actually understand it. Basically, AI is the simulation (or betterment?) of human intelligence in machines.

Here’s a basic explainer that manages to cover a lot in just a few minutes. Remember, deep learning is key (and you’re involved in it every day without even realising when you Google, use Siri, type into your phone, etc)…

Also, AI won’t necessarily always need us: Google has just unveiled that its AI product AlphaGo Zero took just three days to become a master of Chinese board game Go, and with no human input or help.

AI is a complex subject, sure, but it’s one you’ll be hearing more and more on in the next few years.

That’s not the future plan the government is working on…

– The Dubai Government plans on issuing its last paper transaction by 2021, going entirely digital.

– The UAE is planning to establish the first inhabitable human settlement in Mars by 2117.

– Dubai aims to produce 75 per cent of its energy requirements from clean sources by 2050.

– Dubai is planning that, by 2030, 25 per cent of the total transportation in the emirate will be autonomous.

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Images: Getty & Supplied