artificial intelligence (AI) presentation
Economies and markets are racing to make best use cases of AI and its various avatars. Dubai has made a good start with its AI blueprint. Image Credit: Bloomberg

When we first began Dubai Silicon Oasis as a business and residential community project, we stood before a blank canvas. Over time, just as AI has adapted, weaving intricate designs from vast datasets, DSO too has transformed.

From sparse beginnings, it blossomed into a vibrant, green community with a local economy, flush with life and innovation. In under a decade, what was once stretches of sand has become a thriving hub of innovation and sustainability, showcasing what planning and technology can achieve together.

AI has a similar masterplan. Just recently, there was the launch of the ‘Dubai Universal Blueprint for AI’, which is aimed to accelerate the outcomes of the D33 Agenda and complement efforts at doubling the size of the economy. This will bring a more structured approach to increasing productivity and scale the adoption of innovative solutions, such as AI’s latest spin-off - Generative AI.

Just as we needed the right conditions to grow our community, Generative AI innovators must also seek out the right ecosystem, equipped with talent, support, and access to capital to continue developing new tools at a rapid pace.

Power of Generative AI

AI that can create images and text with human-made quality has amassed attention over the last two years, with business leaders, investors and general society buzzing over the generative technology. But the power of generative AI extends beyond its headline-making uses.

The technology can aid insurers in risk management, improve healthcare efficiencies and patient outcomes, and even create new wealth management and financial services.

Generative AI has found uses in tasks such as malware detection, recommendation engines, and forecasting models to create new content such as text, code, image, simulations, and video based on the user text input (text-to-x), opening a broad spectrum of applications across industries.

Significantly, it is seeing growth on two major fronts. On one, there is an evolving application landscape across sectors, and on the other is a continuous improvement in AI models with a shift towards multimodality.

AI ecosystems

As Generative AI systems are deployed, a new value chain is emerging. While the incredibly complex systems that demand time, cost, and expertise to deliver have created a path to entry for smaller companies across the value chain, McKinsey projects that many areas of the value chain will continue to be dominated by tech giants for the foreseeable future.

“The breakneck pace at which generative AI technology is evolving and new use cases are coming to market has left investors and business leaders scrambling to understand the generative AI ecosystem,” a McKinsey analysis finds.

With firms of all sizes now finding their niche, governments are teaming up with the private sector to establish environments where these businesses can thrive. By creating dedicated Generative AI ecosystems, startups and established tech players can test new tools in a safe environment that allows for scaling and an important aspect in these ecosystems is a specialised IT infrastructure.

According to GlobalData’s report Generative AI Watch: IT Services Providers Invest to Help Customers Implement Gen AI: “IT services providers are developing platforms to help stream adoption of Generative AI by their enterprise customers. Several have launched centres of excellence, partnered with large language model (LLM) creators, and formulated responsible AI frameworks.”

AI in Dubai

Entities like economic zone Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) have put the AI ecosystem creation front and centre. Its creation of a specialised cluster to welcome and nurture firms looking to build and scale pioneering generative AI solutions, for example, has proven a successful model in the pursuit of this.

Seeking to support startups, scale-ups and multinational companies, the cluster leverages the free zone’s infrastructure, facilities, research, funding, and talent access to ensure each business is exposed to growth opportunities in local and international markets.

But then Dubai has always been a strong advocate for technological advancement. Keen to utilise technology to improve the lives of its residents as well as strengthen the economy, the embracing of AI further cements Dubai’s status as a prime advocate for new tech.

With this, Dubai can pave the way in Generative AI, and the latest tech trends in the region are reflective of the city’s dedication to maintaining its position as a leading AI innovator.

For entrepreneurs, AI initiatives such as those found in DSO can help to not only unlock data-driven decision-making and a competitive advantage, but also help to accelerate business growth in the global market.