Saudi Arabia has cottoned on to the value that its data can provide. The kingdom has now signed off on its Artificial intelligence policy, with the intention to bring about significant cost benefits. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has approved Saudi Arabia’s strategy for Artificial Intelligence, which is expected to contribute an estimated 500 billion riyals to gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.

The value of Saudi Arabia’s data and AI economy is currently estimated at 15 billion to 20 billion riyals, and there is an opportunity to generate additional revenues and savings of over 40 billion riyals using these insights to help guide government decisions.

It was in August last year that the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) was set up by a Royal Decree. The entity oversees the National Data Management Office, the National Information Center, and the National Center for Artificial Intelligence.

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“The establishment of a national data bank consolidated more than 80 government datasets, which corresponds to 30 per cent of government’s digital assets,” said Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al Ghamdi, President of SDAIA, who was quoted in the Saudi media.

“The Authority aims to build one of the largest clouds in the region by merging 83 data centres owned by over 40 government bodies.

“Data is the single most important driver of our growth and reform, and we have a clear roadmap for transforming Saudi Arabia into a leading AI and data-driven economy.”