An AI-powered drone from Sharjah Police at the forum Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: UAE government departments and private sector representatives have shared how the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is overcoming challenges to enhance security and services for residents.

They shared their experiences during the Sheraa AI Forum co-organised by Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) recently at its headquarters. Several other entities partnered with Sheraa to organise the event.

The Forum was held in the presence of Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police; Mohammed Bin Taliah, Chief of Government Services of the UAE Government; Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa; a representative of the office of the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, and executives from the government and private sectors.

The forum also brought together 150 Emirati youth, entrepreneurs and tech founders to share best practices in the AI field. During the event, Sharjah Police and Sheraa startups shared their experiences in utilising AI in their products and solutions.

Supporting smart projects

In a recorded video message, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, said: “The UAE supports projects and digital economy sectors that utilise AI in its workflow and services, which are aligned with the goals and vision of the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031.”

The Minister added: “Through such forums and programme, we aim to achieve a leading digital economy and to create constructive partnerships between various institutions and entities to develop distinguished digital solutions that raise the quality of life and advance government and private sector services.”

Challenges create opportunities

Maj Gen Al Shamsi said: “Despite the diversity of future challenges, AI and machine learning contribute to enhancing services and opportunities in various fields.”

He added: “We are ready to collaborate with Sheraa to build AI projects in the security field and its related services and we will provide continuous support until they are live. In constructive collaboration with our partners, our goal is to complement and support efforts to maintain security.”

Youth and inspiration

Bin Taliah said the UAE government, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is supporting a new generation of futuristic and digital governmental services through utilising modern technologies and innovative solutions to accelerate digital transformation and providing best services around the clock to enhance quality of life in the community.

Mohammed Bin Taliah during his speech at the forum Image Credit: Supplied

Bin Taliah mentined the UAE’s government experience in using biometric fingerprints in the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security’s smart app, which contributed to saving thousands of hours of time of both customers and employees.

A gateway to innovation

Al Midfa said: “Today, we stand on the brink of a technological revolution that is evolving at an exponential pace. AI is already all around us; it has the potential to increase the efficiency of our lives even more in the coming years. This will usher in an unprecedented era of innovation as businesses adapt to new models and new patterns of consumer behaviour emerge, requiring agile entrepreneurs and innovators to accelerate ways to serve these needs.”

AI in policing

In a presentation at the forum, Sharjah Police highlighted the organisation’s five incubators that are helping transform 50 ideas into real projects. Sharjah Police showcased products and solutions utilising AI to streamline operations and advance security in the emirate, including smart speed cameras, drones, and unmanned aerial vehicles used in hard-to-reach places.

They also demonstrated the smart traffic patrol equipped with five cameras, including one that uses biometrics to identify individuals. It is also equipped with a drone and a landing pad.

AI as decision maker?

During a panel discussion, Nadim Shaikli, Vice President - Technology and Solutions, Evoteq, emphasised the need to advance expertise and qualified cadres, and research more ways to incorporate AI across sectors to accelerate to the advanced state of “machine emotional intelligence”.

He pointed out that with exponential developments in the AI sector, humankind has advanced machine intelligence to a level where it can make simple decisions, adding that rapid advancements in the field are paving the way for machines and robots to make more complex decisions.

Describing his vision of the future of AI, he said that the world is on the verge of machine emotional intelligence where advanced AI leads to making difficult decisions and implementing them without human intervention, based on the machine’s understanding of emotions and external circumstances.

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Staying updated

In another panel discussion, speakers including Professor Abbes Amira, Dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of Sharjah; Dr Fadi Aloul, Dean of the College of Engineering, American University of Sharjah; and Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President for Public Affairs and Alumni Relations at the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, discussed the importance of keeping scientific courses up-to-date with technical developments, especially in AI, and the role of universities in building qualified cadre capable of innovating and devising solutions to challenges based on machine intelligence.

The session also reviewed the efforts and achievements of the three universities in the field of AI, noting the need for AI in healthcare to help identify and cure diseases, in addition to its adoption in the field of arts.

Smart products

During the forum, two Sheraa startups showcased their solutions in the AI field. Adnane ElSoussi, CEO of Defuzzy Labs, highlighted how his startup has designed and developed solutions using AI for Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), submersed Remotely Operated Vessels (ROVs), and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). Mohamed Alzarooni, CEO of BeyondX, briefed the attendees on his startup, which provides comprehensive technological solutions to help industry leading companies and individuals achieve greater success through transforming traditional business models to ones that utilise AI through certain recommendations that empower the workforce.