Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bahrain as a regional Research & Development Center for Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a transformative technology that holds promise for tremendous societal and economic benefit. AI has the potential to revolutionize how we live, work, learn, discover, and communicate. AI research can further our national priorities, including increased economic prosperity, improved educational opportunities and quality of life, and enhanced national security.

The Kingdom of Bahrain graduates hundreds of technology and computer science students every year with much world class ‘Graduation projects’ which can be bases for mega projects in the region. These students are potential entrepreneurs and inventors of future Artificial Intelligence initiatives, not only for Bahrain but for the region. Therefore, it is imperative to establish Bahrain as a regional center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Development, and instead of multinational companies developing AI programs in South Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe to export them to GCC, they would enhance such technologies in Bahrain with many benefits to GCC and the Kingdom.   

The Innovation Centers for Artificial Intelligence should be a national initiative focused on joint technology development between academia, industry and government in the area of artificial intelligence. Bahrain has the talent, the world-class research and the longstanding tradition in AI education to be one of the world’s top ranked countries in terms of innovation power. AI R&D brings these positive forces together in a unique national initiative.

AI R&D center innovation strategy is organized around industry labs, these are multi-year strategic collaborations with a focus on technology and talent development. AI R&D center will create innovative AI-applications, distribute AI-knowledge for companies and organizations in the form of technology products and tools, train corporate employees through dedicated courses, and simultaneously maintain a connection with other world-level science centers. it will also facilitate commercialization by enhancing start-up and spin-outs.

We can already see the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) in international development: the seemingly endless possibilities to enhance productivity and innovation across healthcare, agriculture, education, transportation, and governance.

Given the opportunities and potential consequences of new automation and mechanization techniques and advanced analysis through machine learning and neural networks, many American and European innovations centres are investing in applied research across a number of domains to advance the public good with the use of artificial intelligence for development, These centers can also be found in Canada, Netherlands, India, Thailand plus a great potential for Bahrain in the Middle-East.

Such a strategic initiative would complement great efforts by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Bahrain Polytechnic in supporting Artificial Intelligence initiatives and investments in the Kingdom.

by Dr. Jassim Haji

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