The Department of Community Development, in cooperation with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, organised a lecture titled ‘The Ramifications of the Rapid Development of Artificial Intelligence on Societies’, which highlighted the importance of AI and its development, along with its social, economic and cultural impact.
The lecture was delivered by Professor Eric Xing, MBZUAI President and University Professor, as part of the Social Dialogues series that the DCD is keen to organise periodically. The series will facilitate discussions on numerous vital topics and their effect on individuals and society by inviting experts and specialists to participate, thereby widening perspectives and achieving outcomes that benefit specific target groups within society.
The panel discussion, which was held in the main building of the DCD in Abu Dhabi, was attended by their Excellencies Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, Eng. Hamad Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Department of Community Development, Abdullah Al Ameri, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, and Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Director General of the Family Care Authority, in addition to several leaders in the social sector and the university.
Dr. Al Khaili emphasised that AI has become a global topic of conversation, mainly because of its profound impact on various aspects of life, particularly social and personal facets. He highlighted that the swift advancement of AI technologies presents a positive opportunity to leverage them effectively for the benefit of the community and its different groups. This includes improving the quality of life in areas such as mental health, catering to the needs of the elderly, and other specialised fields, following modern international standards and practices.
His Excellency added: “Our leadership is keen to ensure the building of a generation that is empowered by technology and equipped with all the skills and tools in the field of artificial intelligence. This is because we believe in the key role individuals play in building a sustainable digital economy and improving the country's leadership and future readiness. We are also always working to enhance government performance levels by investing in artificial intelligence tools and applying them in various fields of work.”
Al Khaili continued: “Technology in general, and artificial intelligence in particular, has played an important role in providing exceptional services to humanity by facilitating tasks and improving their experiences while engaging in practical, recreational and various sports tasks. At the same time, there is the potential for technology to have negative effects on individuals and societies, and therefore we must work to enhance society's awareness of artificial intelligence and its benefits and side effects."
His Excellency commended Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence for being a leading educational institution on a global scale, not only locally. He highlighted the university’s many studies and scientific research that contribute to fostering a highly intellectual environment.
Moreover, he acknowledged the university’s role in supporting Abu Dhabi’s efforts to establish a knowledge-based economy centred around artificial intelligence, ensuring long-term sustainability is achieved and various sectors and public institutions are provided with human resources and skills that position them optimally in the realm of utilising AI.
Professor Eric Xing, MBZUAI President and University Professor, said: “As AI is increasingly impacting the well-being of people and communities, and provides huge opportunity for economic growth and quality of life, countries that embrace and invest strategically in both basic and applied research, talent training, and technological transfer in AI are able to build a competitive advantage and sustainable strength in the global competition. It is with this vision from the UAE leadership that MBZUAI was established and becomes the fastest rising AI research and development hub globally.
We are determined to become the bedrock of UAE’s new ambition in advancing its economy and society. From increasing public safety initiatives to improving traffic management, predicting climate incidents, personalizing healthcare, and managing energy usage; our data and AI driven systems will support innovation in all fronts. Through collaboration with DCD and other public and private partners, MBZUAI is helping entities implement AI solutions to create an AI knowledge-based economy, leading to more secure and connected communities and residents.”
The panel session dealt with many topics, such as the definition of artificial intelligence, related technologies, benefits to societies, the most prominent challenges and concerns from the usage of AI, as well as its effects on education, in addition to social and economic fields.