July 24, 2024

Google to support AI initiatives across UAE

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Karan Bhatia, Global VP of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google
Karan Bhatia, Global VP of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google

Google announced its support of AI initiatives and solutions in research and sustainability in the UAE in collaboration with Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence’s (MBZUAI) campus, Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi and  the Ministry of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.  At an event at the MBZUAI campus, Google announced three initiatives. Research Awards – Google will offer research awards to the faculty at MBZUAI to help improve Arabic representation in AI foundation models focusing on societal impact in sustainability and climate change. In addition to the financial support, MBZUAI faculty will be able to request support in Google cloud computing, data analytics and machine learning, and the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with Google researchers and engineers. 

Project Green Light – In collaboration with the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi,  Google will deploy Green Light – a Machine Learning technology to optimize traffic lights at intersections and reduce stop-and-go traffic which is a cause of pollution in cities. The technology models traffic patterns and builds intelligent recommendations for traffic plan modifications, for example, increasing the number of seconds of green time between certain hours. This can help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the flow of traffic and air quality in the city. 

AI Majlis Series – A new initiative by Google and UAE Ministry of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, to hold quarterly private Majlis sessions to discuss and advance AI principles and policies with leaders from Google, government, academia and business in the UAE. The first AI Majlis will be held this week with H.E Omar Al Olama and Karan Bhatia, Global VP of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google, where the topic of responsible innovation will be discussed in a circle of leaders in government, academia and businesses in tourism, media and publishing, retail and telecom. . Future AI Majlis discussions will address AI’s impact on sustainability, healthcare and the future of work. 

Karan Bhatia, Global Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy at Google, said “Seven years into Google’s journey as an AI-first company, we’re at an exciting inflection point. We have an opportunity to make AI even more helpful for people, for businesses, for communities, for everyone. Building this transformational technology responsibly must be a collective effort that involves researchers, social scientists, industry experts, governments, and people. There is so much we can accomplish and so much we must get right- together. There’s significant value in collaborative leadership in AI and we look forward to doing more with local partners in the UAE and to help advance AI research and solutions that meets the needs of the country.”

MBZUAI Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, Sultan Al Hajji
MBZUAI Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, Sultan Al Hajji

MBZUAI Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, Sultan Al Hajji, said, “AI research and development is central to the UAE’s economic diversification, sustainable growth and global competitiveness strategy, and partnerships with key industry leaders are important for the continued application of the university’s pioneering research. We thank Google for this acknowledgment in the form of awards for MBZUAI and specific faculty.”

H.E. Mohamed Karmastaji, the Executive Director of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Sector at Integrated Transport Centre
H.E. Mohamed Karmastaji, the Executive Director of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Sector at Integrated Transport Centre

H.E. Mohamed Karmastaji, the Executive Director of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Sector at Integrated Transport Centre, said “We are fully committed to driving the transition towards sustainable and efficient transportation systems. For example, our collaboration with Google will produce results that benefit road-users in real time. Project Green Light is a pilot project to develop an AI tool to harvest critical data on traffic conditions at intersections which will automatically optimize the efficiency of traffic light functions, helping to reduce vehicle congestion hot-spots and thus improve air quality across the emirate by lowering carbon emissions. Through continued partnerships like this with government bodies, private sector partners, and community stakeholders, we are shaping a future where congestion is minimized, air quality is improved and our cities thrive in harmony with the environment. With the launch of new AI tools, we are taking a significant step towards enhancing the daily commute experience for residents. We are excited about the positive impact this will have on our city, and we look forward to collaborating with stakeholders to create a sustainable, intelligent transportation system.”

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