The UAE had a cabinet reshuffle, and they blew our minds with a world-first appointment. Welcome to the Future.
When Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, announced last year that he was electing a Minister of Happiness, we thought he was too extra.
Now, following a cabinet reshuffle, he’s announced a Minister of Artificial Intelligence. This is clearly a declaration by the UAE, telling us they know what the future looks like, and they intend to start preparing now.
At 27, it looks like the new Minister of Artificial Intelligence, Omar Al Olama, has been busy. He’s been on the Executive Committee of the World Government Summit since 2014. But that’s not all. He’s also been the Deputy Director of the Future Department since 2016.
He has a BBA from the American University of Dubai, and a diploma of excellence and project management from the American University in Sharjah.
Artificial Intelligence is when machines try to simulate the way human intelligence works. The simplest example for this is Google Search. Everything you search on Google makes it smarter.
It’s the way you know not to offer your mum tea when she asks for coffee three days in a row.
If you use an Android phone, you probably noticed that your phone tells you there’ll be traffic on the way home. Ever wondered how it knows?
The UAE is prioritising AI because they believe it will do stuff like, help them save more, reduce accidents, and even help make governance better, generally.
But they aren’t expecting quick results, it’s why their strategy stretches all the way to 2031. The future looks interesting.
And if you think AI is too ambitious or crazy, you should see the other things they have planned. Like how the Dubai Government wants its last paper transaction in 2021. Or how they want the first human settlement in Mars by 2117 AD.
There’s also the goal to produce 75% of energy requirements by 2050. Or make 25% of transport in Dubai be autonomous.
We seem to be doing a good job at a few things, like making sure we spend all our time and politics dealing with problems that could easily have been solved decades ago.
Problems like completing the Ajaokuta Steel Project so the foundation of Nigeria’s Industrialisation is iron-solid. Or problems that have to do with basic infrastructure to at least get people to get by. To survive. Nigeria still remains in “let’s survive today” phase, because, there’s never really much to look forward to.
The UAE on the other hand, is on the “how can we make the future better for our children” phase.
Emiratis will most likely be happy about new developments like this. And even if they aren’t, The Ministry of Happiness will work to fix that.
We’re excited for what the UAE is up to, and what it means for the future for the world.