Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) President Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi emphasized on Monday that the cabinet's decision to establish the International Center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Ethics (ICAIRE) in Riyadh, and its classification as a UNESCO Category II International Center, mark significant achievements in line with SDAIA's vision.
Al-Ghamdi stated that such a vision positions Saudi Arabia as a global leader in ethical artificial intelligence (AI) by providing support for research and development in the field, enhancing awareness of AI ethics, and offering consultative support in AI policies and capacity building.
He made his remarks at a ministerial session, “Regional Approach to Advance Ethical Governance of Artificial Intelligence” during the Global Forum on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, organized by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Slovenia’s Ministry of Digital Transformation in Kranj.
The forum, held under the theme “Changing the Landscape of AI Governance,” is taking place from February 5 and 6 with the participation of several distinguished ministers of technology and AI from various countries.
“The Global Forum on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence reminds us of our shared responsibility in dealing with the complexities of AI. It also emphasizes the need for a collaborative spirit in shaping the future of artificial intelligence,” Al-Ghamdi said.
The ICAIRE center in the Kingdom has taken significant steps in regional collaboration and capacity building, hosting in the past two weeks two sessions on AI governance regarding UNESCO's methodology for ethical readiness for AI, he added.
These sessions were held in collaboration with UNESCO, the Arab League, and the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Al-Ghamdi noted.
The sessions were aimed at aligning regional ethical practices for AI, fostering awareness, achieving dissemination, and unleashing the inherent value of AI while ensuring adherence to the correct standards, he continued.
He added that the Kingdom's central geographic and cultural location in the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds "gives us a profound responsibility" because Muslims account for nearly a quarter of the world's population and a significant portion also speak Arabic.
"This necessitates our progress in AI to be comprehensive and culturally sensitive. Therefore, we pay special attention to the development of Arabic language technologies and large language models to ensure the region's presence in the framework of advancing AI," Al-Ghamdi said.