Al seen to enable and enhance productivity and the economy
Oman is working on laying the foundations for the application of Artificial Intelligence (Al) and advanced technologies (AT) with the aim of creating an effective and vibrant economy.
Al is seen as one of the enablers to enhance productivity and the economy in the sultanate. According to the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technology, which is over seeing the ‘National Programme for Al & Advanced Technologies’, the use of AI will support strategic decision-making based on big data, predicting future needs, creating new services and products that improve lifestyles, and improving performance, productivity and competitiveness of the main economic and developmental sectors.
The ministry has stated that it will provide support to units of the state’s administrative apparatus to develop innovative solutions based on AI for all vital sectors of the economy. This will allow the sectors keep pace with the developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Oman was ranked 48th in the world and sixth in the Middle East in the Government AI Readiness Index 2020 issued by Oxford Insights.
According to the ministry, Oman has a competitive advantage in development of AI and AT as the sultanate is characterised by a stable political climate that makes it an attractive destination for foreign investment. Additionally, there is strong government support for adoption of modern technologies and innovation.
‘The country benefits from a good number of submarine cables available which qualifies Oman to host data centres, high-speed computers and cloud services that are used to process artificial intelligence algorithms,’ the ministry stated.
Oman provides a diverse range of economic sectors in which multiple technologies can be tried and tested. ‘There are a large number of IT graduates who can be qualified and trained in the field of artificial intelligence and advanced technologies.’
The ‘National Programme for Al & Advanced Technologies’ was started in 2020 to supervise the preparation and implementation of an integrated national action plan for Al and advanced technologies, including capacity-building, research, innovation,
industrialisation, investment, supporting establishment of emerging companies and formulation of policies and legislation.