- Omar Al-Olama says ‘global treaty’ needed to govern new technology
- Elon Musk, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also recognized by magazine
LONDON (Agencies): An Emirati minister has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the field of artificial intelligence.
The list highlights leaders, innovators, shapers and thinkers “who are shaping today’s AI landscape.”
Omar Al-Olama, 33, was appointed the UAE’s minister of state for AI, digital economy and remote work applications in 2017.
He was recognized by Time in the “shaper” category.
Al-Olama told the magazine that the UAE’s leadership “believes that instead of waiting for this technology to come to us as a by-product of other people’s decisions and reacting to something that is foreign and alien in nature, we need to be the most prepared nation for the positives as well as the negatives of AI.”
He added that there was a need for a global treaty to govern the rapidly developing sector.
“Initially, my view was we can do a lot in the UAE and we can do this on our own. However, I am 100 percent certain today that you cannot govern this technology on an island.
“You can’t do it on your own. You have to do it with others. And we have to do it in a way that is nonpolitical and that is truly global. So there needs to be a global treaty that includes everyone.”
Al-Olama described the UAE’s approach to governing AI as an “interesting model.”
“We understand that we are in a unique position. We are a medium-sized country, we have invested in AI for a few years now. So we were a bit far ahead of many other countries that are in this domain,” he said.
But he stressed that the UAE could not and was not looking to compete with China and the US.
“Our job is to be first an enabler and to leverage our strength to support all the players when it comes to AI,” he said.
Among the other people to make the Time list were Elon Musk, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and US Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.