The Yuan requests your support! Our content will now be available free of charge for all registered subscribers, consistent with our mission to make AI a human commons accessible to all. We are therefore requesting donations from our readers so we may continue bringing you insightful reportage of this awesome technology that is sweeping the world. Donate now
Arabian moonshots may hold huge implications for the whole world
By Calum Chace  |  Oct 23, 2023
Arabian moonshots may hold huge implications for the whole world
Image courtesy of and under license from
In the run-up to the Global AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park at the start of November, Calum Chace discusses the role that the Gulf countries might play in helping to develop and deploy AI to universal benefit.

LONDON - Other than Silicon Valley, the United Arab Emirates may be the most future-oriented and optimistic place on the planet. Futurism and techno-optimism are natural mindsets in a country which has pretty much invented itself from scratch in two generations. During this period, its people have progressed from a medieval lifestyle to being 21st century metropolitans, so it is unsurprising that the UAE has been quick to spot the enormous future significance of artificial intelligence (AI) and pioneer its deployment.

It is not just the UAE. The leaders of all six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE - see AI as an important component of their mission to transition their economies away from reliance on fossil fuels and improve living standards for their people. They are looking to AI to help them develop alternative energy sources, create smart cities, improve government services, and build world-class industries in fintech, healthcare, and tourism.

Especially today, the oil-rich members of the GCC have both the financial resources and the ambition to become major players in the development and deployment of AI. Their revenues are also being boosted by Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, which has driven up the price of oil and other commodities. Their ambitions are encouraged by the shocking capabilities of the generative AI systems which started grabbing headlines a year ago.

The Gulf states also have an additional advantage over most other jurisdictions: Their large expatriate workforces mean that they can automate fearlessly. To put it bluntly, if machines do end up taking more human jobs than they create, these countries can simply send their excess workers back home. This may help explain why the ordinary people of the GCC seem less af

The content herein is subject to copyright by The Yuan. All rights reserved. The content of the services is owned or licensed to The Yuan. Such content from The Yuan may be shared and reprinted but must clearly identify The Yuan as its original source. Content from a third-party copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in such third party’s content appearing in The Yuan must likewise be clearly labeled as such.
Continue reading
Sign up now to read this story for free.
- or -
Continue with Linkedin Continue with Google
Share your thoughts.
The Yuan wants to hear your voice. We welcome your on-topic commentary, critique, and expertise. All comments are moderated for civility.