Egypt’s steps towards integration of Artificial Intelligence

The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being encouraged in countries across the globe due to its promises of increased productivity and higher efficiencies. Egypt has been taking definitive initiatives towards the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in different areas, such as business, healthcare and governance. To further enhance these initiatives, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology participated in the drafting of Recommendations On The Responsible Use Of AI. This document has been initiated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) to detail the responsible roll out of AI applications in several aspects of ethical use of AI in principles, including capacity building, governance, responsibility, humanity and transparency.

Egypt has become the first Arab and African country that has formally adopted the OECD recommendations on AI and to further aid in the dissemination of this information, has translated these documents into Arabic.

This adds to the list of commendable initiatives being taken by the Government of Egypt towards responsible and ethical adoption of AI in overall development, says Dr. Vishu Gupta, Head of Research, TensaX Innovation Lab. These initiatives, as observed by Dr. Gupta, will further lead to development of data preservation and protection, along with AI application deployment in a variety of areas of Governance, healthcare and process automation.

Initiative of Egypt’s government in reforming their outlook on Artificial Intelligence and also Information Technology (IT) may be seen with the launch of the National AI Strategy and the establishment of the National Council for Artificial Intelligence. Further, the country’s government is taking determined steps to ensure the ethical and responsible use of data with the introduction of its Data Protection Law. Furthermore, Egypt has also established the Applied Innovation Centre for creating applications that focus on the use of new and emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence.

On the international front, Egypt has also become a part of the Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) as an observer. The GPAI is dedicated to ensuring the adherence to the recommendations on the responsible use of these trends in Artificial Intelligence in the scientific research and applications. Most importantly, Egypt is working towards increasing unified methods to ensure ethical implementations, reinforcing the concept that the responsible use of emerging technologies is an essential aspect of its implementation. This is especially true for technologies working directly with citizens. Egypt is unifying with the other countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by being a part of the Arab Artificial Intelligence AI Working Group and the African Working Group on AI.

The initiatives play a contributory role in indicating how the Government of the country is progressing towards AI integration. As evidenced by Oxford Insights and International Development Research Centre (IRDC) 2020 Government AI Readiness Index (GAIRI), Egypt claims the 56thrank worldwide and the 8thrank in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.