Friday, December 9, 2022

IBM and Saudi Arabia Agency Partnering on AI for Sustainability

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia and ARMONK, New York — IBM and Saudi Data, an agency based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have signed a strategic agreement to add artificial intelligence (AI) into the carbon capture and industrial domains.

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the second Global AI summit brought out the first opportunity for the Saudia Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the Ministry of Energy to use IBM’s AI technology to detect, locate, and reduce carbon emissions across Saudi Arabia, according to IBM last month.

IBM will work directly with SDAIA to help find uses of AI and machine learning (ML) to help solve challenges in the Kingdom, mainly focusing on and supporting the Kingdom’s sustainability objectives.

Saudi Arabia is currently working on a transformation program to become a technology logistics hub and industrial powerhouse for countries all over the world.

The Kingdom has a target of achieving net zero in emissions and has a goal to help the global effort to cut emissions by 2060.

New cities and infrastructure are being built in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, such as NEOM built in 2017, and the Red Sea which is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program, both designed with current and future sustainability objectives in mind.

“Goals of Vision 2030” in Saudi Arabia

“This agreement with IBM will contribute to creating opportunities by addressing key challenges in circular carbon economy, petrochemical and industrial domains, through the development of innovative solutions in the field of data and artificial intelligence, and the exchange of shared experiences and investment opportunities in this vital area to support achieving the goals of Vision 2030,” said Dr. Majid Al-Tuwaijri, CEO for the National Center for AI.

The Saudi Vision 2030 has multiple goals for Saudi Arabia. They aim to be part of the world’s innovation progression, including diversifying the nation’s economy and unlocking underdeveloped industries such as manufacturing, and renewable energy.

“This agreement would allow us to leverage IBM’s expertise in technologies like artificial intelligence,” Eng. Ahmed Al-Zahrani, Ministry of Energy’s Assistant Minister for Development and Excellence, said, “which will play a key role in promoting the adoption of the Circular Carbon Economy, achieving the goals announced during the Saudi Green Initiative.”

“Using multiple satellites and different types of imaging technologies, we will train an AI model to recognize and pinpoint different forms of gas across the entire country. By doing so, this will help with earlier and better visibility of the problem which has not been possible with conventional measurement approaches,” said Dina Abo-Onoq, Managing Partner, IBM Consulting Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia, AI, and the environment

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 involves multiple significant factors, but two focuses are the environment and AI. Both elements are valuable to the country, as they involve every industry in Saudi Arabia. 

Vision 2030 has a plan to improve the environment by targeting 100% of municipal solid waste, 60% of construction waste, and 85% of hazardous waste to be moved out of a landfill.

One of the world’s most valuable companies is Aramco, an oil company. However, the oil may eventually run out. Because of this possibility, one way Saudi Arabia could reduce its reliance on this non-renewable energy resource as a primary income source. 

Not only is this helpful to the environment and economy, but with AI adoption, there is a possibility of what the Middle East Political and Economic Institute called a “collaborative and forward thinking ecosystem.”

Vision 2030 has designated $20 billion for the advancement of artificial intelligence, and they are making a push toward better environmental practices.  

The AI growing market

The global AI market has grown and developed in recent years. Currently, the AI market is estimated to be worth $87.04 billion and is anticipated to grow to $1.597 trillion from 2021 to 2030.

The compound annual growth revenue (CAGR) is expected to grow 35% in North America, the location of IBM’s headquarters, according to Precedence Research

As more research is gained within digital technologies and the internet, the research has contributed to the growth of the global AI market. 

More trusted technology companies have invested in and developed AI to fuel technological improvements in various industries, including the environment and energy industries.

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