Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and specifically, data-driven methods such as Machine Learning are a promising radical transformation of the economic and social systems worldwide. It helps people make better predictions and decisions.  By 2030, AI is forecast to add $15 trillion to global economy.

AI is one of the top priorities of policy agendas for most of the countries at both national and international levels. Many national government initiatives focus on using AI applications for development and economic growth.

In addition, AI is one of the top priorities of the agendas of the international and regional organizations such as Group of Seven (G7), Group of Twenty (G20), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the European Union (EU), League of Arab States (LAS), the African Union (AU), and others. This international dialogue aims at building a common understanding of emerging AI technologies.

The United Nations (UN) also has numerous ongoing initiatives related to AI with the objective of identifying principles and policy priorities for AI, aiming to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • National Council for Artificial Intelligence
  • Egypt’s AI Strategy
  • International Cooperation
  • AI Innovation Challenges/Competitions
  • Collaboration Opportunities

In November 2019, the Egyptian government formed the National Council for Artificial Intelligence as a partnership between governmental institutions, prominent academics and practitioners from leading businesses in the field of AI.


The National Council for Artificial Intelligence is chaired by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology. The Council is in charge of outlining, implementing and governing AI strategy in close coordination with the concerned experts and entities.


The Council's Responsibilities:

  • Provide follow up mechanisms for implementing the National AI Strategy in a way that copes up with international best practices in this
  • Identify national priorities in the area of AI applications
  • Recommend national policies and recommendations pertaining to the technical, legal and economic framework of AI applications
  • Promote cooperation both regionally and internationally which includes exchanging best practices and expertise
  • Identify AI applications that provides smart, safe and sustainable solutions and services
  • Review international protocols and agreements in the field of AI
  • Recommend capacity building programs and boost the skills and knowledge of national calibers

The Council's main objective is to unite national efforts, and develop Egypt’s AI strategy and various AI-related applications. This is in addition to recommending capacity building programs and boosting the skills and knowledge of national calibers.

The National AI Strategy—to be implemented within three to five years— is a key priority to help Egypt achieve its sustainable development goals. It identifies the country's plans to deepen the use of AI technologies and transform the economy. It goes beyond just adopting technology, to fundamentally rethinking business models and making deep changes to reap the benefits of productivity growth and create new areas of growth.

Vision:

Exploit AI technologies to help achieve Egypt’s development goals for the benefit of all Egyptians, and to promote Egypt's regional leading role to be an active global player in AI.

Mission: 

Create an AI Industry in Egypt, including the development of skills, technology, ecosystem, infrastructure and governance mechanisms to ensure its sustainability and competitiveness.

Egypt’s AI Strategy Pillars:


1. AI for Government:


It aims to embed AI technologies into government processes to increase efficiency and transparency.

 

2. AI for Development:

It seeks to foster the use of AI in vital developmental sectors using partnerships with local beneficiaries and local or foreign tech partners to ensure knowledge transfer while addressing Egypt’s development needs. This is in addition to identifying and executing key projects in those sectors either directly or through the ecosystem, for example the startups.

3. Capacity Building:

It is to prepare Egyptian citizens for the AI era at all levels, from raising public awareness to guiding formal education and offering vocational and professional trainings.

4. International Relations:

Promoting international relations aims to foster Egypt’s leadership position on the regional and international levels by championing relevant initiatives, representing African and Arab positions, and actively participating in AI-related discussions in different international organization such as UNESCO, OECD, La Francophonie, ITU, WIPO, and others.


Egypt’s AI Strategy Enablers:


1. Governance:

It is to track and monitor the implementation of the strategy, laws and regulations, ethical principles and guidelines. 

2. Data:

Data collection, management, security and availability is a very significant enabler in this field.

3. Ecosystem:

It includes academia, research, startups, SMEs, MNCs, NGOs and civil society.

4. Infrastructure:

The physical infrastructure includes computers, storage, connectivity, as well as ensuring access by all members of the ecosystem.

Priority Sectors:

1- Agriculture/environment and water management

2- Healthcare

3- Natural Language Processing (NLP)

4- Economic planning

5- Manufacturing and infrastructure management

The AI team seeks to promote international cooperation in areas related to AI. Cooperation activities are divided into two levels:


Innovation and entrepreneurship are interconnected. Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, through which they exploit change for a different business or a different service.

Egypt seeks to organize competitions at different levels to stimulate the use of AI in solving real challenges and creating new market opportunities.

The purpose of these competitions is to connect promising entrepreneurs and startups from around the world with investors, mentors, donors and government representatives with the purpose of solving innovation challenges using AI applications.  These competitions provide matching opportunities for start-ups with larger companies or multinationals as well.

Objectives

§ Support innovative AI applications that create value for the society and empowers entrepreneurs

§ Provide startups and entrepreneurs with greater access to knowledge

§ Allow startups and entrepreneurs to experiment, invent and claim credit for their innovation

§ Provide the knowledge needed for designing and implementing large scale-effective AI applications

§ Provide startups and entrepreneurs with process-based, project centric workshops and training

 

These challenges and competitions will also raise awareness of AI technologies in Egypt and the region and will provide a platform for participants to share AI ideas and applications. They also support the development of young people's entrepreneurial skills and discover how to build successful AI applications. When entrepreneurs rise to the entrepreneurial challenge, everyone should rally around them in support.

To promote the use of AI technologies, Egypt seeks to build young people's capacities and cooperate with technology partners to develop AI applications, thus facing Egypt's challenges.

 

Capacity Building:

Egypt seeks to partner with academic institutions and private sector companies who are capable of providing and delivering TOT programs or direct programs on various topics of AI for different target groups in Egypt. Possible areas of collaboration include but not limited to:

§ General awareness programs

§ TOT courses

§ Post graduate courses

§ Specific courses in sub fields of AI such as NLP, computer vision, self-driving or deep learning

§ Domain specific courses such as using AI in agriculture, AI in healthcare, AI in manufacturing and others

§ Practical courses for implementing AI projects in production

§ Courses in data architect and knowledge engineering

§ Summer boot camps for school and university students

Applications Co-Development:

Egypt is looking for technology partners, whether private companies or applied research entities, willing to partner with MCIT on tackling some of Egypt's most important challenges using AI applications. Possible areas of collaboration include but not limited to:

§ AI for Government

§ Agriculture: AI applications in the field of agriculture include water management, environmental protection, desalination, combatting desertification and other related areas

§ Healthcare: AI solutions for triage and diagnosis of diseases, smart management of healthcare data, mental health and bioinformatics

§ Economic development and planning: AI solutions to maximize the use of the country’s resources

§ Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Arabic language

§ Manufacturing and smart infrastructure management

Copyright Ministry of Communications and Information Technology 1999-2020. All rights reserved