Saudi Arabia tops global ranking for government AI strategy

AI is key to Saudi Vision 2030
Saudi Arabia tops global ranking for government AI strategy
Ranking based on AI investment, innovation and implementation

Saudi Arabia topped the Government Strategy for Artificial Intelligence sub-pillar in the recently published Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Index.

Issued by UK-based Tortoise Intelligence, the report evaluates more than 60 countries across the globe according to three pillars: AI investment, implementation and innovation.

The rankings were determined based on the countries’ performance in seven sub-pillars, including government strategy, research, development, talent, infrastructure, operating environment, and commercial.

Saudi Arabia obtained the highest score in government strategy, ahead of Germany and China, which secured second and third place, respectively.

Overall, the report ranked the United States of America, China and Singapore as the top three nations across all pillars. Rankings were based on their performance across 111 indicators as well as data from 28 different public and private sources.

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AI initiatives

Among Saudi’s AI initiatives that the report recognized include the creation of the National Strategy for Data and AI (NSDAI) and the establishment of a dedicated government authority for artificial intelligence.

In addition, Saudi Arabia’s efforts to allocate substantial funding for AI initiatives, as well as the formulation and monitoring of national targets for AI were also acknowledged as significant elements of its AI strategy.

In the kingdom, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) is the central authority responsible for organizing, developing, and overseeing all AI-related matters.

SDAIA leads the formulation of national plans for data and AI, in alignment with Saudi’s Vision 2030. It took the lead in creating the NSDAI, which seeks to unify efforts and launch national initiatives to leverage opportunities afforded by the use and adoption of AI.

Strategic goals

As part of its AI plans, the SDAIA hopes to attract $75 bn worth of investments in data and AI initiatives in Saudi Arabia, as it seeks to become a leading nation in this field by 2030. It also aims to facilitate the establishment of over 300 startups which will help enhance its data and AI ecosystem.

In a statement, the SDAIA said, “We aim to achieve this ambitious long-term vision through a multi-phased approach focused on addressing the national priorities by 2025, building foundations for competitive advantage in key niche areas by 2030, and becoming one of the leading economies utilizing and exporting Data & AI after 2030.”

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