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Ever increasing technological change is rapidly increasing its beneficial impact on every aspect of people's lives, leisure and work activity. As it is as every business in the world turns to digital solutions to keep pace with an ever more demanding customer.

A key engine for these changes is the application and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), linking up with the whole digital ecosystem of Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, cloud computing, cyber security, entertainment and local, national and international complete connectivity.

AI is proving increasing disruptive impacting positively the speed, efficiency and cost of our daily lives. It is impacting healthcare, financial products, leisure, manufacturing, retail amongst many other sectors as well as creating new sectors for the future.

It is also saving lives as well as time, for example in healthcare,  where it can identify, analyze and personalize treatments, quicker, safer and more effectively than ever before.

AI is also helping protect our planet, embedded within smart infrastructures, smart cities and resource management to ensure we protect the planet and provide food more productively and efficiently.

The market research firm IDC projected that the global AI market will reach a size of over half a trillion U.S. dollars by 2024. Precedence research suggest the market will grow to over 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2030, as stated by Statista. This growth is fueled by an ever-increasing number of AI startups. AI startup acquisitions have accelerated since 2010, growing almost fourfold between 2015 and 2018. Global funding for AI startups has increased from over a billion U.S. dollars in 2013 to 8.5 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

The potential and key importance of AI has been recognized with Saudi Arabia for some time. An indication is the formation of the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence (SCAI), a company wholly owned by Public Investment Fund (PIF), to grow and develop artificial intelligence (AI) and emerge technologies into industries in KSA, to substitute innovation in strategic sectors and accelerate key national technological priorities.

Within this ambitious framework, stc, the leading digital enabler in the region, has launched a long-term strategic partnership with the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence (SCAI) and DataRobot. This partnership will drive the growth and development of the Kingdom’s AI capabilities and empower the next generation of Saudi changemakers and tech talent. All partners will leverage their resources, networks and ecosystems with a range of ongoing collaborative efforts, working together closely and sharing best practices to advance the Kingdom’s tech landscape to transform it into a hub of innovation.

As part of the agreement, DataRobot — the AI Cloud leader — will establish its regional headquarters in KSA, where an AI development hub and Research and Development center will also be set up. The launch of the partnership marks the latest step taken by stc and SCAI to bolster the Kingdom’s AI infrastructure, with DataRobot underlining its commitment to democratizing artificial intelligence by providing people and communities easy access to quality AI solutions. Crucially, this will also contribute to the enhancement of regional and global AI services in green tech, oil and gas and healthcare, setting the Kingdom apart — on the global stage — as a pioneer of tech innovation. 

The launch of stc’s strategic partnership with SCAI and DataRobot is very much in line with its Vision 2030 goals and “Dare” strategy, which aims to improve and develop the local economy, while safeguarding the Kingdom’s sustainable growth, and supporting its human capital development. SCAI and DataRobots join stc’s long list of partners, including Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia — likeminded entities that have supported the digital service provider to establish three innovation centers for research and development in the Kingdom.

This adds even more weight to stc as the only global player owning and operating the complete digital eco-system of IoT, cloud, connectivity, cybersecurity, entertainment, banking, every aspect of connectivity and 5G etc. It builds on the $1bn launch of its major digital hub “MENA Hub” for the Middle East and North Africa, investment with Alibaba Group the Alibaba Cloud in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with an initial capital investment of $238.3 million (SAR 894 million), a 5):50 joint venture with PIF forming a specialiszed company for IoT, are just three recent illustrations of stc’s determination to invest with expanding scope, increasing scale and accelerating pace.

Source: STC