Artificial Intelligence Company Harnesses Saudi Sense of Digital Vision Urgency

Artificial Intelligence Company Harnesses Saudi Sense of Digital Vision Urgency

In cooperation with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, SenseTime introduces the Saudi AI Education Program to provide a comprehensive AI curriculum to teachers and students across the country. [Photo provided to]

A leading artificial intelligence firm said it hopes to bring China’s best practices to Saudi Arabia to provide technological support for the Arab country’s economic transformation under Saudi Vision 2030.

“We have many projects in Saudi Arabia and we are full of confidence (in the market),” said George Huang, CEO of International Business Group at SenseTime, a Hong Kong-born artificial intelligence company.

Noting that technology is a strong pillar of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s national strategy to diversify its economy, Huang said many of SenseTime’s AI solutions have been tested in the Chinese market and its technology can be a catalyst for many industries in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

“I believe that we are the first AI company to receive a direct investment fund from the (sovereign wealth fund) of the PIF to set up a company in Saudi Arabia, it is a recognition for us and it is more important for us to ‘executing our plans and bringing China’s best practices here,’ Huang said, referring to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

SenseTime has had a presence in Saudi Arabia since 2018, where it has a joint venture with PIF to provide AI solutions across a variety of vertical industries while developing the local ecosystem and talent.

In September, for example, joint venture SenseTime MEA formed a cooperation with the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence, under which it will receive 776 million Saudi riyals ($206 million) from the latter and build a local laboratory for artificial intelligence. high-end AI.

Based on its experience in China in developing AI education programs for primary and secondary schools, vocational training and professionals, SenseTime, in cooperation with the Saudi Data and Intelligence Authority artificial, introduced the Saudi AI education program. The program offers a comprehensive AI curriculum for teachers and students nationwide.

Huang, also acting CEO of SenseTime MEA, said the program trained around 100 teachers and benefited around 600 students in the first phase and the company aims to scale it to over 30,000 students and train around 2 000 teachers in total.

Having lived in Saudi Arabia for four years, Huang said he could sense the urgent demand in Saudi Arabia to develop its technology sector and promote digitalization, as the country aims to reduce its dependence on oil, developing into a dynamic society with a flourishing economy. within the framework of Vision 2030.

Huang said huge transformations have taken place in Saudi Arabia over the past few years. For example, women can now drive their own cars and take on leadership roles in the workplace.

Moreover, “Saudi Arabia is already a very vibrant society…given its young population,” Huang said.

Saudi Arabia has one of the youngest populations in the world, with more than 60% of its population under the age of 30.

The country’s internet penetration rate reached over 98% by the end of 2021, according to a report by its Information and Communication Technology Commission.

Huang said he sees huge opportunities for AI technology in areas such as culture and tourism, healthcare and smart cities.

China and Saudi Arabia have signed a strategic partnership for cooperation in digital economy fields, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Dec. 9.

“For business cooperation between different companies, it is important to have mutual understanding and respect for each other’s culture,” Huang said.

Noting that the joint venture in Riyadh covers the entire Middle East and North Africa region, Huang said he hopes SenseTime’s projects in Saudi Arabia can be expanded to the rest of the MENA market.

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